Also available as ebook on
Published by Crown Business/Random House
hardcover | US$25
Read or listen to an interview with the author
The Go Point—the moment of truth when you have to say “yes” or “no” when it’s
time to get off the fence.
Michael Useem—through dramatic storytelling—shows how to master the art and
science of being decisive. He places you smack in the middle of people facing
their go point, where actions—or lack of them—determined the fates of
individuals, companies, and countries.
• Why on earth did Robert E. Lee send General George Pickett on an almost
suicidal charge against the Union lines at Gettysburg?
• How does the leader of a firefighting crew make life-or-death decisions,
directing his people—with little information about weather patterns to guide
him—to go up or down the mountain? One direction means safety, the other danger.
• You’ve just assumed responsibility for a scandal-wracked corporation, a
company teetering on the brink of disaster. What you decide over the course of
the next several days will have consequences for thousands of employees and
investors. How do you fulfill your responsibilities?
Michael Useem makes you feel as if “you are there,” right in the center of the
action. He was there: tramping up and down the mountain where firefighters made
their momentous decisions; walking the battlefield at Gettysburg to see for
himself just what General Pickett faced before making his ill-fated charge;
going into a trading pit where million-dollar buy-and-sell decisions are made
that affect fortunes of both the firm and the person making the call.
You’ll discover why some decisions were flawless, perfectly on target, and
others utterly disastrous. Most of all, you’ll learn how to make the right calls
yourself, whether you’re changing your career, hiring an assistant, launching a
product, or deciding on a potential acquisition or merger.
Smartly written and offering unusual insights into the minds of decision makers
such as General Lee, The Go Point will provide the guidance for you to
move with confidence when it’s your turn to get off the fence.
“Great decisions are the hallmark of a successful executive. In The Go Point, Michael Useem provides invaluable insight into how to make the critical call.” —Larry Bossidy, retired chairman and CEO of Honeywell International and coauthor of Execution and Confronting Reality
“The Go Point is a tour de force of a tour through battlefields and
boardrooms, illuminating the differences between brilliant and tragic decisions. Michael Useem is a wise, witty, and understanding guide whose insights can dramatically improve leadership and decision-making skills. Go for it!” —Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, bestselling author of Confidence: How Winning Streaks & Losing Streaks Begin and End
“Michael Useem . . . spells out in plain English the consequences of making hard and fast decisions, when they matter most and impact teams of people. There are plenty of books on leadership, but few that explain how to take a team from one place to the next. This one is the best.” —Maria Bartiromo, journalist and CNBC anchor
“This exciting book is a valuable guide to effective decision making. The Go Point’s great strength is to put the reader inside the heads of fascinating, often heroic people as they seek to ‘get it right,’ under pressure and with incomplete information.” —Steven Kerr, managing director and chief learning officer, Goldman Sachs & Co.
“In The Go Point, Michael Useem identifies the essence of what it takes to prepare for moments of decision. He draws from an array of compelling accounts to help us appreciate what is essential for decisive decision making when it really counts.” —Peter M. Dawkins, vice chairman, Citigroup Global Wealth Management, U.S. Army Brigadier General (Ret.)
“How does any leader know what to do and when to do it? Here Michael Useem, one of America’s foremost thinkers about leadership, unravels that mystery in a fast-paced, well-written, and unforgettable book. Highly recommended for everyone with courage for the arena!” —David Gergen, professor of public service, director, Center for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
“In his latest book, Michael Useem walks you up close to your moment of
decision, and, with examples from some of the most pivotal go points in human endeavor, shows you how to master it. This is by far the most practical book on decision making I have ever read.” —Marcus Buckingham, author of First, Break All the Rules; Now, Discover Your Strengths; and The One Thing You Need to Know