No Bullsh*t Leadership | Chris Hirst

Summary of: No Bullsh*t Leadership: Why the World Needs More Everyday Leaders and Why That Leader Is You
By: Chris Hirst


Welcome to the world of ‘No Bullsh*t Leadership,’ where author Chris Hirst provides you with the tools and insights to become an effective everyday leader. This book takes you through the essential components of leadership – from understanding your organization’s present state to defining its desired future, and the journey to achieving those goals. Learn how to listen to the crucial voices within your organization, embrace decision-making to sail the ship, create a thriving and diverse team culture, and navigate through the inevitable challenges that come with leadership. This summary will break down the key concepts in a way that is easy to understand, engaging and free from jargon or generalities.

The Two Questions of Effective Leadership

Excellent leadership is about steering a group of people towards the destination, no matter how roughs the waters get after you depart. Knowing where your company is and where you want to go are the two significant questions that guide you in your leadership journey. To have a clear picture of your company’s state, listen to front-line employees as they have insights into the customer’s issues. You can organize anonymous means such as an online survey or an intimate method like BBC radio 1’s “pizza meetings” to gather these insights. After identifying where your company is, the next question to ask is, “Where do you want to go?” Do not engage in vague mission statements or come up with a “vision.” Instead, identify specific goals and work towards achieving them, just like Eddie Jones immediately worked towards winning the next Rugby world cup when he took over the English rugby team. There is no need for consultants, missions, or visions – just lead.

Navigating Rough Seas as a Leader

As a leader, the focus should be on execution rather than endless talk. The 40/70 rule is an effective tool to increase the chances of success when making decisions. Delaying decisions can hamper the progress of any project, and not making decisions can be considered a wrong decision. When making decisions, the focus should be on having at least a 40 percent chance of success, and avoiding spending too much time pondering over a decision. Making mistakes is normal, but with a success rate of over 50 percent, leaders can make significant progress.

Shift Your Organization’s Culture

Company culture can be established through actions and not just words. Setting an example is crucial to foster a cultural shift that promotes decision-making at all levels of an organization. Changing the physical environment of the workplace can help eliminate bad habits that have developed in a company’s culture. By altering seating plans and getting rid of signs of hierarchy, one can create space for a new and improved company culture.

The Power of Culture and Diversity

Achieving success as a leader requires building and maintaining a strong organizational culture. However, having the right people on your team is crucial for the culture to thrive. It is necessary to evaluate team members based on whether they align with the organization’s culture and their ability to deliver results. Those who do not meet both criteria need to be removed from the team. For those who fit with the culture but do not deliver, coaching can improve their performance. For those who deliver but do not fit in with the culture, letting them go is the best option. Diversity is also essential for the success of the team. A mix of dependable professionals and unpredictable mavericks is necessary for radical decision-making, taking ownership, and quick decisions. In addition, a 2015 McKinsey report found that public companies with the highest levels of ethnic and racial diversity on their teams are more profitable than their competitors. Therefore, building multicultural teams where everyone brings something unique to the table is crucial for organizations to thrive.

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