Book recommendations for business leaders: 12/13/18

Dec 13, 2018 | 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 Entrepreneurial Leader: A Lifetime of Adventures in Business, Education, and Government, Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, Leaders: Myth and Reality, and Leading Transformation: How to Take Charge of Your Company’s Future. There’s also a list of holiday reading suggestions from faculty members at the Stanford GSB.

From Michael McKinney: William Donaldson on Entrepreneurial Leadership

“WILLIAM DONALDSON has led a full life. He was most notably a co-founder of the investment banking firm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in 1959, served in Henry Kissinger’s State Department, was the founding dean at the Yale School of Management, served as chairman and chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange, turnaround CEO of Aetna, chairman of the SEC, and now CEO of the private investment firm Donaldson Enterprises.”

From Wharton: Can GE Make the Most of Its ‘Reset Moment’?

“One person who understands such challenges is Beth Comstock. She spent nearly 30 years at GE, going from chief marketing officer to vice chair. Before that, she was president of Integrated Media at NBC Universal, where she oversaw ad revenue and digital efforts, including the early development of Hulu. In those roles, she came to appreciate the struggle of innovators under pressure to meet twin goals of short- and long-term success. She tells her story and shares hard-earned advice in her book, Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change.”

From Bill Gates: I couldn’t put down this thriller with a tragic ending

“Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou details the rise and fall of Theranos. If you aren’t familiar with the Theranos story, here’s the short version: the company promised to quickly give you a complete picture of your health using only a small amount of blood. Elizabeth Holmes founded it when she was just 19 years old, and both she and Theranos quickly became the darlings of Silicon Valley. She gave massively popular TED talks and appeared on the covers of Forbes and Fortune.”

From Greg Satell: General Stanley McChrystal Speaks Out On We Need To Redefine Leadership

“In his new book, Leaders: Myth and Reality, McChrystal tells the stories of 13 leaders, ranging from Harriet Tubman and Robert E. Lee to Einstein and Coco Chanel to lift the veil on what makes a successful leader. What he finds is that success doesn’t come from any specific trait or action, but by forging a sense of connection between the leader and the led.”

From Bob Morris: Leading Transformation: A book review

“According to Nathan Furr, Kyle Nel, and Thomas Zoëga Ramsøy, their book introduces ‘a radical new method for doing just that — for driving the kind of change [achieved by Google, IKEA, Lowe’s, Microsoft, Pepsi, the United Nations, and XPRIZE] and for addressing the real, human challenges of change…Our goal with this book is to describe the transformational process and tools that worked for us and for leaders at many organizations around the world…We hope to provide you with a road map for leading transformation in your company [and thereby gain] a new perspective, a new process, and a new, if not even a bit unusual set of tools for leading transformation.”

From Stanford: Here’s What You Should Read over the Holidays

“Seven Stanford business professors recommend their favorite books”

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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