Book recommendations for business leaders: 9/20/18

Sep 20, 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 Janesville: A Story of Recovery After the Great Recession, Leap: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied, The Future of Work: Robots, AI, and Automation, and This is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters. There’s also a reading list from the Stanford GSB faculty.

From Wharton: Janesville: A Story of Recovery After the Great Recession

“No American city was spared from the economic disaster caused by the Great Recession. Conditions were especially hard in Janesville, Wisconsin, where a long-standing General Motors plant provided jobs that put food on the table for many generations of families. When the plant shuttered, taking thousands of jobs with it, the town had to figure out a new future. Amy Goldstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with The Washington Post, weaves a powerful narrative about strength and resilience in her book, Janesville: An American Story.”

From Michael McKinney: Leap: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied

“Howard Yu explains in Leap: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied, how a business can shield itself from copycats. (The stories are absorbing and alone are worth the price of the book.)”

From Adi Gaskell: 5 Ways To Thrive When The World Is Always Changing

“The 4th industrial revolution is one that is typified by a rapid pace of change, and whilst there is some well deserved scepticism to this general Zeitgeist, it is perhaps understandable that companies are doing their best to protect themselves from the threat of disruption. This is the topic of IMD Business School’s Howard Yu’s latest book, where he argues that incumbents in an industry are especially vulnerable to disruption when their knowledge becomes stagnant.”

From Bob Morris: The Future of Work

“To West’s substantial credit, most of the information, insights, and counsel he provides will be invaluable both to those who manage and to those who are managed in the workplace of the future. Like customers, employees have more and better choices than ever before that must be accommodated. Their needs, interests, issues, and preferences have significant implications and potential consequences. In turn, employees must recognize — and appreciate — the challenges that managers face each day in a business world that has become more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than at any prior time that I can remember.”

From James daSilva: Day One: Committing to a broader definition of leadership

“There are two big problems with how leadership is discussed and rewarded. The first is that leadership is equated with status, so that people in management positions or authority roles are automatically thought of as leaders (and, by default, effective leaders). The second is that leadership takes many forms but is usually only discussed in terms of heroic, vocal or aggressive leadership.”

From Jenny Luna: What Does “Catalyst” Mean to You?

“The theme for the Summer issue of Stanford Business magazine is ‘catalyst.’ Merriam-Webster defines the word as ‘an agent that provokes significant change,’ but we felt the term had more depth and nuance than that, especially when it comes to businesses and their impact on society. In an attempt to further flesh out the concept, we asked several faculty members at Stanford Graduate School of Business to recommend books, articles, films, reports, and other media related to theme. Here are their recommendations.”

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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