Craft, Larry L. 1947-

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CRAFT, Larry L. 1947-


Born October 12, 1947; son of W. O. Craft (an attorney); married June 25, 2001; wife's name, Carol S.; children: Janis Joy, Wendi Gayle, David Lawrence. Education: University of Texas, B.B.A., 1970; University of Houston, M.A., 1983; University of Sarasota, Ed.D. (leadership), 1995.


Home—1908 78th St. N.W., Bradenton, FL 34209. Office—Craft Systems, Inc., 1401 Manatee Ave. W., Suite 1100, Bradenton, FL 34205. Agent—Patrika Vaughn, P.O. Box 3691, Sarasota, FL 34230-3691.


Craft Systems, Inc., Bradenton, FL, chief executive officer, 1978—, and member of executive committee.


Finders Keepers, CD Press (Bradenton, FL), 1998.

Hiring and Developing Horsepower, CD Press (Bradenton, FL), 1999.

Successful Parenting, CD Press (Bradenton, FL), 2000.

Quickstart Leadership: All You Need to Know about Hiring and Developing Peak Performers … in Only Half the Time, CD Press (Bradenton, FL), 2003.


Larry L. Craft told CA: "Quickstart Leadership: All You Need to Know about Hiring and Developing Peak Performers … in Only Half the Time was born out of my personal frustration with existing books on leadership that focused on theory instead of practical application. In my personal research involving literally thousands of managers, I found that most business executives have a unique combination of intelligence and intuition. As a result, they typically 'scan-read' most self-help books to find specific tools and solutions that solve their problems. They don't get bogged down with the detail, and they skip past the theories that can't be grounded in the reality of their day-to-day job duties. These managers and executives may have dozens of books on their shelves, but the only ones they've truly had time or interest in reading are those that either make their jobs easier or save them time. Their favorite phrase is 'What's the bottom line?'

"My motivation for writing Quickstart Leadership came primarily from the dozens of management training workshops I've attended, as either a participant or a leader. I found it fascinating that certain topics put the participants on the edge of their seats, yet other topics put them to sleep. Dale Carnegie once said, 'The one thing everyone wants to hear about is themselves.' When the topics became personally relevant, you could see and hear the energy return to every manager. I learned from these experiences (and especially the 'speaker ratings' I received) the secrets of successful communication: avoid theory; focus on applied solutions to relevant issues; and summarize important points. I found that my presentation style could be weak as long as the topics were strong and personal.

"I sincerely believe that Quickstart Leadership is a bottom-line approach that focuses on the most relevant problems and offers practical solutions. The format is specifically designed to allow readers to scan the text to find those issues that are affecting their personal productivity or the productivity of their employees. I've made sure that, wherever there is tension or stress relating to a leadership role, the reader is able to find a solution that can easily be implemented without adverse impact to employees. Whether it's hiring, developing, communication, or motivating employees, there are step-by-step solutions that I've collected over the years from some of the best leaders of highly successful organizations.

"The 'Quickstart' format is just a beginning. I've had the good fortune to collaborate with others to produce other books, including books on feedback and selling. All of the books are designed and formatted to be read in six to eight hours, then placed on the shelf for repeated reference. That's all highly driven, intuitive leaders can handle before they become restless and find themselves shifting to their many other priorities."