There are over 150 international editions of Fox’s ten books that have been published in 35 languages in more than 100 countries. They include Secrets of Great Rainmakers, The Dollarization Discipline, How To Become a Rainmaker, How to Become a Marketing Superstar, How to Become CEO,,How to Become a Great Boss, How To Get to the Top, and most recently, How to Be a Fierce Competitor: What Winning Companies and Great Managers Do in Tough Times, published by Jossey-Bass (March, 2010). His clients include some of the world’s most successful and most admired corporations and organizations. Fox graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Here are a few of his observations in How to Be a Fierce Competitor that caught my eye:
“The single biggest difference between leaders and managers is the tolerance for ambiguity. Leaders can deal with ambiguity, can deal with not having all the facts, not having all the data. Leaders make decisions, big decisions, midcrisis decisions, without certainty of the outcome. Managers don’t.”
“Invest your time with your highest-performing sales people, with your most creative marketing people, and with your most inventive innovators. Then watch your investment pay.”
“The father of modern venture capital, Georges Doriot, uttered the famous quote, ‘Someone, somewhere, is making a product that will make your product obsolete.’ The message: never stop I proving, adapting, innovating. Be ever fearful of the obsolescing technology, the vanishing market, the changing playing fields. Being ever fearful makes you ever watchful.”
Here’s an especially thoughtful passage:
“The ‘third shift’ is a metaphor for those people and groups of people who toil in relative anonymity in the organization. They may workers on the night shift; the scientists in distant labs, behind locked doors, working on the next breakthroughs; the customer service people dealing with the problems and one irate customer after another; the field repair people fixing critical customer machinery on the weekend or holiday; the caregivers that empty bed pans. These people may not be omnipresent, but they are critical to the continuing success of the company. Great managers recognize such people, give them credit, give sincere thank-yous.”
“Pay for knockouts, not for punches. Pay for sales revenues generated, not for sales calls made. Pay for packages delivered on time, not for miles driven. Pay for new products commercialized, not for new product ideas. Pay for games won, not for points scored. Pay fir good grades, not for hours studying. Pay for increased brand awareness, not for numbers of ads run. Pay for store sales, not for hours open.” In other words, pay for results…not efforts.