Book recommendations for business leaders: 3/29/18

Mar 29, 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 When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Leonardo Da Vinci, Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First, Leadership From the Inside Out, and Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It.

From Wharton: Why Timing Is – Almost – Everything

“It seems modern life has become a 24-hour frenzy of productivity, where to-do lists get longer and sleep is often sacrificed. Night owls and morning larks alike have had to adjust their internal rhythms to match the pace of the world around them. But decades of solid research indicate doing that may not be the best way to reach peak efficiency or make good decisions. Looking for a better way to manage the ‘when’ decisions in his own life, New York Times best-selling author Daniel Pink dove into the research and was inspired to write his latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing”

From Mike Haberman: Lessons from the genius of Leonardo da Vinci

“Fair warning. This post has nothing to do with HR. It is all about personal improvement. I just finished reading Walter Isaacson’s biography, Leonardo Da Vinci. This is a well-written book about a fascinating man.”

From Bob Morris: Talent Wins

“Ram Charan, Dominic Barton, and Dennis Carey nail it in the Introduction to their book: ‘Most executives today recognize the competitive advantage of talent, yet the talent practices in their organizations use are vestiges of another era. They were designed for predictable environments, traditional ways of getting work done, and organizations where lines and boxes defined how people wre managed. As work and organizations become more fluid — and business comes to to mean sensing snd seizing new opportunities in a constantly changing environment, rather than panning for several years into a predictable future — companies must deploy talent in new ways. In fact, talent must lead strategy.'”

From Skip Prichard: Leadership from the Inside Out

“I first read Leadership From the Inside Out years ago. It is one of the books that helps build a foundation of knowledge for leaders. That’s why I was excited to see that it is now out in a new version with updated chapters, new case studies and stories, and even more practical exercises to help everyone achieve their leadership potential. Author Kevin Cashman is the Global Leader of CEO & Executive Development at Korn Ferry. He has advised thousands of senior leaders across almost every industry. We recently talked about his updated book and his leadership views.”

From Michael McKinney: Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It

“As systems become more complex, we are more vulnerable to unexpected system failures. In Meltdown, the authors examine a fatal D.C. Metro train accident, the Three Mile Island disaster, the collapse of Enron, the 2012 meltdown of Knight Capital, the Flint water crisis, and the 2017 Oscars mix-up, among other meltdowns, and discover that while these failures stem from very different problems, their underlying causes are surprisingly similar. These stories told here are a compelling look behind the scenes of why failures occur in today’s many complex systems.”

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.