Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

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Book Review: The Pursuit of Something Better

Pursuit of Something BetterAccording to Jack Rooney, “Eighty percent of the failure in business is because of leaders. Yet 80% of the brunt of the failure is felt by the people who can’t do anything about it.” If you look at its opposite, this declaration clearly demonstrates the importance great leadership plays in creating successful companies. In the book THE PURSUIT OF SOMETHING BETTER: How an Underdog Company Defied the Odds, Won Customers’ Hearts, and Grew Its Employees Into Better People, the authors Dave Esler and Myra Kruger detail how Jack Rooney turned US Cellular into a company known for great customer service.

Jack Rooney realized that the main influence on how front-line employees treated customers was the way their leaders treated them. Prior to assuming CEO responsibilities for US Cellular in 1999 Jack had created a “virtual organization” where he and other executives provided leadership to the company; he empowered their employees to make decisions and run the business. In the late 1990s and early 2000s the word “virtual” became associated with outsourcing jobs to other countries, so Jack changed the name of his program to “dynamic organization” and implemented the program at US Cellular. To Jack, “the culture is not a separate entity that has to be brought in line with the business–our culture is our business.”

The Pursuit of Something Better describes in detail how Jack Rooney created a great organization where the employees provide excellent customer service and enjoy the work environment so much they want to stay at the company. In a world where many executives cut corners and provide scanty people leadership, “US Cellular has proven that adhering to high ethical standards is a competitive advantage in a marketplace that is starved for a little basic human decency.” Elevating employee fulfillment in their jobs greatly increases customer satisfaction, which leads to higher revenues and overall company success.

If you are searching for practical, actionable approaches to improving your leadership you need to read The Pursuit of Something Better. It will help you find new ways to help ordinary people achieve extraordinary results.