The Executive Checklist for Leadership

The operation and scope of working in today’s business world is becoming more and more complex. Continuous introduction of information, competitors, new technology, stakeholder demands, and regulatory changes can make even the most savvy business professional a little uneasy. Therefore, executives and employees alike are in much need of tools which make handling the increasing demands of business more manageable.

The Executive Checklist: A Guide for Setting Direction and Managing Change, by James Kerr, provides organizational leaders and individual contributors a simple, yet impactful, framework to evaluate current situations, set forth actions, and lead change to provide opportunities for increased performance.

The book is broken down into ten (10) easy, quick read sections:

  • Establish Leadership – The Foundation for Change
  • Build Trust – A Vital Component of Enduring Achievement
  • Strategy Setting – Translating Vision into Action
  • Engage Staff – The Way to Gain Support and Accelerate Success
  • Manage Work Through Projects – A Means to Strategic Alignment
  • Renovate the Business – A Way to Come “of Choice”
  • Align Technology – It’s at the Core of All We Do
  • Transform Staff – The People Part of Enterprise-wide Change
  • Renew Communication Practices – Transparency Improves Performance
  • Reimagine the Organization – The Expressway to the Future

Even though the title of the is book suggests it is meant for executives, I want to add this book is great for those who are currently executives, aspiring to become an executive, or even an individual contributor. Each of the topics within the book provide great guidance to tackling many of the challenges faced today at all levels, not just at the executive level.

Given the constraints of time faced by everyone today, each chapter provides easy-to-use checklists, and in some cases provide a sub-checklist to lay the framework, implement, and track and monitor progress. The last thing anyone needs today is an overcomplicated tool to get things done – the insights and tools offered here are by no means cumbersome or difficult to utilize.

In addition to providing easy to-do’s, Kerr supplies fantastic examples of implementation from big companies such as LexisNexis, Whole Foods, CIGNA, Pixar, Forbes, and Zappos; demonstrating the content isn’t just theory, but is truly applicable.

The value add with Kerr’s Executive Checklist is there is no right or wrong in regards to reading direction. Unlike most books where you have to follow each chapter in a timeline, this book gives the reader the opportunity to break in at any chapter without having to know what was beforehand. How great is that?

Today’s organizational environments are not getting easier by any means. Demands are being placed more and more each day and having the right tools in place is what makes blocking and tackling those demands easier. James Kerr’s Executive Checklist is definitely one of those tools needed for any contributor in the organization to make operating and performing that much easier.


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