Leaders First - Build up your Organization's Leadership Capacity  
Leaders First - Build up your Organization's Leadership Capacity
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Gene Morton
Gene Morton

See Inside the Book
Table of Contents
Chapter 1
The Challenge

"Gene has written a great story that contains lessons on leadership, business practice, organization design and industry challenges.
All leaders in the building industry will benefit from his message.
Leaders First is a great way to teach and develop business leadership insight for your teams of current and emerging leaders. I highly recommend reading this book."

Ron Magnus
, Managing Director, FMI Corporation, Center for Strategic Leadership


"Dear Gene, this is an excellent book with proven methods on boosting any company's performance and leaders competency. I learned many creative techniques dealing with personal agendas that often happen in the workplace interfering with critical relationships, communication among peers and team members. Your book illustrates the value of creating unique visions for any company's goals; and it clearly describes ways teams can go about discovering new ways to win customer, employee and community loyalty. I loved it."

Sally A. Anderson


"Leadership is key in any business. And the difference between good leadership and bad can make all the difference in the outcome of whatever the product line is. Gene Morton teaches leaders and wanna-be leaders effective skills for connecting leader power to positively positive outcomes. Some of his insights: Leaders are not part of a team. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Make sure roles are clear. Create results that are based on the customer's needs. Above all - getting all key players to be on the same page is the foundation of this excellent work. While it uses the construction industry as an example, these concepts apply to all business. And with his years of experience, Gene Morton is the go-to leader expert. BUY THIS BOOK if leadership is part of your daily works."

Mary Jo Fay


"As a business owner, I found this book an absolute boon. Fragmentation of leadership is something we all need to overcome to some degree within a corporation, and team work is everything. Gene's perspective made me think differently about the way I handle my own corporation both on a day-to-day basis and in long-term planning. A must for anyone in the business world, in any industry."

Kay Talley


"Leadership CAN be Learned! Even though written using a construction company for the example, Leaders First gives great time tested approaches for reorganizing the leadership of any business to improve relationships inside and outside company walls. I especially appreciated Gene Morton's offering his six bold steps to improve company functioning via a business story. The story makes it easy to grasp the key concepts and see how they could be applied. Great read!"

Susan Hyatt "CSR | Social Impact Specialist"


"For all business owners and managers. Looking back on my 40 years in business management, I see that about once a decade a real breakthrough on management or leadership comes along. Leaders First is one of those breakthroughs. I love the writing style and the story that brings the lessons home. All business owners and top management should read this book and apply the principles to build a strong leadership team. Leadership is vital to the success of every business. This book explains how to create it and sustain it. I highly recommend this book."

Courtney Miller


"Gene Morton's book, Leaders First, was given less than a bold review by Judith Briles. She misses the excitement that Gene generates while reading the underlying story. He portrays a group of men and women who are committed to developing a new vision for their company. Page by page Gene gives us an insight into the senior managers of a major construction general contractor and the struggles and fears they undergo. Only in the end, do they experience an extraordinary fulfillment of their collective vision. I agree with Judith that the book is well written and professionally designed. However, the thing she left out is the remarkable insertion throughout the book of the management theory and practice behind First Leaders, Six Bold Steps to Sustain Breakthroughs. Gene is bold throughout the book while being exceptionally clear and precise. I agree with Judith that any company could easily use the lessons in the book. In fact, if I were the CEO of a company, Leaders First would be mandatory reading for senior managers."

Lee Hogan, Newark, DE


"Leaders First by Gene Morton provides us with a hands on approach to Leadership and Organization Development. Although it focuses on the construction industry its step by step process could apply to other organizations. Many would judge that the success of many change efforts are short lived and die on the vine. A good part of Leaders First focuses on the issue of sustainability as well as the overall change methodology.
There are added benefits for one working in construction. Morton’s knowledge is reflected in his clear writing and very readable style. There is a strong executive development theme achieved by the leaders who apply the six step process. A good read for executives and consultants."

John Hallen

Manager OD, Lockheed Martin (retired), Adjunct Faculty, Regis University, Denver


"We have known and worked with Gene for over thirty years. No one knows the area of accountability and responsibility better. Leaders First is the product of decades of work with real clients on very real problems. His book offers deep wisdom in an enjoyable novelized format."

Carol Hunter and Tim Rouse, FGI Spirit International


"Leaders First provides a practical, authentic view into how leadership structure is strongly influenced by founders and key players, almost by accident."

Rich Rinehart, Managing Director and CFO, BENTEK Energy

Leaders First: Six Bold Steps to Sustain Breakthroughs in Construction
Gene Morton
Accelerated Solutions, Ltd, 384 pages, (hardcover) $32.95, 978-0-9840008-0-7 (Reviewed: May, 2012)

Leaders First is a leadership development book that outlines six steps construction leadership can use to revamp outdated leadership practices and reinvigorate their companies. These steps include: step up to responsibility, define critical outcomes, grant and accept accountability, integrate roles, design a strategic reporting structure, and track performance.

Instead of presenting the material in a more traditional resource-book format, author Gene Morton conveys his six steps through the context of a story. Morton’s story centers on the leadership team at Blue Range General Contractors (fictional, though based on real groups) as they struggle to recover from a devastating financial loss. This loss proves to be the catalyst that inspires the core leadership team to let go of its outdated structure and create a strategic vision that enrolls and motivates the entire company. This approach is effective and works – to a point.

Morton is a gifted storyteller; however, the reader is left with a desire to know more and go deeper into his expert insights on the implementation, tactics, and replication of his six steps. The scope of the book’s claim is ambitious – not just improving a single leader, but reorganizing leadership structure throughout a company. The reader gets the impression that Morton is capable of taking on this challenge, however in a quest for storytelling, his practical, nuts-and-bolts advice is often relegated to sidebar status.

While this book focuses on leadership in construction, its lessons are applicable to myriad industries. There is no doubt that readers will enjoy this book, glean some valuable nuggets of strategic leadership, and likely recognize friends and colleagues in its characters. But Morton might have gone further to move Leaders First from an engaging narrative to the business must-read he has the clear potential of producing.

Also available as an e-book.


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Hardcover: 408 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9840008-0-7
Retail Price: $32.95

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