pacing-for-growth-why-intelligent-restraint-drives-long-term-growthAuthor: Alison Eyring, PhD
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Book Review by: Sonu Chandiram – 180 pages

Alison Eyring is a long-distance runner and tri-athlete. She knows the importance of going at the right pace to win the race. Go too fast, and burn out. Go too slow, then try to catch up, but it’s too difficult, and you’ve lost the race.

She has 25 years’ experience advising leaders of multinational companies in the United States, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, helping them drive business growth for the long haul.

She writes that she founded her firm in Asia in 2000 with three people, and today has more than 50 consultants working across five continents.

What is the proper way of pacing yourself to win, not only in the athletic field but also very importantly, in business, against your competitors? If you’re a business owner or manager…

This is the book for you. You may belong to the 70 percent of South Asian households owning a business. The 2010 U.S. Census’ count was 5.2 million South Asian individuals in the United States. Let’s take an average of five members in such a unit, which gives you 1,040,000 households. That comes to 728,000 business-owning households. Let’s call them families, to be more personal.

If you are a member of such a family – father, mother, son, or daughter – this book will provide you the necessary tools to grow your business. (Of course you do not have to be a South Asian to benefit from it). Here are some reasons why I consider this work a highly useful guide for success in achieving growth for your business:

  1. You do not need an MBA to understand the simple tested principles and rules Dr. Eyring lays out, although probably many of you have such a postgraduate degree.
  2. You do not need to have the memory capacity of a dolphin or elephant to remember the practical tips presented and discussed briefly in the nine short chapters of this book.
  3. You will love this book for the simple and clear language the author uses to explain concepts and ideas discovered from research and based on case studies. The case studies are examples of efforts companies undertook, and why they succeeded or failed.
  4. The organization and layout of the material presented in each chapter of this book is superb. Here are the basic components of the chapters:
  5. Chapter title
  6. Topic
  7. Subtopics
  8. Summing Up
  9. Ask Yourself

To inform you of what you will find in this short but practical, evidence-based guide based on the author’s experience and insight, we provide you below an overview of its contents:


  • Part 1. Principles of Intelligent Restraint
  • Chapter 1: When Restraint Is Important
  • Chapter 2: Principle One: Capacity Determine How Far and Fast You Can Go
  • Chapter 3: Principle Two: The Right Capabilities Increase Capacity
  • Chapter 4: Principle Three: The Right Pace Wins the Race
  • Part 2. The Rules of Intelligent Restraint
  • Chapter 5: Rule #1: Focus Overrules Vision
  • Chapter 6: Rule #2: Routines Beat Strengths
  • Chapter 7: Rule #3: Exert, Ten Recover
  • Part 3. Put Intelligent Restraint to Work
  • Chapter 8: Scale to Grow
  • Chapter 9: Lead with Intelligent Restraint


Alison Eyring advocates using ‘intelligent restraint’ in growing companies. Marshall Goldsmith, who wrote the Foreword to this book, describes that approach as “thoughtful and measured” and adopting the attitude for yourself and your teams of “growing every day” for self-improvement and improvement of the company as well.

This is a good book for those who own or run a business, desiring sustained growth.



Alison Eyring, PhD is Founder and CEO of Organisation Solutions. For over 25 years, she has advised top global and regional executives in Fortune/FTSE 500 companies and some of the world’s most innovative and high-growth companies on leadership and growth.