Book Review: Lead Right for Your Company’s Type


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Lead Right for Your Company's Type: How to Connect Your Culture with Your Customer Promise
Author: William E. Schneider
Amacom 2017
$27.95

How could an executive who was successful at Apple be such a dismal failure at Penney’s? Why are certain people great at leading one company and then terrible at leading another company? Give up? It’s simple: All companies are different and what works with one company will not necessarily work at another.

In this unique book, William Schneider, a consulting psychologist focused on corporate leadership, identifies four types of companies and how to lead and manage them. These types of companies are categorized as follows:

  • Predictable and Dependable: Companies that provide basic, reliable products or services. Examples: utilities, retail banks, FedEx, J.C. Penney, Walmart, NASA.
  • Enrichment: Enterprises dedicated to personal development or improving lives. Examples: Habitat for Humanity, KinderCare, Patagonia, The Body Shop.
  • Best-In Class: Standard-setters that excel at creating distinctive products and experiences. Examples: Tiffany, Rolls Royce, Four Seasons Hotel, Apple.
  • Customized: Companies that deliver a tailored solution for each unique customer. Examples: Interior design specialists, executive search firms, PR agencies.

He then discusses the best management style for each of these types of companies. What I liked is that he provides a unique guide so that you can discover what type of company you have and then, along with that, the best ways to lead your company including specific tips and tools that will work with your organization.

Schneider has written the book in such a comprehensive way that it’s like having your own corporate psychologist for only the price of buying this book and the time it takes to read it.

Two very focused and particularly helpful sections are included in the book. The first concerns connecting your customer promise with chapters on your company’s focus, configuration, integration, balance, and adaptation. If you don’t read anything else in this book you will have gotten your money’s worth just by reading this section. Second, the appendix, which provides valuable analytics to validate assessments available for your own company’s use.

I cannot stress enough how important this book is for anyone who is running a company and particularly for anyone who is moving from a leadership position in one company to the same in another. Buy and read this book before you start at the new company.

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