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In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people—employees and managers, parents and nurses-have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results:
• The lowly medical interns who managed to defeat an entrenched, decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients (see page 242)
• The home-organizing guru who developed a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping (see page 130)
• The manager who transformed a lackadaisical customer-support team into service zealots by removing a standard
I’ve studied successful people for forty years, and though the diversity you find among them is astounding,
I’ve found that they are all alike in one way: how they think! That is the one thing that separates successful
people from unsuccessful ones. And here’s the good news. How successful people think can be learned. If you
change your thinking, you can change your life!
According to Bersin & Associates study entitled “High-Impact Leadership Development” (2008), an organizational focus on leadership development results in:
• Becoming 84 percent more effective at raising the quality of the leadership “pipeline;”
• A 73 percent increase in employee retention;
• A 67 percent increase in the ability of the organization’s members to work collaboratively; and,
• A 66 percent improvement in the organization’s results.
The second thing they all have in common may be less apparent but is still crucial: Each won his spurs as a leader at General Electric (GE). Nardelli and McNerney were considered possible successors to GE’s legendary boss, Jack Welch. In 2001, when it became clear that Jeff Immelt would succeed Welch, Nardelli (president and CEO of GE Power Systems) and McNerney (president and CEO of GE Aircraft Engines) left to join The Home Depot and 3M, respectively. Bossidy, former chief operating officer of GE Credit (later GE Capital), left to join AlliedSignal, which merged with Honeywell in 1999. Paul headed global operations for GE Medical Systems before he joined Wipro.