Radical Excellence
by
Stephen R. Schmidt
James Antenen
Linda Francis Cross




​“Radical Excellence is unique. Business leaders everywhere are seeking that key element that strikes an accord and helps them travel the path towards greatness. This book brings into alignment organizational development, strategic planning and project management in an innovative, pragmatic and effective way curiously overlooked by most business schools. I knew about these things before, but now I understand how they work together. Radical Excellence will challenge your perspective on self and present you an opportunity to overhaul your organizational culture in a radical, positive way! It made me a better leader and a better person.”

John W. Hancock, DBA student

 “Radical Excellence is a powerful and unique approach for pursuing excellence. The authors address the enemy of excellence as personal and organizational narcissism and present a breakthrough strategy of Sequential Radical Positive Change as the ultimate weapon for victory. I highly recommend this book for any institution, organization or individual that seriously wants to achieve their full potential.”

Brig. Gen. Dan Litwhiler, USAF, Retired
Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences and
Former Vice Dean, USAF Academy

“These authors have given me a broad new perspective as a CEO and leader! It made me ‘flinch’ by facing my own leadership narcissism and understand the prevalence of it in prior organizations that caused systemic organizational culture and leadership failures. I have shared this book with other leaders and we are now embracing the concepts of Sequential Radical Positive Change in our organizations!”

Cathy Starnes, PhD
Enterprise Growth Officer
Wellmed Medical Management, Inc.


After 30 years of organizational excellence consulting on the front lines of TQM, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma, we ask ourselves what is the next tsunami wave in terms of excellence initiatives. The answer came from a rigorous analysis on Lean Six Sigma. The most serious weakness found was an inadequate emphasis on personal excellence in light of the mounting threat of rapidly spreading narcissism. It doesn’t take much digging to realize that organizational narcissism has become a malignancy.
Since the heart of an organization is its culture composed of the hearts of all the employees and primarily influenced by the hearts of the leaders, we need more than a new excellence initiative. Radical Excellence consists of a Sequential Radical Positive Change strategy similar to that of the late Steve Jobs at Apple, but with a much deeper emphasis on developing the heart of the individual and the heart of the organization. This new strategy optimizes the synergy of personal and organizational excellence resulting in healthier relationships and stronger cultures. It is applicable for individuals from any type of organization to include for-profit, not-for-profit, athletics, government, education, military, churches, synagogues etc.

The table of contents and a brief description of each follows:    

Introduction: Accept the Challenge
We challenge every organization and individual to agree that they have not arrived. There is much more to be done; something radical that will give you and your organization the edge. 

Chapter 1: A Call to Action
Many individuals today have become complacent and “ME” focused. Our call to action is to stand up, admit our own narcissism and join the fight to become powerful teams who are “WE” focused. Spectators and individualists are not allowed.

Chapter 2: Radical Excellence: A Definition
We use the terms World Class, Radical Excellence and Play-To-Win to imply achieving our full potential through the maximization of our talents, abilities and opportunities in spite of our limitations. 

Chapter 3: Understanding Change
Our personal and organizational pursuit of excellence can either focus on no change, continuous incremental change or Sequential Radical Positive Change (SRPC). Resistance to change comes in the form of denial and anger; both are characteristics of narcissism. The synergy of both individual and organizational quests for excellence will be the key to world class performance.

Chapter 4: Implementing Change
Radical Excellence presents a six-step process in the battle to achieve SRPC in our personal lives and in our organizations. The steps consist of Define, Need, Vision, Plan, Execute, and Sustain. The remaining chapters walk us through these six steps in order to build an individual and organizational strategic plan for excellence.

Chapter 5: You Are Here!
This chapter guides us through an in-depth self-assessment of where we are as individuals. Two of the primary tools used to accomplish this task are the Johari Window and a personal S.W.O.T. analysis that not only lists our perspective, but also captures the perspective of our closest relationships.

Chapter 6: Know Yourself!
In this chapter you will be walked through an assessment to identify your personality type, how you act normally and how you act under stress. Since we all have some degree of narcissistic tendency, you will gain a better understanding of what you need to change.

Chapter 7: You and Your World
This chapter takes you through an introductory understanding of Worldview, Mindset and Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Our purpose is to help you better understand yourself and grow in personal excellence.

Chapter 8: Gut Check: Facing the Flinch
The key to individual excellence is based on healthy relationships which can only be achieved through unselfish values and constructive beliefs. This chapter dives deep into your heart to assist you in finding your True North. We end the chapter with guiding questions that will lead you through your own personal strategic plan.

Chapter 9: Radical Leadership
We define Radical Leadership and discuss the difference between managers and leaders. Beyond transformational, situational and servant leadership, this chapter addresses heart felt leadership designed to lead the hearts of others. There is also a hard look at the long-term negative impact of narcissistic leaders.

Chapter 10: Shall We Dance? - The Art of World Class Leadership
World Class Leadership is not only situational and transformational, it is a journey of growing our own heart while strengthening the hearts of others. We lay out our 4 dimensions of Radical Leadership and how to implement them based on our Read-Act Model.

Chapter 11: Creating a Culture of Excellence
Radical Excellence brings into alignment organizational development, strategic planning and project management in an innovative, pragmatic, and effective way that is overlooked by most business schools.

Chapter 12: Is as Does
The major theme here is capturing the synergism of personal and organizational excellence through Radical Leadership. A set of steps are presented to put it all in alignment and then describe the action that produces radical results. 

Chapter 13: Harnessing Cats
In this unique chapter the authors tell their personal story of how writing this material has radically transformed their lives. They have lived out each chapter and now fully understand that the key to pursuing excellence is not about achieving perfection. It is about a journey developing a heart that will expend every ounce of energy supporting the team; completing the mission; getting up every time we fall; and never quitting.  


Our new book, Radical Excellence, has only been in print for a few months and yet the material is changing lives in strengthening organizations of all types around the world. This book will challenge you 
Here are some more testimonials:

“Radical Excellence ranks at the top of management leadership books. Start to finish, the book is a captivating eye-opener that challenges leaders to step away from mediocrity, rethink business as usual and embrace radical positive change. Not only is this a model for excellence, it’s a ticket to success in the rapidly changing world in which we now do business.” 

Sherry Buffington, PhD, Psychologist
Founder, Quantum Leap Systems, Inc.
Author of Exiting OZ and Power Shift

“If you think you have a healthy organization but find you are still spending time and money in meetings talking about making change happen, then you probably aren’t facing the hard truth. Just because the leader at the helm isn’t narcissistic, doesn’t mean there aren’t closet narcissists throughout your organization creating barriers to change. To make radical change, you must take a radical look at yourself and your organization. This book is a revolutionary and revealing read that will not only heal your organization, but also chart a course for World Class excellence. A must read for leaders, decision-makers, managers, and anyone else seeking personal or organizational excellence!” 

Annette E. Craven, PhD, Professor
DBA Program Director
University of the Incarnate Word
International Consultant/Facilitator for Strategic Planning

“From its first pages, Radical Excellence calls the reader into an examination of the real issues of leadership ignored by most leaders today. This book will make you flinch. But in the end you will be equipped to develop and attain goals that represent the values and the motivations—the wants and needs, the aspirations and expectations—of both leader and follower.”

Douglas Marks, PhD
Senior Pastor, Northwest Hills Christian Church
Former Academic Dean, Dallas Christian College


“After the loss of a lovely and very ill step-daughter, I found my golden years were not so golden. I found myself lonely and feeling sorry for myself and unable to cope with my feelings. My husband buried himself volunteering in several interests he had become involved with, which left me way down on his radar. My relationship with him waned and our tie to one another seemed to be our daughter whom we loved and took care of for 37 years. The answer for me came in this book about narcissism. Being a small country girl, it was just a long word with no definition. After reading Radical Excellence I learned that the person who needed to change and the only person I could change was ME. The book taught me to be proud of the work my husband was doing and stop throwing wrenches in my marriage with sarcasm, snide remarks and being negative. I decided to pick myself up, be proud of us both and enjoy my golden years.”

Carol from Texas
What is Radical Excellence?
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