Suggested Reading

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  • Leading Change

    by John Kotter

    In Leading Change, John Kotter provides an excellent roadmap for all leaders trying to orchestrate change throughout their organizations. He identifies the most common mistakes leaders and managers make in attempting to create change and offers an eight-step process to become adept at change: establishing a greater sense of urgency, creating the guiding coalition, developing a vision, communicating the change vision, empowering others to act, creating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing even more change, and anchoring new approaches in the culture. By improving their ability to change, organizations can increase their chances for success, both now and in the future. Every business leader can profit from Kotter’s thinking on change.

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  • Competing for the Future

    Breakthrough Strategies for Seizing Control of Your Industry and Creating Markets of Tomorrow

    by Gary Hamel and C K Prahalad

    This is one of the best books on strategy. Period. Competing for the Future offers a blueprint for what a company must be doing today if it is to exploit the opportunities of tomorrow. The traditional view of strategy is much too static. Hamel and Prahalad contend that smart organizations are able to reshape their industries, they are able to reinvent things and reconceptualize their industries in ways that create a different future. The traditional view of strategy is almost like a Sun Tzu, Art of War, approach: How do we compete given the conditions of the battlefield? Hamel and Prahalad argue that you should change the rules, change the battlefield, and change the game.

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  • The Effective Executive

    The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

    by Peter Drucker

    There are hundreds of books on the topic of executive effectiveness, but there have been very few things said in the interim that Peter Drucker hadn't already figured out in the 1960s. What makes an effective executive? The measure of the executive, Drucker reminds us, is the ability to "get the right things done." This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can, and must, be learned: managing time, choosing what to contribute to the organization, knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect, setting the right priorities, and tying all of them together with effective decision-making. When you reduce his ideas down, they seem obvious. But it took this teacher of wisdom to combine these insights into a book.

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  • Leadership is an Art

    by Max De Pree

    Leadership is an Art says more about leadership in clearer, more elegant, and more convincing language than many of the much longer books that have been published on the subject. De Pree looks at leadership as a kind of stewardship, stressing the importance of building relationships, initiating ideas, and creating a lasting value system within an organization. Rather than focusing on the “hows” of leadership, he explains the “whys.” He shows that the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality and the last is to say thank you. Along the way, the artful leader must: stimulate effectiveness by enabling others to reach both their highest potential; take a role in developing, expressing, and defending values; nurture new leaders; and ensure the continuation of the corporate culture. This is a must-read on the topic of leadership and business management.

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  • First, Break All the Rules

    What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

    by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

    No matter how generous its pay or how renowned its training, the company that lacks effective managers will suffer. But the most effective managers seem to have little in common. They differ in sex, age, and race. They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals. Yet despite their differences, great managers share one common trait: They do not hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organization present the findings of their study of great managers across organizations of all types and sizes. Whatever their situations, the managers who ultimately became the focus of Gallup's research were invariably those who excelled at turning each employee's talent into performance. This book has important lessons for managers at every level of an organization.

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  • The Goal

    A Process of Ongoing Improvement

    by EliyahuGoldratt and Jeff Cox

    The Goal is a story that revolves around saving a manufacturing plant, but the principles used to save it apply to every industry and every kind of business. The Goal contains an important insight, the Theory of Constraints. The theory says that every system, no matter how well it performs, has at least one constraint that limits its performance – this is the system's "weakest link." These are where bottlenecks occur that prevent an organization from maximizing its performance and reaching its goals. Constraints can involve people, supplies, information, equipment, or even policies, and they can be internal or external to an organization. A leader must continually focus on identifying and unlocking the primary constraint of the business. The Goal is a must-have book for any leader with a serious desire to drive real, organizational improvement and change.

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  • Switch

    How To Change When Change Is Hard

    by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

    Switch is about making change happen, despite our tendency to fight it. Change management traditionally focuses on process. But the authors of Made to Stick combine psychology, sociology, management, and case studies, to tell stories of people and organizations who have successfully implemented significant changes—even when change is hard. The Heaths show that some of the most transformative managers follow a pattern of change. They argue that the trick to making things happen quickly on a large scale is to sync emotional thinking with rationale thinking. Switch is an entertaining read and makes its points with humor and diverting anecdotes.

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  • Multipliers

    How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

    by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown

    Multipliers delivers a thought-provoking assessment of why some leaders drain capability and intelligence from their teams while others amplify it to produce better results. “Multipliers" are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the intelligence and capabilities of the people around them. On the other hand, “diminishers" are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment. Multipliers can have a positive and profitable effect on organizations—getting more done with fewer resources, developing and attracting top talent, and cultivating new ideas and energy by accessing all the intelligence that sits inside their organizations.

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  • Influence

    The Psychology of Persuasion

    by Robert Cialdini,

    Persuasion is at the heart of business, where leaders must reach customers, clients, employees, and suppliers. Influence is a classic book on the core principals of persuasion and is a great example of how psychological principles apply to the business world. You'll learn the six universal principles of ethical persuasion: reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. Cialdini shows how to use the principles to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Based on research and interviews — with a wide range of top persuaders—Cialdini explains the psychology behind what moves people to say “yes” and how to translatethis information into the real world.

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  • Moneyball

    The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

    by Michael Lewis

    Most businesses measure the wrong things. Traditional financial statements tell something about where the business has been but they don’t reveal very much about the “why” or give much of an idea about where the business is going. Using his masterful storytelling skills, Lewis tells a captivating story of how one baseball team used data to become one of the most successful teams of its era, despite having the lowest payroll. “Moneyball” delivers an urgent business lesson about moving beyond the way things have always been done and challenging the conventions of your profession, your industry, and your own way of thinking—to find new ways to succeed. “Moneyball” is a good sports book, but an outstanding business book.

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