Why Great Leaders
Don't Take Yes for an Answer addresses a perennial and pernicious thorn
in the leader's side -- the yes-men in every organization. (And if you think your company is without them, you really
need this book!) Leaders at all levels can use Mike Roberto's advice, to make better decisions and align
their teams for results.
Ken Blanchard, Co-Author of The One Minute ManagerŪ and Customer Mania
In his book Why Great
Leaders Don't Take Yes for an Answer, Michael Roberto provides a unique and very enlightening look into the process of decision
making. His thesis around "critical consensus building" is worthwhile reading for any manager or entrepreneur that strives
to be the most effective leader they can be.
Jonathan Kraft, Vice
Chairman, New England Patriots
Unasked questions and
undermined decisions are the two main reasons for corporate failure. To avoid these dangerous wrong turns, every executive
should study Professor Roberto’s clear road maps for making and implementing decisions.
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.,
Chairman of the Board, International Steel Group
Deciding how to decide: a powerful idea that all leaders should understand
and put into practice. In doing so, they can become adept at stimulating candid dialogues, testing their company's core assumptions,
and achieving alignment. Roberto's ideas have already begun to make a profound difference in the effectiveness of our management
meetings. Our clients around the world would do well to adopt Roberto's straightforward recommendations.
Boswell, President and CEO, The Forum Corporation
One of the best compliments
an author can get is for someone to begin reading a book and not put it down until it is finished. This was my experience
with Roberto’s great tome on leadership. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter are classic. Many of the examples
helped me understand some of my best leadership decisions and also a few of my worst in running the specialized investment
banking firm I have headed for the past 31 years. There are few really good books
on leadership, at least few that I have read. Roberto’s is the best.
Matthew R. Simmons,
Author, Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy and Chairman, Simmons and Company International
A great primer for all
leaders on the art and science of decision-making. Michael used examples ranging from the disastrous 1996 Everest Climb
to the Columbia disaster, the Bay of Pigs, and the Cuban Missile Crisis to thoughtfully outline best practices in the process
of "deciding how to decide!”
Lawrence N. Stevenson,
Every executive aspiring
to be a good leader should read this book. First, Roberto crashes the myth that
holds many back from being good leaders. That is, good leaders need to make the
decisions. Instead, Roberto asserts that to be a good leader one must manage
the decision making process, not make the good decisions. But it is Roberto’s
insight into the decision making process, or more importantly, the drivers of organizational performance that is most valuable. All of us, no matter what level in the organization, need to embrace the need for
cognitive conflict to produce the highest quality decisions, while guarding against the ways in which affective conflict can
greatly deteriorate the shared understanding and consensus necessary for effective implementation of these decisions. Roberto offers many tools and techniques for all of us to use to improve our ability
to manage conflict and improve our organization’s effectiveness and performance.
While I believe that Constellation’s success results from the fact that our operational model and its supporting
culture and value reflect much of what Roberto describes, I also believe that we can use this model to insure that managing
conflict becomes an enduring part of Constellation’s leadership culture.
Sands, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Constellation Brands, Inc.
How we make decisions
is what organizational leadership is all about, and with powerful accounts and compelling research, Michael Roberto brilliantly
leads us to the essence of deciding how to decide when it really matters.
Michael Useem, William
and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management, Wharton School of Business and Author of The Leadership Moment
The premise of this
book is music to my ears. For years I’ve been working with teams of people facing real challenges, both in the
great outdoors with Outward Bound or in the midst of bringing my educational venture to life. Roberto has elegantly
and eloquently put his finger on the very heart of the leadership dilemma. I look forward to putting the lessons to
work at Shackleton Schools as we inspire and educate the next generation of leaders.
CEO and Founder, Shackleton Schools
Today, every CEO, in
the rapidly changing business environment, cudgels his or her brains out on how to make and execute decisions effectively.
This book is very much useful in that it shows extensively how to deal with such issues, together with abundant examples.
Japanese business managers should read it to be exposed to such approaches that, I believe, are well applicable to consensus-driven
Shozo Hashimoto, Former
CEO, Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
Through the ages, many
leaders have paid a price for not comprehending the need to balance conflict and consensus in the decision-making groups they
head. Mike Roberto frames this tension exquisitely and provides tangible guidance for leaders who want variety, ferment,
and constructive tension in their groups on the one hand, and unity in execution on the other. Based upon a wealth of
rigorous academic research, and with loads of up-to-date and engaging examples, this book is a must for leaders at all levels.
Donald C. Hambrick,
Smeal Chaired Professor of Management, Smeal College of Business Administration, The Pennsylvania State University
Do you want to release
the potential of your organization? If you have the ego strength to hear contrary ideas, this is a fantastic read.
Each paragraph, each sentence, is powerful, offering tools and suggestions to bring your organization to a higher level.
Gerardine Ferlins, President
and CEO, Cirtronics Corporation
Michael Roberto has written a soundly researched, yet easy to read, practical business book that can ensure
that you will make better executive decisions. Read it and profit from its wisdom!
This book is an important
contribution to managerial best practice. Roberto gives an impressive synthesis
of original and prior research in writing that is rich, well-crafted, to the point, and studded with compelling case examples. Get this book and study it carefully as a tonic for decision processes in your own
Robert F. Bruner, Distinguished
Professor of Business Administration, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia
Drawing on both decision
making scholarship in a number of academic disciplines and clinical research in organizations, Roberto develops a most useful
way of thinking about decision making in complex organizations and provides a number of conceptual tools that executives can
apply right away and that provide some new frontiers for scholars to study further.
E. Ralph Biggadike,
Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia University Graduate School of Business
Professor Morten Hansen, INSEAD
Far too often leaders
squelch dissenting views and make it difficult for employees to deliver bad news. Others find it difficult to manage
contentious debate and obtain closure on tough issues. Roberto provides practical advice for how leaders can encourage
constructive disagreement, use this to achieve more creative solutions, and ultimately effect alignment and action.
Jeff Weiss, Director
and Founder, Vantage Partners
While reading Why Great Leaders
Don't Take Yes for an Answer, I kept thinking
of the strategic decisions my team and I have made, and wished I had read the book 25 years ago. Focus on the decision making
process--not the decision itself--is the lesson of this book, and one that all executives need to learn.
C. Byham, Ph.D., Chairman & CEO, Development Dimensions International and Author of Grow Your Own Leaders
Why Great Leaders
Don't Take Yes for an Answer rises far and above the other books on encouraging openness and managing conflict.
Instead of offering empty platitudes, Michael Roberto has delivered a thoughtful and well-researched book with
clear, specific actions to make the lessons work in the real world. Anyone who supports the clear exchange of ideas can and
should benefit from this excellent and thoroughly enjoyable book.
Dr. David Sirota, Chairman Emeritus of Sirota Survey Intelligence and Author of The Enthusiastic
Employee: How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What They Want
This is a book that
should be on every manager's desk. Roberto writes in clear, easy to read language about why managing conflict and decision-making
in an explicit manner is so important to organizational success. He also gives practical examples of how to do it. The chapter
on "deciding how to decide" alone is worth the price of the book.
Sue Annis Hammond
Author of The Thin Book
of Appreciative Inquiry
Consultant, HRD Solutions
Roberto addresses a critical and often over-looked aspect of
leadership ... generating honest, direct debate in an organization.
more importantly, he provides a practical perspective on managing such debate to produce effective outcomes.
Thomas C. Leppert
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer