And Dignity for All: Unlocking Greatness with Values-Based Leadership
Product Author Bios
JIM DESPAIN rose from hourly worker at Caterpillar to Vice President and General Manager of Track-Type Tractors Division in East Peoria, Illinois—one of the company's largest manufacturing facilities. As its leader, he transformed the division's bottom line, cutting its breakeven point in half, while at the same time dramatically improving its historically difficult labor relations. Despain is currently a trustee at Eureka College.
JANE BODMAN CONVERSE was the communications player on Jim's culture-change team, responsible for messages and media to support the transformation at Caterpillar. She is President of Converse Inc., Peoria, Illinois, and has more than 30 years experience in organizational consulting, communications, and marketing.
And Dignity for All is about leading with values, leading by example, and - in so doing - unleashing the astonishing commitment and innovation that are buried within your organization right now. Discover how Jim Despain and his colleagues used values-based management to transform Caterpillar's Track-Type Tractors Division into one of the firm's key profit centers. Jim's honesty and ability to rise from the ashes of his mistakes are inspirational. His respect for the common worker and personal search for dignity and self-worth lead him to a new kind of leadership. And his transformation of a struggling organization provides a powerful blueprint for transforming your own - you can make it happen, too.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Community of Butterflies in East Peoria,
This review is from: And Dignity for All: Unlocking Greatness with Values-Based Leadership (Paperback)We all know that what we (really really) believe and believe in determines what our values are; they in turn determine at least our conscious behavior. (It is human nature to resent being required to act against our beliefs and our values. Some people have died rather than doing so.) If you agree with me so far, then perhaps you will agree that the meaning of "values-based leadership" depends almost entirely on what a given leader believes. Moreover, her or his leadership behavior will be determined by those values. They could include greed, arrogance, and contempt for others or generosity, humility, and respect for others. All this seems pretty basic, indeed obvious to me. Throughout history, the range of leaders is wide and diverse. Evil leaders in the 20th century obviously include Hitler and Stalin. Other leaders contemporary with them obviously include Churchill. All three had very strong beliefs, were committed to quite specific values, and behaved accordingly. I mention all... Read more
8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is from: And Dignity for All: Unlocking Greatness with Values-Based Leadership (Paperback)I have been working with executives for years and this story reflects so many of my experiences. I've coached a lot of undereducated CEOs that worked very hard, impressed the right people, and got lucky. This book was a page turner, a genuine retrospective that touched my heart. I identified with Mr. Despain on a personal level and was encouraged by his transformation from admitted tyrant to open-minded, respectful, empowering, and appreciative. When the corporate landscape is a minefield of scandals and ethics violations, it's invigorating to think the needed change is as simple as sharing values, defining standards for behavior, and giving people the freedom to exercise their talents and ideas within a shared cultural context.
Bravo on a good read and an important reminder to leaders who have forgotten their own roots, who don't appreciate the fragile nature of the human ego, or who simply take their own power too seriously. Try to see yourself through the eyes of those around... Read more
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
mailed fist, velvet glove, and,
By A Customer
This review is from: And Dignity for All: Unlocking Greatness with Values-Based Leadership (Paperback)Having read this howler twice, three points must be mentioned:
One, the author suffers from "water walker complex"; all of the great achievements belong to he, and his followers; everyone else is simply a bit player in a supporting role.
Two, the author discovered "Japanese management" - a synonym for worker/management unity in the shared value of profitability - works, especially in Japan. This, more than anything else, was responsible for the Japanese productivity miracle, which seems to have gone flat.
Three, the author discovered you can do miracles with cheap, unskilled, foreign labor - "excellencia" - if they can be trained to do things your way. Caterpillar's Mexican plant epitomized what it seems Despain wanted for Caterpillar's manufacturing - 1920's labor laws, with 1990's manufacturing technology.
Despain's silence is telling. The strike he refers to was only one of a series of historically brutal strikes that broke the back of the UAW at Caterpillar... Read more
› See all 10 customer reviews...
Online Sample Chapter
Table of Contents
1. Death of the Dog.
2. Pitchin Pennies.
3. The Speck in My Eye.
5. Unjust Rewards.
6. A Second Betrayal.
7. The Piano that Played.
8. The Line on Fire.
9. Thieves in the Night.
10. The Sound of Silence.
11. Alone with My Fears.
13. Back to the Beginning.
14. Turning It Around.
15. A Painful Conclusion.
16. The Struggle Is On.
17. One Strong Voice.
19. The Legacy Lives.
I am not your typical senior executive. I don't have an MBA. I wasn'tborn with a silver spoon in my mouth. No, this is the story of someone with an unlikely resume forsuccess. I was married when I was 16. I didn't go to college. What I learned, I learned on the job.I watched and I listened. I read and I asked. I tried and I failed. I learned and tried again.
Thisbook is the story of a lifetime of experiences and the lessons I learned that enabled me to becomea true leader of people. I began my career as a sweeper in a factory that makes the largestearthmoving equipment in the world. I ended it at the same companya vice president of a $20billion corporation. This story includes how we transformed a factory and an entire division intohighly profitable leaders in our corporation and industry. It tells you how to do the same inwhatever business you find yourself.
In the end, through my own experiences, achievements, andstruggles, I discovered that values, defined as shared beliefs with standards for behavior in theworkplace, are the key to succeeding in changing and challenging times. These values aren't amoralistic code based on personal or company ethics, although ethics are integral. Instead, theyare a blueprint for creating a work environment that drives success because they provide people acontext for their decisions, broad boundaries for their ideas, and more freedom to make adifference.
And what a difference people with values can make. The Track-Type Tractors Division ofCaterpillar Inc. saw unprecedented improvementimprovement in everything from profit toemployee satisfaction. And we did this without extraordinary capital investment, forced"right-sizing," product replacements or additions, new marketing strategies, or any othertraditional idea. By establishing workplace values, we caused employees to feel an investment inthe organization. We inspired rather than constrained and, in the process, created ahigh-performance organization.
This book is the story of the transformation of a man and thetransformation of a business. Its purpose is to enable you to become a more effective leader and toshorten your journey by telling you what took me a lifetime to learnthat true leadership isvery different from management. Leadership is about others and not about self. It is about trustand not about power. It is about producing results by creating cultures where people know it's okayto be unique and different, so they willingly take off their masks, express themselves, and dogreat things. Their clash of opposing ideas generates sparks that light the path to progress. Myhope is that this book and my story will help unlock greatness for you.
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