The Five Domains of High Performance

By Kevin Oakes

Pick a leader - any successful leader. Then search Amazon and see how many books and other publications come up on that person. Abraham Lincoln? 83,642. Gandhi? 61,923. Even Barack Obama, who was widely introduced to the world just five years ago, has 8,670. People love studying successful people.

In the same way that many people have an insatiable appetite to study successful leaders, we in the business world tend to be fascinated with high-performance organizations. What are they like? What do they do differently? Is there a secret recipe that allows them to outperform their competition?

Of course, many books have been dedicated to this subject. From Tom Peters's and Bob Waterman's early 80's best seller In Search of Excellence to Jim Collins' Built to Last and Good to Great, there has been a succession of books that leaders and managers across the globe have devoured. Programs such as GE's Six Sigma have trained countless people in how to achieve top performance and consultants have built entire practices around elements of high-performing companies.

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