Book recommendations for business leaders: 4/25/19

Apr 25, 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 Win the Heart: How to Create a Culture of Full Engagement, Unlocking the Customer Value Chain: How Decoupling Drives Consumer Disruption, Lessons From My Grandfather: Wisdom for Success in Business and Life, Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries, and How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results. There are also reading recommendations by Dan Rockwell.

From Michael McKinney: Win the Heart: The Four Cornerstones You Need to Build Engagement

“In Win the Heart, Mark Miller lays out the four cornerstones that engagement is built on. In this business fable, CEO Blake Brown senses his company has an engagement problem. He turns to an old mentor, Debbie Brewster for help. This leads him, and his wife on an international hunt for lessons concerning engagement Blake’s Dad had put together from people and places in history.”

From Wharton: What Drives Disruption? (Hint: It’s Not Technology)

“The emergence of a new technology is often cited as what drives the disruption of an industry or business. But that’s not true in most cases, according to Harvard Business School professor Thales Teixeira. Instead, startups disrupt established companies by decoupling the customer value chain — picking one aspect of the business and doing it better than the incumbent.”

From Marc Demetriou: Grandpa Charlie’s 15 Principles for Success in Business and in Life

“Learning from those that came before us is one of the best ways not repeat the mistakes of the past and make the best decisions for the future.”

From Bob Morris: Uniquely Effective Leadership: Loonshooting

“In Loonshots, Safi Bahcall explains how great leaders ‘nurture the crazy ideas that win wars, cure diseases, and transform industries.’ That is, ‘widely dismissed ideas whose champions are often written off as crazy.’ For example, in Chapter 8 he discusses Bob Taylor (head of Xerox PARC) and Bill Coughlin (head of Google’s engineering group) who ‘understood what Ed Catmull [CEO of Pixar] understood about film directors: creative talent responds best to feedback from other creative talent. Peers, rather than authority.'”

From Michal Lev-Ram: Esther Wojcicki’s Secrets for Raising Great Leaders

“Wojcicki, or ‘Woj,’ as she’s known to the 700 teenagers enrolled in her popular Media Arts Program at Palo Alto High School, came up with her own philosophy after many years of teaching and parenting. She lays out the secrets to cultivating effective and ethical leaders in a new book, How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results. Her tried-and-tested formula? It all boils down to TRICK, a catchy acronym that stands for trust, respect, independence, collaboration, and kindness. If Wojcicki’s offspring are any indication, her method works. Her firstborn, Susan Wojcicki, is the CEO of YouTube. Janet Wojcicki is a professor of pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. And Anne Wojcicki, the baby of the family, is the founder and CEO of genetic testing company 23andMe.”

After Dan Rockwell gave a speech, a member of the audience, emailed him and asked for a list of the books he mentioned. Dan responded with “A Must Read List for Growing Leaders” on his blog. Then a reader asked him to cut down the list, so Dan published “Top Five Books For Your Must Read List.

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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