The Three Laws of Performance:
Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life
Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan
From the Introduction:The power in this book stems from using the Three Laws of Performance. A law isn’t a rule, tip, or step, but distinguishes the moving parts at play behind an observable phenomenon. A law is invariable. Whether you believe in gravity or not doesn’t lessen its effect on you.
The greatest advances in history have come from applying newly discovered laws. Think of Newton’s three laws of physics. Each on its own is interesting and insightful, and when combined together and applied, they become powerful and predictive.
When the Three Laws in this book are applied, performance transforms to a level far beyond what most people think is possible. It doesn’t happen bit by bit, but all at once, as individuals and organizations rewrite their future.
The first section (Chapters One, Two, and Three) takes these laws, one at a time, and shows how to apply them. You’ll see how to jettison what’s holding you back, create a future for your business, and your life beyond what’s predictably going to happen. Along the way, you’ll likely see and transform much of what is holding you back, both professionally and personally.
Through the journey of these first three chapters, we’ll visit companies in South Africa, Japan, and the United States, looking into diverse industries such as aerospace, energy, construction, and mining. We’ll make stops in a high-tech start-up, a Brazilian conglomerate, even in the Harvard Business School. We’ll see that the Three Laws always hold – they are universal principles that apply any time human beings are involved in any kind of effort. We’ll see the result of understanding and applying them – dramatic elevations in performance.
Section Two (Chapters Four and Five) looks at leadership in light of the Three Laws. This section identifies key leadership principles, and how to apply them in organizations. We also look at the new frontier of organizations: working effectively in the developing world, creating sustainability in communities, and generating the expansion of wealth (both material and in the well-being of people). This section is intended for people interested in organizational leadership. If your interest is mostly personal application, you might want to skip to Section Three.
Section Three (Chapters Six, Seven, and Eight) is about the personal face of leadership. Chapter Six shows how you can apply the Three Laws to yourself – and in the process expand your own leadership. Chapter Seven is about taking the walk down the path to mastery of the Three Laws. Chapter Eight is some guidance on how to take these new ideas out into your world.
This book is not an academic study, although its conclusions draw on well-established lines of research. Our intent is to introduce these laws, and illustrate how their application can enhance performance. The examples almost all come from cases in which we and our colleagues have been personally involved. We’ve been there, seen it, and now we want to share it.
In reading this book and applying the Three Laws, you’ll do more than find fixes to your problems. You’ll find the power to rewrite your future.