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Robbie Bach, Author, Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal

When I am introduced as Microsoft’s original Chief Xbox Officer (or CXO), I get all kinds of reactions ranging from “Wow, what a great opportunity” to “Can I have your autograph for my son?”  The Xbox saga was a challenging journey in many ways, and when I decided to write a book about the experience, I quickly realized how much I learned and how much I grew as a leader during the sojourn.  Distance has a great way of bringing important insights.  The result of all of this reflection, Xbox Revisited:  A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal, takes the lessons from my time as CXO and applies them to both corporate and civic challenges.  So whether you are a CEO of a for profit business, the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, the head of a government agency, or an individual looking to improve, there are some important truths to take from the trials, challenges, and triumphs of the Xbox team.

The self-help industry and the associated cult of positivity often leave us with an incomplete picture of the environment we find ourselves in. We end up seeing only opportunity without risk and end up relying on hope as a strategy.

But just as crucially, this partial view of reality robs us of the positive potential that negative influences can exert on us.

The story of the aging executive who suffers a heart attack only to turn their lives around and become a health enthusiast is almost cliché, and yet it’s an important reminder that bad news isn’t always bad for us.

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When I ran my own agency, I knew that intrigue was crucial to getting a potential client involved, but if I failed to deliver something of substance, I would have never secured those clients, or I’d have soon lost them. And the key to delivering substance was research. Every time we pitched a company, we made bold claims, but they were always backed up by facts. The formula was simple enough: Ask the right question about the organization, provide an answer, and then provide a solution.



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