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Other titles in the Financial Times series:
And Dignity for All: Unlocking Greatness Through Values-Based on Leadership (Financial Times)by Jim Despain
Synopses & Reviews
Caterpillar, Inc.'s Track-Type Tractors Division was in deep trouble. It was losing lots of money, and working there was extremely undesirable. But Jim Despain and his colleagues rebuilt the division based on values of respect, empowerment, civility, and openness.
This is the story of how one street-smart boy without a college education became a seasoned leader. Truly a modern-day Horatio Alger story. His 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. Jim Despain and his colleagues unleashed a torrent of innovation that transformed a seriously unprofitable division into one of the company's most important profit centers.
It wasn't easy; it wasn't all sweetness and light. Ask the many managers he reassigned in a single day.
But for the 3,000 men and women of today's Track-Type Tractors Division of Caterpillar Inc., it was the dawn of a new era, in which good people find joy and nobility in their work, new freedom to be creative-and astonishing power to succeed.
How a Tractor Company Changed Its Tracks
An extraordinary story of corporate and personal transformation.
And Dignity for All is about becoming a leader with integrity: one who leads by example and builds an organization around a vision and values that others are proud to share.
As Ken Blanchard observes in his enthusiastic foreword, this is two books in one. It's the story of Jim Despain's remarkable personal journey from floorsweeper at Caterpillar to corporate vice president, and from self-serving, "command-and-control" boss to inspirational leader. And it's also a complete blueprint for translating simple ideas like respect, empowerment, civility, and open dialogue into a corporate culture that works.
Sounds like mush? It isn't. Despain used these techniques to transform a struggling manufacturing division into a thriving enterprise with exemplary labor-management relations and stellar numbers. With his guidance, you can make equally profound and lasting changes in your own organization.
"This might very well be the best management book you ever read. I know it will help you unleash the power and potential of your human organization." Ken Blanchard, co-author, The One Minute Manager
"Jim Despain's account of his progression from broom sweeper to top manager at Caterpillar Inc. is a great story — particularly for these times — about the right way to improve your corporate culture and your business success." The Honorable Bob Michel, Former Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives
"Jim Despain pulls off this business memoir beautifully. It is a rare and honest look at what it was like for a low-level employee to struggle and overcome obstacles in a not-always-friendly corporate environment. Jim's climb up the ladder is inspiring. Start-up employees as well as executives should read this book carefully." Robert Slater, Author, Jack Welch and the GE Way
"What an incredible book — a page turner! Jim Despain learned values-based leadership not by idealizing, but rather by experiencing what no longer works in business and inventing and implementing what does work. A must read for anyone attempting to deliver extraordinary results today." Michael Basch, Co-founder of FedEx and author of CustomerCulture
"They say people can't change, but this book will convince you it's not true. I saw the Values Process described in this book change Jim and his team from autocratic managers to real leaders. And I saw their business improve far beyond anyone's expectations. This book proves what we know in our hearts — that trusting and respecting people makes good business sense." Gerald L. Shaheen, Group President, Caterpillar Inc.
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.
About the Author
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.
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.
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