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  • Published: 1 August 2016
  • ISBN: 9780399562068
  • Imprint: Portfolio
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $42.99

O Great One! A Little Story About the Awesome Power of Recognition



Whether you’re trying to lead a small department, a Fortune 500 company, a non-profit, or your own family, the lessons at the heart of O Great One! can help you make everyone around you happier and more effective.

He had no idea what he was in for.

When was the last time you told your colleagues how much you value them? It sounds like a trivial thing in the middle of a busy work day. But as David Novak discovered during his years as a hard charging executive, there’s nothing trivial about recognition. It can make a life-or-death difference to any organization, when people see that someone important really notices and appreciates their contributions.

Rather than explain the power of recognition in a typical business book, Novak decided to write a fun story that draws on his real-world experiences at Pepsi and Yum! Brands, as well as his personal life.

The story opens when Jeff Johnson becomes the third-generation CEO of his family business, after the sudden death of his father. The Happy Face Toy Company had many hits in the 1950s and 60s, including Crazy Paste, but its results have been declining for more than a decade. The board has given Jeff just one year to turn the business around, or else they’ll have to sell it to the highest bidder.

As Jeff races to save his family’s legacy by getting the company back on track, he meets downtrodden factory workers and an uninspired executive team. Then a birthday gift from his own grandson gives Jeff an important insight into why Happy Face lost its old culture of innovation and excitement, along with its profitability. Jeff comes up with an idea that seems crazy . . . But is it crazy enough to work?

Whether you’re trying to lead a small department, a Fortune 500 company, a non-profit, or your own family, the lessons at the heart of O Great One! can help you make everyone around you happier and more effective.

  • Published: 1 August 2016
  • ISBN: 9780399562068
  • Imprint: Portfolio
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $42.99

Praise for O Great One! A Little Story About the Awesome Power of Recognition

If you want to improve your life and the lives of those around you, just apply the ten principles my friend David Novak lays out in this book

Warren Buffett

Any leader searching for the best way to motivate people needs to read this timely, unique, and exceptionally helpful book!

Larry Bossidy, former chairman and CEO, Honeywell; coauthor of Execution

David Novak built YUM! into a great company by bringing out the best in his people. O Great One! shows you how easy it is to help people reach their potential. He is a great storyteller!

Rick Pitino, head basketball coach, University of Louisville

A must-read for every person in any organization. Read it, do it, and watch great things happen!

Ken Langone, co-founder of The Home Depot

O Great One! is a real page-turner. Through this insightful and elegantly written story, he does a brilliant job illustrating how recognition – a simple concept that is all too easily taken for granted – can be a potent force, motivating people to perform at their highest levels

Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo

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