New Releases

The Attacker's Advantage

February 24, 2015


Ram Charan is a legend in the world of business and business books, and his new book challenges you to create a new business world—and shows you how.

Ram Charan, a legend in the world of global business and a national and international best-selling author for over 35 years has advised the world's top companies, CEOs, and boards on the core business challenges of our time—from execution (explained in his #1 bestselling book of the same name) to C-suite leadership (explored in the highly-acclaimed What the CEO Wants You to Know) to developing talent (laid out in the much-admired The Leadership Pipeline) Charan's newest book, The Attacker's Advantage, reveals his game plan for winning in this new era of ambiguity, volatility and complexity, where every leader and every business is challenged in new and unexpected ways.

Known by executives for his pragmatic approaches to dealing with some of the toughest business problems, Charan uniquely explains the forces contributing to the most fundamental leadership challenge of our time—uncertainty—and reveals the key skills needed to make decisions and lead in a pervasively unstable business climate.

The Attacker's Advantage provides a stark and simple challenge: remain in an old-world defensive posture, at best realizing only incremental gains—or, create a new world as an attacker, scale it up quickly, and forge a new path ahead of the traditional players.

In today's market—globally complex and with compounding competition—adversaries appear in an instant and scale up almost as quickly, a growing pool of contenders extend their reach from every part of the world, and new and complex forces constantly reshape your bottom line. Ram Charan knows what skills are needed to be able to spot the inevitable disruption that is coming, and what actions are necessary to take advantage of these shifts.

Strategy: The major questions to answer in shaping strategy have not changed, but old answers to these questions will take you "over the cliff." Leaders need fresh thinking grounded in new knowledge, the imagination to shape radical options, the courage to ditch what has worked in the past but which will not in the future, the wisdom and fortitude to find a new game and shape the new landscape of opportunities created by "bends-in-the road."

Technology: Throughout human history technology has been driven by human catalysts and the resulting creative destruction has resulted in the creation of enormous opportunities. The most recent catalysts—digitization and algorithms—are destroying industries but also creating enormous new market opportunities.

Agility: The Attacker's Advantage provides an innovative, tested tool—the joint practice session—for confronting organizational rigidity in the era of volatility and structural change. When the winds change, resources have to be shifted in real time, tasks reprioritized and key performance indicators changed.

Transition to Play the New Game: Making organizational transitions differ today than they have in past decades because the bends-in-the-road are wide and deep and the road is foggy. Shaping a new path becomes extremely difficult when new ventures to respond to new opportunities often mean revenues that are initially at a level lower than those of established businesses.

The advantage goes to those who create change, not those who tolerate it.

With his unparalleled ability to cut through complexity and provide workable solutions, Ram Charan articulates for readers the tested social skills needed to anticipate and address the biggest threats facing their business.

  • Build the perceptual acuity to see around corners and anticipate competition—especially potential catalysts of change—that may radically reshape a company or industry
  • Have the mindset to see opportunity in uncertainty
  • Commit to a new path forward despite the unknowns, positioning your business to make the next move ahead of competitors
  • Break the blockages that can hold your company back
  • Know when to accelerate and when to shift the short-term and long-term balance
  • Make your organization adaptable by linking external realities to people, priorities, decision-making power, budgeting and capital allocation, and key performance indicators


Ram Charan is a world-renowned business advisor, author and speaker who has spent the past 35 years working with many of the top companies, CEOs, and boards of our time. In Ram's work with companies including GE, MeadWestvaco, DuPont, Novartis, EMC, 3M, Verizon, Aditya Birla Group, Tata Group, GMR, Max Group, Yildiz Holdings, and Grupo RBS, he is known for cutting through the complexity of running a business in today's fast changing environment to uncover the core business problem or unseen opportunity. He has authored 15 books since 1998 that have sold over three million copies in more than a dozen languages. Execution, which he co-authored with former Honeywell CEO Larry Bossidy in 2002, was a #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller and spent more than 150 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He also has written for publications including Harvard Business Review, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Time, Chief Executive and USA TODAY.

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