Book Review: Full Steam Ahead!

By Steve Koss


‘Full Steam Ahead! Unleash The Power Of Vision In Your Work And Your Life’ is a terrific read.

The authors Jesse Lyn Stoner and Ken Blanchard define vision as knowing who you are, where you are going, and what will guide your journey.

Vision can be a giant jigsaw puzzle. Bring all the stakeholders together to have the vision come alive. Full Steam Ahead! provides the material to become a masterful puzzle builder with vision in your life and in your organization. The authors take you on an extraordinary journey of discovery through superb storytelling to make a vision come alive and stay alive. The characters Ellie and Jim are so vivid that you will find yourself as emerged at times as if they are yourself.

I presented some questions to Jesse about her book and she answered as follows:

1.    What has been your biggest surprise leading with vision?

The radical shift in perspective to doing what is right not who is right. In today’s fear-based flat and global world the focus is often on whether something is legal versus illegal. When leaders create a vision, you see a transformation where they stop expecting others to serve them and instead begin to serve the people who are working to achieve the vision. They naturally become servant leaders.

2.    What is the simplest way we can start applying vision right away?

Begin with self-reflection. Discovery of purpose by examining your motives and answering the ‘why’ you are doing — it at least three times. Reflect on where others are by putting yourself in their shoes. We can never understand what is in the mind of another. Scheduling visioning and reflection solitude time in a comfortable place can be an extraordinary experience.

3.    What has been the one of the greatest challenges to get others to lead with vision?

The process starts with leading yourself before you can lead others. They say you cannot lead a horse to water unless you salt the oats. Salting the inner wisdom (oats) of another can be a magical experience to them.

The book stimulated me to think about my own views of leadership. I believe there is a paradigm shift going on around the world in management, as organizations shift from traditional structures to radical (innovation) management, one of the key ingredients in the revolution is the ability of providing a road map. Touching on the sensory attributes of customers or employees is critical if a vision is to be acted on. The authors present the ‘three how’s’ vision keystones to allow you to stay the course.

1. How it’s created.

2. How it’s communicated.

3. How it’s lived.

During the reading of the book, at times I would start visualizing. An eureka moment occurred as I became a smart fish (the book is worth this pizzazz alone) in a challenging endeavor in my pond. Be prepared for a paradigm shift of your thinking with this book, as the authors bring a significant question to the surface: ‘What is the goal (purpose) of your business?’

There is a chapter to guide you to produce your own living and breathing ‘vision manifesto.’ Imagining creates reality is a mantra that is a strategic fit for ‘Full Steam Ahead.’ You might go off course at times, Full Steam Ahead is a terrific tool to stay the course and lead with vision.

Enjoy the many discoveries within the book and fasten your visionary seatbelts as you stay the course driving Full Steam Ahead!



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