Suggested Reading

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  • More Than a Motorcycle

    The Leadership Journey at Harley-Davidson

    by Rich Teerlink and Lee Ozley

    “More Than a Motorcycle” is the story behind the story of the transformation of an American icon, as told by the two individuals most deeply involved in that process. The book chronicles the triumphs and setbacks along Harley-Davidson’s difficult journey from a traditional ‘command-and-control’ culture to an open, participative learning environment. Teerlink and Ozley deliver three fundamental messages: people are a company’s only sustainable competitive advantage; there is no ‘quick fix’ to effect lasting, beneficial organizational change; and, leadership is not a person, but a process to which everyone must contribute. They provide practical, reality-tested prescriptions for critical tasks like developing employee alignment, building structures that support participation, and implementing effective reward programs. Finally, they draw lessons from the Harley experience—lessons about values, trust, and community—that apply to any business. This honest, detailed, and compelling description of the transformation at Harley-Davidson is a must-read for anyone attempting to lead organizational change.

  • Pour Your Heart Into It

    How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

    by Howard Schultz and Dori Jones Yang

    Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, and writer-researcher Yang trace the growth and development of Starbucks from a single store in Seattle, which in 1973 sold only dark-roasted coffee beans, to the international business success it has become today. Schultz’s initial goals were to introduce Americans to really great coffee, provide people with a “third place” to gather, and treat his employees with dignity. The extent to which he succeeded and the obstacles encountered along the way are the subjects he tackles in “Pour Your Heart Into It.” Schultz illustrates the principles that have shaped the Starbucks phenomenon, driven its remarkable growth, and led the company to market dominance. The insights contained in “Pour Your Heart Into It” are applicable for any entrepreneur, manager, or marketer.

  • From Worst to First

    Behind the Scenes of Continental's Remarkable Comeback

    by Gordon Bethune

    In “From Worst to First,” Gordon Bethune tells how he led the transformation of twice-bankrupt Continental Airlines into a award winning company after years as an unprofitable airline hated by employees and customers alike. Under Bethune’s leadership, Continental became one of the most respected and reliable airlines in the industry. According to Bethune, everything you do to create a successful company will depend on your ability to create, develop and maintain good, healthy, honest and straightforward relationships. Bethune argues that there’s no such thing as a successful company that has a product nobody wants and where employees don’t want to come to work. Therefore, you need to create an environment in which employees create added value by serving the customers and each other. When people feel good about the value they’re creating, they become highly motivated. “From Worst to First” is a great read for all managers. If you are willing to change the way you’re running your business, this book is an excellent guide.

  • Built from Scratch

    How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew The Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion

    by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank

    “Built from Scratch” is about two businessmen who achieve the American Dream by fundamentally changing home-improvement retailing. Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, cofounders of the Home Depot, explain how they established the first national chain in the industry by concentrating on low prices, customer service, and strong leadership values. Marcus and Blank began Home Depot in Atlanta with little backing and lost $1 million in its first year of operation, but today Home Depot is one of the great business successes. The authors candidly discuss setbacks, including a multimillion-dollar discrimination settlement, as well as ideas gone bad. “Built from Scratch” complete with real world advice for any business leader.

  • Direct from Dell

    Strategies That Revolutionized an Industry

    by Michael Dell and Catherine Freedman

    At nineteen, Michael Dell started his company as a freshman at the University of Texas with $1,000 and has since built an industry powerhouse. As Dell journeys through his childhood adventures, ups and downs, and mistakes made along the way, he reflects on invaluable lessons learned. Michael Dell’s revolutionary insight has allowed him to persevere against all odds, and “Direct from Dell” contains valuable information for any business leader. His strategies will show you effective ways to grow your business and will help you save time by avoiding costly mistakes by following his direct model for success. The lessons contained in “Direct From Dell” are applicable for any leader building a business.

  • Sam Walton

    Made In America

    by Sam Walton

    In “Made in America,” Sam Walton offers plenty of advice and detail about how he managed to work against the odds and challenges of growing up in the Great Depression to becoming the richest man in America. In a story rich with anecdotes, Sam Walton explains the philosophies and strategies behind Wal-Mart’s rise from nothing to be the largest retailer in the world in one generation. Nobody can deny Sam Walton’s success and everybody can learn from his story. He never claimed to be the foundation of all the ideas that made him successful but showed how he could weave what he learned from others into a great fabric of success. In this book, you’ll meet the man and journey with him as he grew his business step by step to the giant that it is.

  • Beyond Entrepreneurship

    Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company

    by Jim Collins and William Lazier

    In “Beyond Entrepreneurship,” Collins and Lazier aim to help entrepreneurs make the shift from starting a successful business to building a great company by focusing on leadership style, vision, strategy, innovation, and tactical excellence. Collins and Lazier argue that great companies meet four criteria: sustain high performance, play a significant leadership role in shaping their industries, are admired and respected, and remain successful for generations. This is a practical handbook for turning an existing small to mid-sized enterprise into an enduring great company.

  • The Entrepreneurial Mindset

    Strategies for Continuously Creating Opportunity in an Age of Uncertainty

    by Rita McGrath and Ian MacMillan

    “The Entrepreneurial Mindset” is a blueprint for building entrepreneurial organizations. Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian MacMillan have written both a guide to energizing the organization to find tomorrow’s opportunities and a set of entrepreneurial principles, which can be used to transform your market. Using lessons drawn from leading entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies, “The Entrepreneurial Mindset” presents a set of practices for capitalizing on uncertainty and rapid change. This book provides simple but powerful ways to stop acting by the old rules and start thinking as an entrepreneur. “The Entrepreneurial Mindset” is about succeeding in an unpredictable world. It will help everyone from entrepreneurs to managers of large corporations develop insights to build entrepreneurial organizations.

  • Hidden Value

    How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results With Ordinary People

    by Charles O’Reilly and Jeffrey Pfeffer

    “Hidden Value” argues that the best companies win not by acquiring the right people—but by building the right organization. O’Reilly and Pfeffer warn that most companies place too much effort on attracting star performers while smart companies are doing something much more advantageous and far more difficult to copy – they’re building organizations that make it possible for ordinary people at every level of an organization to do extraordinary things. The authors provide detailed case studies of several organizations in different industries – including Southwest Airlines, Cisco Systems, The Men’s Wearhouse, and NUMMI – to illustrate how long-term success comes from value-driven, interrelated systems that align good people management with corporate strategy.

  • Hidden Champions of the Twenty-First Century

    Success Strategies of Unknown Market Leaders

    by Hermann Simon

    Herman Simon defines “Hidden Champions” as medium-sized, unknown companies that have quietly, under the radar, become market leaders in their respective industries. Going inside more than a thousand hidden champions around the world, Simon reveals the common patterns, behaviors, and approaches that make these secretive companies successful by resisting popular management fads, and pursuing such common-sense strategies such as focusing on core capabilities (defining a narrow market), establishing long-term relationships with customers, innovating continuously, build a strong corporate culture, and developing a global presence. The hidden champions represent a clear contrast to the shortsighted practices that have brought many corporate giants crashing down, and prove that even management in the 21st Century should be based on healthy common sense.