Maximum Performance

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MAXIMUM
PERFORMANCE

This book is dedicated to the visionary pioneers who
created the world we now live in; and to those who are
creating the world we will inhabit in the future.

MAXIMUM
PERFORMANCE
A practical guide to
leading and managing
people at work
Nick Forster
Professor at The Graduate School of Management, University of Western Australia

Edward Elgar
Cheltenham, UK • Northampton, MA, USA

© Nick Forster 2005
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of the publisher. Published by

Edward Elgar Publishing Limited
Glensanda House
Montpellier Parade
Cheltenham
Glos GL50 1UA
UK
Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc.
136 West Street
Suite 202
Northampton
Massachusetts 01060
USA

A catalogue record for this book
is available from the British Library

ISBN 1 84542 000 4 (cased)

Typeset by Cambrian Typesetters, Frimley, Surrey
Printed and bound in Great Britain by MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall

Acclaim for Maximum Performance
‘In my experience a major shortcoming of most “how to” books on leadership and management is that they purport to offer “Silver Bullets” – magical solutions that, once revealed, will enrich and transform the reader and his or her organisation. Regrettably, business life is not that simple. Rather, it is characterised by uncertainty and lack of precedent and complicated by the different wants, needs and motivations of people. Nick Forster’s practical book, grounded in many years of leadership and management development and MBA education, recognises this complexity and the folly of “one-size-fits-all” solutions. It is a valuable source book, packed full of useful ideas for current and aspiring business leaders.’

– Mr Michael Chaney, Australian Businessman of the Year 2003 and former CEO of Wesfarmers – the Australian Financial Review’s Company of the Year 2002. Mr Chaney becomes Chairman of the
National Australia Bank in June 2005.
‘Maximum Performance delivers what it promises. It is practical, useful and well grounded in up-to-date research findings from across the globe. Nick Forster writes well, with a lively voice and has peppered the text with rich examples and case studies. The diagnostic skill exercises and inventories offered throughout are especially helpful. The book meets the needs of both managers and students alike, across a wide span of experiences. Well worth the investment.’ – Professor Barry Posner, Dean of the Business Faculty at Santa Clara University, California and co-author, with James Kouzes,

of The Leadership Challenge
‘Maximum Performance is an essential read for all business owners, managers, consultants and key decision makers. It is an outstanding and comprehensive insight into the broad range of managerial and leadership issues which confront business people today. It is practical and littered with excellent case study examples and illustrations. Its unique style is easy to read, thought provoking and demystifies concepts that are easily misunderstood outside an MBA course. Grasp and digest this book quickly because it’s the smart thing to do.’

– Barry Smith, Managing Director, the General Management
Consulting Group
‘Nick’s book is an energetic and down-to-earth exploration of the many dimensions of this enigmatic thing we call leadership. It is a distillation of much knowledge, experience and insightful observation. There is refreshing and satisfying clarity of discussion; with comment on many management theories, explanations of evidence and research and the consequences of their applications in organisations....
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