Is your company on a clear track to the future, with a defined goal that sets its direction and with determined employees powering its engine? Or is it stumbling toward whatever comes next, dragged along by circumstance, or "staying the course" out of fear?Karl Albrecht, renowned business thinker and co-author of the bestseller Service America!, challenges today's business leaders to embark on a journey on The Northbound Train. His northbound train is a metaphor for achieving a focused vision of the direction your company must take to succeed and then moving inexorably toward that goal. And as Albrecht shows, this vision must always be based upon an understanding of what will create value for your customers.In The Northbound Train Albrecht provides a step-by-step guide to soul searching, strategy setting, and customer wooing. Using insightful, real-world examples of effective and ineffective processes, he helps you map out a path - a strategic success model - that your company must follow to find out what makes its business unique. He illustrates how to formulate a reality-based vision; define your company's core values and philosophy; create a company mission statement that is accurate, concise, and inspiring; evaluate your competitive strategy to see if it's based on real strengths; reach a unified concept for creating value for your customers; and distill these decisions, finally, into a few critical areas of focus.Of course, all this thinking and planning is useless if the people in your organization are not "on board." Albrecht explains that "the leader must help people in the organization understand and commit to the vision. And the leader must help them learn to do what it takes to make the vision a reality." The author provides advice for exactly how to lead your company (or your portion of the company) in the right direction and how to reward employees based on their real, verifiable contributions to that end-of-the-track goal.Is your company ready to board the northbound train? The trip requires just three things: the eagerness to ask fundamental business questions, the courage to listen to the answers and face what must be done, and the stamina to keep at it until the necessary changes take place. The Northbound Train will stock you with the provisions you need to be successful: the inspiration of a great business thinker and a process for keeping on track.