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Generating Buy-In: Mastering the Language of Leadership

Mark S. Walton
Foreword by William Ury

Retail Price: $15.95
LS Price: $12.76
You Save: $3.95 (20%)

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Format: Paperback, 132pp.
ISBN: 9780814409053
Publisher: AMACOM
Pub. Date: February 2006

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Buy-in can be defined as the understanding, commitment, and action of people working to achieve strategic objectives. In 21st-century business, buy-in has become a crucial asset, and the ability to generate it has emerged as the leadership competency. The achievement of buy-in depends heavily on the communication skills of the seller, the executive, or whoever is asking us to believe, to act, to buy.

Generating Buy-In presents a language of leadership common to the most masterful influencers in business, politics, law, and other arenas. The author describes how to use this language to build strategic stories that project a positive future, even when the immediate news may be less than ideal.

Generating Buy-In offers examples of individuals and organizations that have used this method, including Jack Welch, Ted Turner, several U.S. Presidents, Coca-Cola, and the U.S. Army. These and other examples, plus exclusive interviews, illustrate how powerful leadership communication can bring unprecedented buy-in throughout any organization.

The book features valuable tools, including sample business scenarios, a full chapter of Q & A, and a design process for creating custom buy-in exercises and transferring the lessons of the book to actual workplace settings.

The strongest leaders are those who create a positive vision of the future. The approach is as old as Moses’ vow to bring believers "out of the affliction … unto a land flowing with milk and honey," and as contemporary as the U.S. Navy’s recruitment promise that "it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure."

In short, great leaders know how to paint a "big picture" that generates action by tapping into people’s emotions. They know how to develop a story line that fulfills their audience’s agenda and makes them say, "Yes, you understand me, I’m on board!" Finally, they know how to ask for a commitment and inspire their listeners to take steps toward the goal.

Generating Buy-In will help you master the powerful language that breeds such commitment. Filled with dozens of examples of individuals and organizations that excel at persuading people to believe, do, or buy – from Abraham Lincoln to Jack Welch, from the U.S. Army to Coca-Cola – Generating Buy-In gives you a revolutionary yet practical approach to:
  • Crafting a strategic story that projects a positive future to your audience
  • Speaking the language of buy-in with images that mold powerful thoughts and emotions in your listeners
  • Putting the language to work in service of your goal – whether the goal is to raise sales, inspire a work force, or win a Presidential election

Author Mark S. Walton, a former CNN anchor and award-winning journalist, teaches this methodology to top corporate and government leaders. He has also studied its use by master communicators as varied as Winston Churchill, Andy Grove, and Michael Quinlan, former CEO of McDonald’s Corporation. In this short, potent book, Walton shows you how to develop the communication skills that will awaken your stakeholders and guarantee their buy-in.

You’ll follow the process from start to finish in classic business scenarios to which everyone can relate. You’ll learn to create custom buy-in exercises that transfer the book’s lessons to changing situations. Walton also answers the questions most often asked by people new to the process: What’s the best place to tell my story? And how often? How can I learn what my audience truly wants for the future? What do I say when there’s virtually no good news to deliver?

Spend a few hours with this book. It will pay benefits for the rest of your lifetime. Again and again, you’ll strategically design, target, and deliver stories that win the commitment of all who hear them.

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About the Author

Mark S. Walton is CEO of the Center for Leadership Communication, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For more than a decade he was CNN’s Chief White House and Senior Correspondent, becoming one of the most visible and respected journalists in network news. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the prestigious Peabody Award. Walton also teaches at the University of North Carolina’s business school and is Professor of Leadership in the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Management program.

Table of Contents
Introduction: We All Need Somebody's Buy-In
I. Understanding the Language of Buy-In
1What Triggers Buy-In?
2Every Leader Tells A Story
3How Strategic Stories Will Get You 21st Century Buy-In
II. Speaking the Language of Buy-In
4A Framework for Buy-In
5Developing Your Strategic Story
6The Rule of Three
7When the Going Gets Tough, The Smart Get Buy-In
8The Charisma Quotient
9The Best Evidence
III. Putting the Language to Work
10Using the Tools of Buy-In
11Now It's Your Turn
12Questions Executives Ask
Glossary of Key Terms
About the Author

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