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A Year of No-Compromise Leadership

It's hard to believe that it's been one year since my book, No-Compromise Leadership, was released. From the pride I felt the first time I held a printed copy of the book in my hands to the many speaking engagements I've done since, what an amazing learning experience it has been. The real reward is how the book and the concept of no-compromise leadership is changing the lives of leaders and their companies. I'd like to share some insights from the first year of No-Compromise Leadership.

  • "You wrote Part One about me." I wrote about the decisions leaders make every day and how those compromises degrade and chip away their company culture. Procrastination, double standards and leadership blockages, such as confusing fierce conversations with confrontation. It was interesting how many leaders saw themselves in the examples and stories. I knew the "reflection in the mirror" approach worked when I heard leaders using the no-compromise mantra to begin the change process.

  • "It's hard work." That's what leaders engaged in the process say about making the shift to no-compromise leadership. Yes, it is hard work - but it's doing the work of leadership and avoiding the easier and mediocre path of compromise. One reader told me how going no compromise was the toughest personal behavioral change he'd ever made. He's grown as a leader and his company's performance shows impressive and measurable results. Hard work and leadership are inseparable.

  • "The four business outcomes gave me focus." Productivity, profitability, staff retention and customer loyalty. They are the end result of leadership thinking and behavior. Compromise in any way can pull one or more of the outcomes from the "no-compromise zone" right into the fiery pits of hell. Much like a GPS guidance system, Part Two of the book delivers a game plan for leaders to drive and hold all four outcomes in the no-compromise zone.

  • "Until now, I never understood the dynamics of leading a culture shift." The ultimate reward for becoming a no-compromise leader is the resulting company-wide shift to a no-compromise culture. As I wrote in Part Three, "Most culture shifts fail. They crumble under the weight of compromise." Culture shifts do take time, but in this past year, it's been a joy to see leaders begin the voyage and make significant progress. It is truly magic when leaders, managers and employees at all levels adopt "no-compromise" thinking and behavior. A culture shift to no compromise is truly a rite of passage for any leader.

Yes, it is exciting to see the words in my book change the performance of leaders and their companies. For this, I couldn't be more proud. (It makes my publisher a happy guy too.) No-compromise companies weathered the recession. Some needed to be reminded that there even was a recession. Companies with cultures suffering with compromising behaviors struggle to survive - if they survive at all.

So what's next? After conversations with my team and my publisher at DC Press, I have begun work on the next No-Compromise Leadership book. Stay tuned.

Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.

Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO and author of No-Compromise Leadership


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