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The Clarity Principle. How Great Leaders Make the Most Important Decision in Business (and What Happens When They Don't)

  • ID: 2330749
  • Book
  • June 2013
  • Region: Global
  • 240 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Praise for The Clarity Principle

"Chatham Sullivan has written The Clarity Principle with wit and style. But make no mistake, this thoughtful book is a gut check for executives: it reminds us of the responsibility that comes with leadership."
David Marcus, president, PayPal

"Chatham Sullivan reminds us what it means to lead at the top. Leaders make the tough calls. Ultimately it′s their actions that define the very identity of the business. And yes, it is lonely at the top. Chatham shows us why."
Jan Singer, vice president, global apparel, Nike, Inc.

"Finally, a book about how leaders really deal with the big decisions that define their business. Chatham shows us why clarifying the purpose of your business matters, and that taking a stand on what you believe can make or break your company."
Mark Johnson, author, Seizing the White Space

"With a sympathetic but urgent voice, Chatham Sullivan shows us that the most important thing a senior leadership team can do is clearly define the purpose of the business. The Clarity Principle is a call–to–action for leaders everywhere."
Ted Craver, chairman and CEO, Edison International

Turf wars, low morale, bad politics, and misguided strategies: these kinds of dysfunctions and messy "people" problems consume much of a leader′s time. But strategy and leadership expert Chatham Sullivan shows us that when these issues become chronic and pervasive, it′s a tell–tale sign that something more fundamental is broken. The organization has lost sight of its purpose.

Beyond making money, every company has a purpose; it exists to solve a particular kind of problem in the world. Whether you are a pharmaceutical company carving out a unique way to treat patients or a global retailer satisfying a particular consumer desire, your market, your customers, and the people in your organization need to know clearly what the business is about. Just like individuals, companies must know "who" theyare, what they′re up to, and why it matters.

When leaders find their organization steeped in dysfunction and mired in an identity crisis, their most important responsibility the vital choice they must make is to restore clarity. But in the face of conflicting visions and tough decisions that will have profound political, personal, and cultural consequences for the organization, leaders often flinch. As a result, their most carefully crafted strategies misfire, morale sags, and competitive advantage melts away.

Featuring compelling stories of leaders who have successfully resolved their organization′s identity crises and some who have succumbed The Clarity Principle bridges the divide between leadership and strategy, demonstrating the tremendous gains to be achieved by leaders willing to clearly define their organization′s core purpose.

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Introduction 1

1 Proxy Wars 17

2 The Murky Middle 43

3 Neither Fish Nor Fowl 69

4 The Shadow Side of Strategy 87

5 Taking a Stand 121

6 The Hunger for Purpose 161

Epilogue: From Insight to Action 189

Notes 199

Acknowledgments 203

About the Author 209

Index 211

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Chatham Sullivan
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