The Making of the Achiever: How to Win Distinction in Your Company
by Allan Cox (Dodd, Mead: $15.95; 257 pp.)
Anyone who comes to "The Making of the Achiever" expecting the sort of pep talk on the need for "direction" and "leadership" that characterizes so many books on business these days is likely to be brought up rather short. "I would like to suggest," Allan Cox writes, "that it is not 'leadership' we need . . . but achievement. " The "actual hero who is needed now more than ever in the service of the American corporation," he asserts, "is the achiever , and while he well may be charismatic, he more often is not; while she is undaunted, she does not necessarily call dramatic attention to herself."
Instead of trying to emulate "the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill or Franklin Roosevelt," the achiever tries instead to "get the job done in a caring, distinctive way."
And what way is that? "Executive achievers," Cox says, "are: (1) other-centered, (2) courageous, (3) judicious and (4) resourceful." Cox divides his book into four parts, one for each of the qualities listed above. Each of the four parts is divided into five chapters, each of which goes into detail on one of the four components. An other-centered executive, for example, is warm, sharing, encouraging, a good listener and a positive thinker. A courageous executive is discreet, experimental, bold, willing to risk being vulnerable and able to identify and act on his or her unique strengths. Each chapter begins with a short quiz to enable the reader to test his or her present performance, and ends with specific suggestions for implementing any needed improvements.