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Book Review: Lencioni’s Four Obsessions . . . .

June 8th, 2009 Comments off

     Over the weekend I was able to finish up another one of Patrick Lencioni’s books, who also happens to be one of my favorite authors. The latest book I chose was “The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive”.  The premise of the book is the parallel profile of two classmates who subsequently started their own consulting firms after college and different levels of success both had achieved. The book detailed the different approaches that each CEO had taken in the management of their company, which ranged from the evaluation of M&A opportunities to the hiring of new talent within their respective firms. The story really started to evolve when one of the CEO’s stepped back from his standard involvement and allowed his staff the final decision making authority on a new HR candidate, Jamie Bender.

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      For those that have a true disdain for politics and less than forthright daily dealings, it’s very easy to despise Jamie Bender’s character. Not sure how often, but I lost count of how many times I wanted to have his character taken out. He was exactly the type of colleague I cannot tolerate working with.  However, without spoiling the end, I will say that his character “get’s his” in the end and there’s a conclusion that brings the story full-circle, when at times it seems to be going nowhere. In fact, when the book launches into a discussion of what exactly the four obsessions are it’s easy to reach the conclusion that the appropriate title might be The Four Obsessions of an Ordinary Executive.  Although I believe it was a worthwhile read, I have gotten more out of some of Lencioni’s other books such as Death by Meeting and Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Regardless of whether I enjoyed this as much as some of those mentioned reads, Patrick Lencioni is an author that is worth committing time to his books.

Thanks for reading. . . .

Jeffrey Ishmael