Review: “The Enemies of Excellence”
Crossroad Publishing is an American publishing house established in 1798, and has traditionally been a source of English-language material reflecting strong links to the Catholic Church. In one of its latest offerings – “The Enemies of Excellence: 7 Reasons Why We Sabotage Success” by executive coaching consultant Greg Salciccioli – it’s headed in a new direction that may be of interest to economic developers.
Salciccioli’s jumping off point is his realization that too many leaders are self-destructing and sabotaging their own efforts. From scandals in religious communities, to crises at the International Monetary Fund, to the crimes of Bernie Madoff, we are constantly presented with images of leadership failure. Salciccioli draws on his experience as an executive coach, and the ups and downs of his own corporate history, to identify seven reasons why we sabotage success. At this juncture, many business or management self-help books slide into vagueness and generalities, but “The Enemies of Excellence” provides a series of straightforward and compelling observations of common leadership and management practice, and where and why we so often go wrong… It’s compelling stuff, and he provides a range of practical, common sense tactics for avoiding our self-destructive tendencies.
In some sense, economic development success depends on excellence in leadership. Sometimes we wrestle with our own leadership skills as senior economic development professionals and the way we engage with our communities. In other instances we may be challenged by disfunctionalities and politics of elected officials, Boards of Directors, Band Councils or steering committees. In either case, Salciccioli’s clear description of the seven “enemies of excellence” provides insights that can be used to improve our own leadership performance or to understand the challenges posed by others in leadership positions around us.
The Enemies of Excellence is one of those books we might not usually take a second look at, but for improving our own performance and for helping to look at ways in which we can understand the performance of others it’s hard to beat.