Full Steam Ahead! Book Review

by  Chery Gegelman  |  Leadership Development

Full Steam Ahead | Lead Change Group
Proverbs says that “Without a Vision People Perish.”

Stephen Covey reminds us to “Begin With The End In Mind.”

In my personal leadership journey I’ve found vision to be the secret to building synergy, increasing commitment, maximizing results and experiencing incredible joy.

In the second edition of their book Full Steam Ahead, Ken Blanchard & Jesse Lyn Stoner begin by emphasizing their experience with worldwide organizations,

“…We have observed that the biggest impediment to managers becoming great leaders is the lack of a clear vision. Yet less than 10 percent of the organizations we have visited are lead by managers who have a clear sense of where they are trying to lead people.”

They go on to create an easy to follow story-line that has been skillfully written in such a way that you will begin to visualize how to unleash the power of vision in your own workplace and personal life.  Filled with insightful lessons, examples of extraordinary leaders and clear action steps you will learn:

  • How a clear purpose helps you move ahead in spite of obstacles.
  • How a vision unleashes energy, passion and excitement.
  • How a vision empowers individuals.  And at the same time limits conflict and increases teamwork.
  • How to balance the creative tension between the current reality and the vision.

And you will be challenged to consider:

  • How the leader becomes a servant of the vision by frequently reminding people what is really important and removing obstacles.
  • How these lessons can help people who are seeking to have more work/life balance.
  • How important it is to live in the present even if you’re passionate about creating the future.

I don’t know too many organizations today that are content with their current results, if you are one of them and you want to have more energy, ignite more creativity, experience more synergy and make a greater impact on your mission – Get the book, read it, study it, refer to it often.  You are on your way – Full Steam Ahead!

Special Launch Celebration May 2 to May 6

Jesse and Ken will donate all profits from online purchases from Amazon & Barnes & Noble to: Give Kids the World

Give Kids The World provides cost-free magical experiences to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Their vision is to give these families the opportunity for joy, laughter, and serenity, and to be sustained by memories for a lifetime. Provided within 24 hours if need-be, no child in need has ever been turned away. Located near the central Florida attractions, over 100,000 children have had their dream come true.

Visit Give Kids The World Online!

About The Author

Articles By chery-gegelman
Chery Gegelman was once a frustrated visionary that learned to lead extensive system-wide changes from the middle. Today she is The Founder of Giana Consulting, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two books. Her passion is bringing help and understanding to people and organizations that are leading through change to growth.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Dan Rockwell  |  02 May 2011  |  Reply


I’ve read both the first and second editions of “Full Steam Ahead.” I didn’t think I could enjoy the first one more than I did. However, the second addition is a genuine remake with major revisions, restructuring, and new content.

It is a leadership fable but it’s a meaty fable. There’s not much fluff in the story.

I just love “Full Steam Ahead.” Thanks for reviewing it here today.



Chery Gegelman  |  02 May 2011  |  Reply


Thanks for your comments! I agree it is a MEATY-fable!

It does a beautiful job of emphasizing that vision is so much more that words on a poster that has been hung on a wall to collect dust!


Jesse Stoner  |  02 May 2011  |  Reply

I appreciate your review because not only does it describe the book, but it also shares helpful information on why vision is important and what leaders can do. Thanks for helping get the word out!

Chery Gegelman  |  02 May 2011  |  Reply

Jesse – I love your work and the history of how you discovered the power of vision with your students. The book is fun to read, and at the same time the data you share in the beginning of the book keeps smacking me in the forehead, much like the old V-8 Television Ads.

If not having a vision is what limits managers from being great leaders, and only 10% of the leaders you and Ken worked with, around the world, have a clear sense of where they are trying to lead people… It sounds like 90% of us share an opportunity to be more effective by developing that skill.

Can you imagine the difference that could be made in the economy and on our communities if that percentage increased just 10%? Thinking about it, gives me Goosebumps!

Susan Mazza  |  02 May 2011  |  Reply

I am really looking forward to reading this. Always love a good story, especially one that facilitates learning of something so elusive yet essential. Thanks for sharing your review Chery.

Jesse Stoner  |  02 May 2011  |  Reply

Susan, you asked me a great question on twitter that I cannot answer in 140 characters, so I’ll respond here instead. You asked what my major discovery or insight was between writing 1st and 2nd versions. I’d say that my biggest awareness is how easy it is to lose track of the vision, after we have created it and done all the work to set thing in motion. Circumstances change and we get distracted. Life happens. And then one day we look around and realize how far we have drifted off course without even realizing it. This is true at a personal level as well as for teams and organizations. It’s not enough to just create a vision. We have to put strategies in place to support our ongoing awareness and focus. For this edition we added a new chapter on “Staying the Course.” Thanks for asking the question, Susan.

Susan Mazza  |  03 May 2011  | 

Thanks for your response Jesse. I look forward to reading that chapter. All too often after the initial “big bang” roll out of the vision, attempts to keep the vision present amount to little more than periodic e-mails, presentations, and superficial artifacts like posters, mugs, etc. Keeping the vision alive requires finding ways to keep it front and center in everyday conversation – it takes discipline and often requires a shift in context on the part of positional leaders. One of the shifts in context I think leaders need to make to “stay the course” is that they don’t need to keep presenting the vision, they need to be in consistent conversation with people about the vision, what it means to people, how it is being manifested today, and its impact and implications for the future as they see it.

Mike Henry  |  03 May 2011  |  Reply

Chery, thanks for the awesome review. I read the first edition of Full Steam Ahead and I’m looking forward to the second. You can tell when someone excels at what they do and Jesse has a gift for vision. It’s a great book!

Chery Gegelman  |  04 May 2011  |  Reply

Thanks for your response Mike! I agree Jesse has a gift for vision and I’m so glad she is sharing it!
This quote from an unknown author says it all, “We are limited, not by our abilities, but by our vision.”

Maybelle  |  26 Sep 2011  |  Reply

I just managed to finish this book and I can’t help but feel very inspired. Your review and the comments of everyone here attests how vision can help enlighten and simplify work and personal life. Thanks for sharing these notes!

Chery Gegelman  |  26 Sep 2011  |  Reply

Maybelle, It is great to hear from you! So glad you enjoyed the book and the conversation. As you begin to apply some of the learning’s we invite you to share your vision journey and the impact it is having…

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