September 4, 2012

News & Opinion: Thinker in Residence: Don Mercer

By: Sally Haldorson @ 5:43 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

We welcome a new Thinker in Residence over on KnowledgeBlocks, Don Mercer: author of Follow to Lead. When asked to introduce himself, Don Mercer simply replies: soldier, spy, scholar, statesman, servant and storyteller. He is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer and CIA operations officer. He has been a leader and follower in combat operations in Viet Nam and led and participated in intelligence collection operations in the hostile environments of the former East Germany, Soviet Union, Africa and East Europe. He was decorated for heroism and achievements and many of his activities remain undisclosed. He has been the CEO of two major nonprofit organizations. He founded the Generation E Institute, a thriving youth entrepreneurship education organization that creates the entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial mindsets needed for the American future economy. He is the co-founder and CEO of Phalanx, Leadership Educational Consulting Services which provides organizational education in unconventional and inspiring ways. He and his wife Sandy serve their church and community in Michigan. He describes Follow to Lead as "a humorous and unforgettable approach to creating the right organizational culture for success. How-To instructions will guide the novice and professional to use the book in creating the optimal working environment in small to multi-national organizations." Follow to Lead "is for busy people who don’t want to read hundreds of pages of research and anecdotes to get to the nuggets they can apply. It cuts to the chase on surviving and thriving in all types of organizations! It is more than just a book of ideas, it is a tool you can use today whether you are a leader or follower or both. No training required." We asked Mr. Mercer to tell us what the one unanswered question about business he is most interested in answering?
There are over 100,700 book titles including the word “leadership” (according to a search on Amazon) and thousands of leadership training programs and gurus. Why then is the state of leadership in America so poor and declining? What we are writing and doing is not working. Why? Certainly many have made a good case that there is a general decline in morality and integrity in society. That begs the next level question which is simply, why is that the case? According to many, it is because of the deliberate degradation of religious influence in society by government leaders and educational institutions. And that leads to the next obvious level question which leads to answers and questions where most fear to tread. Is it possible to stop at the first or second level question to actually answer the question and provide a turn around?
Jump on over to KnowledgeBlocks and read more from Don Mercer.

About Sally Haldorson

Sally Haldorson's job as 800-CEO-READ’s General Manager is to make 800-CEO-READ a great place to work for our employees, and a consistently high-performing customer service organization for our clients, authors, and our partners in the publishing industry. In addition to her General Manager duties ensuring collaboration, integration, and quality, she reads, writes, reviews, curates, and edits for the company. Helping craft The 100 Best Business Books of All Time used parts of both skill sets. Outside of work, she is most likely to be found hitting a tennis ball around or hanging out with her boys (husband, child, dog) at home.