Confronting Reality : Doing What Matters to Get Things Right

Version: Abridged
Author: Larry Bossidy , Ram Charan
Narrator: Kevin Gray
Genres: Business & Economics
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: October 2004
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours
Tell Your Friends:


Confronting Reality will change the way you think about and run your business. It is the first book that shows how to connect the big picture of the new era of business with the nitty-gritty of what to do about it. Through a completely new way to understand and use the business model as the primary tool for confronting reality--a breakthrough that will become the management innovation of this decade--you'll know sooner rather than later whether your fundamental business premise is under assault, where your best opportunities lie, what you should change and what you should leave alone, and how to realistically plan the future of your business.
The fundamentals of how a business makes money are being rapidly and permanently altered by sweeping structural changes. With their extraordinary depth and breadth of experience, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan are the ideal guides for everyone--entrepreneur, mid-level manager, or CEO--about what is to be done so you can get things right in this challenging, radically changed world. They start by showing you how to understand the most fundamental element of any business: whether you can realistically make the money you hope to in the game you're playing.
Bossidy and Charan show how to use the business model to develop a robust, reality-based process for thinking about the speci?cs of your business in a holistic way. They show how to tie together the financial targets you must meet, the external realities you face, and internal activities such as strategy development, operating tactics, and selection and development of people.
Through the lens of the business model, as well as the skillful use of initiatives and development of people withthe right leadership characteristics, you'll see how Robert Nardelli at Home Depot, Jim McNerney at 3M, Dick Harrington at the Thomson Corporation, Michael Wisbrun at KLM, Joseph Tucci at EMC, and John Chambers at Cisco confronted reality. Whether they faced crisis or opportunity, all made the right kinds of changes through a combination of business savvy (the art of understanding the fundamentals driving a business) and business model thinking.

"From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews (1)


Written by Steve S from Greenville, WI on February 6th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 1/5

This book fell far short of my expectations. I had several hours of windshield time that I was hoping this book would help pass by more quickly. A little over half way through I actually turned off the CD to drive in silence. I'd describe this book as a sort of truncated history lesson on some well known companies that were confronted with some difficult realities in recent history. However, you don't hear enough about their stories and during my time listening I certainly didn't get any sense of some lessons learned by these companies that might somehow translate into my world like I found in Execution.

Author Details

Author Details

Bossidy, Larry

"Few individuals bring to their audiences the wealth of experience and accomplishment that has made Larry Bossidy one of the most respected executives in recent history. In his presentations, Larry shares the tested, concrete lessons of his exemplary career, advice that has made his book Execution a BusinessWeek Bestseller for nearly two years. His next book, Confronting Reality: Master the New Model for Success, is due in October, 2004. Larry Bossidy is the former CEO of Honeywell.

Larry?s bestselling Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done is a hard-nosed guide to the practical necessities of successful leadership in a competitive global economy. Proving that execution is a learnable discipline, Bossidy warns that it often involves grunt work and it?s often ignored or delegated by senior leaders?yet it?s a leader?s primary job. Effective execution requires relentless questioning, analyzing, following-through, and problem solving?and it demands that you face reality. There are more than 1.5 million copies of Execution in print worldwide.

Where Execution was about how to get things done, Larry?s next book will be about defining what needs to be done in the face of today?s sweeping changes. Confronting Reality addresses a company?s basic business model for making money, providing managers with a big-picture view of the structural changes affecting business and with strategic tools for confronting this reality effectively. This practical survival manual promises to be as indispensable to leaders at all levels of the corporation as its predecessor, Execution, has been.

Larry learned the art of execution through his decades as a successful leader in two of our premier organizations. In his stellar 34-year career at General Electric, he rose to vice chairman and brought the company back to double-digit growth. By focusing relentlessly on executing growth, management development and Six Sigma-based productivity initiatives, he turned Allied Signal into one of the world?s most admired companies in his nine years as CEO, highlighted by 31 consecutive quarters of earnings-per-share growth of 13% or more and an eight-fold appreciation of the company?s share price. He shepherded Allied Signal and Honeywell through their historic merger and other crises with similar success until his retirement. Larry Bossidy now serves on the boards of directors of several major corporations and works with CEOs and other senior executives to improve their company?s execution and performance.

Quote: ?Good people come to companies and stay because they believe they have a chance to expand their capabilities and fulfill their destiny. You have an obligation to help them.?"

Charan, Ram

"Ram Charan is a highly acclaimed business advisor, speaker and author. Ram has coached some of the world?s most successful CEOs. For 35 years, he has worked behind the scenes at companies like GE, DuPont, Novartis, Pharmacia, Warner Lambert, Duke Energy, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Schering-Plough, Smith-Kline and Verizon.

Ram started his business career as a teenager working in the family shoe shop in India. He went on to earn an engineering degree and then MBA and doctorate degrees from Harvard Business School. He graduated from Harvard with high distinction and was a Baker Scholar. He then served on the Harvard Business School faculty.

Ram is known for his practical, real world perspective. His expertise runs deep in several areas of business:

* Profitable Growth * Business Acumen
* Leadership * Tools for Changing a Social System
* Corporate Governance * Global Matrix Organization
* Execution: Discipline of Getting Things Done * Innovation
* Succession & Leadership Pipeline * Building Top Management Teams

Ram is a favorite among executive educators. He won the Bell Ringer (best teacher) award at GE?s famous Crotonville Institute. He won the Best Teacher Award at Wharton and Northwestern. He was among Business Week?s top ten resources for in-house executive development programs.

Ram is a well-known author, whose books include Execution, written with Larry Bossidy, the former CEO of Honeywell. Execution reached number one on the Wall Street Journal list, and has been on the New York Time?s best-seller list for more than fifty weeks. Ram's other books include What the CEO Wants You to Know, Boards at Work, and Every Business Is a Growth Business. He also tailors his books for specific client companies such as Gateway, Ford and EDS. His new book Profitable Growth was released January 2004.

He's written articles for the Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Time, Information Week, Leader to Leader, Director's Monthly, Directorship, The Corporate Board and USA Today.

Ram is a director of Austin Industries and The Six Sigma Academy. He was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources. He serves as a co-host for the Fortune Forum on Corporate Governance and also serves on the National Association of Corporate Directors? Blue Ribbon Commission on Corporate Governance. Ram is based in Dallas, Texas."