Book recommendations for business leaders: 12/19/19

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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 Agility: How to Navigate the Unknown and Seize Opportunity in a World of Disruption, Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character, and Why Are We Yelling? The Art of Productive Disagreement. Plus, there’s Strategy+Business’ picks of the best strategy books of 2019.

From Bob Morris: Agility

“Leo M. Tilman and General Charles Jacoby define agility as the organizational capacity ‘to effectively detect, assess and respond to environmental changes in ways that are purposeful, decisive and grounded in the will to win.’ In the business world, for example, that capacity is essential in a global environment that has become more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than at any prior time that I can recall.”

From Michael McKinney: Sailing True North and the Voyage of Character

“Four-star U.S. Navy Admiral and former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO James Stavridis gives us a comprehensive look at ten admirals in Sailing True North. He looks at their differing character traits and personalities and the effect it had not only on their careers but on those they lead.”

From Nir Eyal: How to (Finally) Put an End to Pointless Arguing

“With the release of his new book, Why Are We Yelling? The Art of Productive Disagreement, I suspect many more people are about to become Buster Benson fans. His book is a beautifully written and illuminating look into why we so often fight with the people we love. It’s a guide for productive disagreement. Benson argues that conflict need not be unpleasant and if done right, can lead to greater understanding and cooperation.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Strategy+Business: Best Business Books 2019: Strategy

“Leaders of large companies are typically not short on confidence — until it comes to their own strategy. In research conducted by Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting group, we find that 65 percent of executives across industries don’t think their company has a winning strategy. And who could blame them? The media and stock market tell us that the biggest incumbents are simply too large to innovate effectively in the face of disruption, that they can’t recognize the oncoming wave until it swamps them. And even if they are able to grasp the existential challenge they face, it is really hard to come up with a holistic functional strategy on the fly.”

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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