James R Lucas Fatal Illusions

ISBN 13: 9780814479667

Fatal Illusions

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9780814479667: Fatal Illusions
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Why do our best efforts at change always seem to stall? What stops us from moving forward? As individuals and as organizations, we lay the blame on a lack of time, information, money, or motivation. However, our own illusions are usually the true culprit. As this insightful book will quickly convince you, getting real is the only way to really get ahead. We labor under fatal illusions when we base our behavior on what we wish to be true about our business, or about the marketplace, rather than on what is actually true. We treat our symptoms while core problems fester unchecked. The syndrome is all too common, but there is a remedy. Fatal Illusions shows how to dig out the truth and free yourself for positive action. This book analyzes 12 major illusions with significant power to harm you and your organization. The illusions involve too-comfortable beliefs about mission statements, teamwork, incentives, and other big issues that soak up time and resources--and they may startle you by hitting so close to home. For example:

"Of course our people understand what's important"

"Everybody knows what quality is"

"We don't need passion if we have a good plan"

"Just give people a chance and they'll work together" Throughout the book, self-tests help you pinpoint which fatal illusions are lurking in your organization. Then you'll learn proven, specific techniques for correcting the misperceptions, one by one. You'll discover how to uproot the fallacies that prevent successful implementation of benchmarking, employee empowerment, and other management initiatives. Deeper and more far-reaching than virtually any other management book, Fatal Illusions is your guide to becoming "unstuck" in business and in life. By helping you squarely face "the things you know that just ain't so," it will propel you from your current plateau to brand-new heights of success.

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From the Author:

Although information, education, and experience can all contribute to wise and healthy decisionmaking, they alone won't move us to change. We can know what the right way is, and may have observed it working for others, and still not be moved to do it ourselves. The problem isn't one of knowledge and won't be solved by more information or more education.

The problem is illusions, false beliefs about the reality of who we are, how other people are thinking, and what our organizations are like and where they are going. We can hang on to those illusions and fiercely resist giving them up, even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, for many reasons. Perhaps our view of business took years to build; we're comfortable with it and don't want to give it up. Or perhaps the illusions fit our own personal view of life and people; change would require modifying our entire worldview. To abandon these ideas would usually require pain, so we avoid doing so.

But the pain of shredding our illusions is nothing compared to the real misery that lies at the end of a fatal illusion. Months and years of pain avoidance can lead to organizational suffering and strife, massive downsizing, financial chaos, and ultimately, organizational death.

But we don't have to go there. We can face the problems honestly and realistically and can "schedule" the smaller pain now rather than be swamped by the illusion-cloaked, gargantuan pain later. We can clear out the illusions that prevent us from doing what we know to be right or effective.

My hopes in writing this book join yours as you read it. I want to be illusion-free, living in reality. I believe that you do, too. We can do it.

About the Author:

James R. Lucas has worked to eliminate fatal illusions for more than 25 years as a leadership consultant, corporate executive, noted speaker, and award-winning faculty member of the American Management Association. Since 1983 he has been president of Luman Consultants International, a leadership consulting firm based in Kansas City. He previously held managerial and executive positions at Hallmark Cards and other corporations. A registered professional engineer as well as the author of nine other books, Lucas received his education in management and engineering at the University of Missouri. He lives with his family in the Kansas City area.

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James R Lucas
Published by Amacom (1997)
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Lucas, James R
Published by Amacom (1997)
ISBN 10: 0814479669 ISBN 13: 9780814479667
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