Book recommendations for business leaders: 12/12/19

Dec 12, 2019 | Reading Lists

Stephen King says that if you want to be a writer, there are two things you must do: read a lot and write a lot. This is about the “read a lot” part. I include reading lists and book reviews that will help you do business more effectively and write better for business.

In this post, I point you to reviews of Covert Cows and Chick-fil-A: How Faith, Cows, and Chicken Built an Iconic Brand. That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea, Sailing True North:Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character, The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership, and Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick: People, Probabilities, and Big Moves to Beat the Odds.

From Michael McKinney: Our Stewardship Responsibility

“THE CHICK-FIL-A corporate purpose statement goes like this:To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A. In Covert Cows and Chick-fil-A, former executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, Steve Robinson explains that for Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, the most important phase in the purpose statement was, ‘by being a faithful Steward.’ And the most important word in that phrase was ‘by.'”

From Greg Satell: The Truth Behind Netflix’s Incredible Success

“Ordinarily, a big success like Netflix would offer valuable lessons for the rest of us. Unfortunately its story has long been so shrouded in myth and misinformation. That’s why Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph’s new book, That Will Never Work, is so valuable. It not only sets the story straight, it offers valuable insight into how to create a successful business.”

From Bob Morris: Sailing True North

“As I began to read James Stavridis’ latest book, I was again reminded of another whose author also focuses on military leaders. In Edgar Puryear’s Nineteen Stars: A Study in Military Character and Leadership (1973/2003), they are three five-star generals (George Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, and Douglas MacArthur) and another with four-stars, George Patton. All are directly associated with World War Two.”

Wally’s Comment: 19 Stars is one of the great unknown books about leadership development. It’s also one of the very few that discuss the factor of luck.

From Kevin Eikenberry: The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership

“In the 100th year of the NFL, it is common to read about all of ‘the bests’ in league history. While as of this writing the top 8 coaches in history haven’t all been named, I’m willing to wager that Bill Walsh will be one of them. As such, his philosophy of leadership. Soon after his death, this book, that he had worked on with Steve Jamison, was published.”

From McKinsey & Company: How to measure your strategy’s odds of success

“In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast, McKinsey senior partners Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit speak with communications director Sean Brown about their book, Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick. In this first of three podcasts, the co-authors discuss the power curve of economic profit and how this empirical analysis can help companies calibrate their performance aspirations and cut through the social dynamics that produce inertia.”

From Michael McKinney: James Mattis: My Favorite Books

“I collected several thousand books for my personal library. I read broadly and selected a few battles and areas where I was weak to study deeply. Asked by a fellow Marine to provide specific examples, I sent him a list of my favorite books.”

Wally’s Comment: I copied out General Mattis’ list of books and planned to share it here. Michael McKinney beat me to it. Not only that, he made the list more usable by dividing it by type of book. Thanks, Michael.

Reading recommendations are a regular feature of this blog. Want more recommendations about what to read? Check out my Three Star Leadership blog, Michael McKinney’s LeadingBlog, and Skip Prichard’s Leadership Insights.

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