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12.31.16

LeadershipNow 140: December 2016 Compilation

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:37 AM
| Comments (0) | LeadershipNow 140

12.25.16

The Best Leadership Books of 2016

Best Leadership Books of 2016

ONCE AGAIN we see that despite our rhetoric, what we are is reflected in our leaders and leadership. Actions have consequences and continuity of character matters. We need to be “urgently” reflective because too often by the time we find out it’s broken, it’s been broken for a very long time.

As technology becomes more disruptive and we see more importance placed on big data and artificial intelligence, what will matter most are those things that make us human – the soft skills. Creating meaning, teaching, empathy, self control, creativity, emotional intelligence, and the ability to define consequences, will be indispensable skills to prosper in the future.

In this uncertain environment, including the mounting global economic concerns, a humble mindset will be the only thing that will unlock the most promising business, social and economic innovations. An oversized ego inevitably leads to blindness and an inability to formulate good answers.

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9781455586691
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
by Cal Newport

To thrive in the new economy—the current information economy—you need to master these two core abilities: 1. The ability to quickly master hard things. (If you can’t learn you can’t thrive.) and 2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed. (To produce tangible results that people value.) These two abilities depend on your ability to perform deep work. “To succeed,” writes Newport, “you have to produce the absolute best stuff you’re capable of producing—a task that requires depth. A deep life is a good life.” (Blog Post)


9781591847830
Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent
by Sydney Finkelstein

Although Superbosses may differ in leadership styles, they share a playbook that leads to extraordinary success founded on making other people successful. Superbosses can be fierce or gentle, belligerent or self-depreciating, but whatever their style, they do a much better job inspiring and teaching because they get in their trenches with protégés, leading by example and giving them personalized attention they require to move up quickly. (Blog Post)


9780525429562
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
by Adam Grant

There are so few originals in life. “We find surface ways of appearing original—donning a bow tie, wearing bright red shoes—without taking the risk of actually being original. When it comes to the powerful ideas in our heads and the core values in our hearts, we censor ourselves.” Adam Grant demonstrates how originality, can and should be taught and nurtured. Anyone can innovate if given the opportunity and the support. He provides practical tools to “unleash” the hidden creativity in all of us. However, not just for ourselves but also to build cultures of originality both at home and at work. (Blog Post)


9781633690141
The Three-Box Solution: A Strategy for Leading Innovation
by Vijay Govindarajan

Ultimately our future is not in linear—incremental—improvements. It is in nonlinear—nonconforming, breakthrough—change. But the future is built in the now and that’s the problem. What should we be doing now to insure we have a future? Dartmouth professor Vijay Govindarajan writes, “As much as we might pay lip service to the fact that the future will differ dramatically from the past, we often behave as though it will be exactly the same.” There is a tension between and what we have to do now to continue on as an entity and what we need to be doing now to create our future along with the things that we are doing that get in our way of doing any of it. How do we create the future while managing the present? (Blog Post)


9781119144281
Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader
by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner have written a new book that examines a fundamental question: How do people learn leadership? How do they learn to become leaders? Learning Leadership is a comprehensive guide to unleashing the inner-leader in us all and to building a solid foundation for a lifetime of leadership growth and mastery. The book offers a concrete framework to help individuals of all levels, functions, and backgrounds take charge of their own leadership development and become the best leaders they can be. (Blog Post)


9781576877715
64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World
by Kevin Roberts

In 64 Shots, Roberts draws on the biggest ideas, toughest experiences and greatest influences of his life to present 16X4 stripped down, straight-forward and instantly-absorbable insights on how to bring order to the chaos of business and life. The punchy insights into winning - hitting readers lightly jab after jab - are an array of one-liners, sound bites, tweets, charts, quotes and historical reference points. They are loaded with Roberts' experience, story, brio, provocation and direction.


9781626567153
The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves
by The Arbinger Institute

Unknowingly, too many of us operate from an inward mindset—a narrow-minded focus on self-centered goals and objectives. When faced with personal ineffectiveness or lagging organizational performance, most of us instinctively look for quick-fix behavioral band-aids, not recognizing the underlying mindset at the heart of our most persistent challenges. Through true stories and simple yet profound guidance and tools, The Outward Mindset enables individuals and organizations to make the one change that most dramatically improves performance, sparks collaboration, and accelerates innovation—a shift to an outward mindset.


9781501109799
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
by Robert Cialdini

The author of the legendary bestseller Influence, social psychologist Robert Cialdini shines a light on effective persuasion and reveals that the secret doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered. What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? Using the same combination of rigorous scientific research and accessibility that made his Influence an iconic bestseller, he explains how to capitalize on the essential window of time before you deliver an important message. This “privileged moment for change” prepares people to be receptive to a message before they experience it. Optimal persuasion is achieved only through optimal pre-suasion. In other words, to change “minds” a pre-suader must also change “states of mind.”


9781119116332
Hopping over the Rabbit Hole: How Entrepreneurs Turn Failure into Success
by Anthony Scaramucci

So much of successful entrepreneurship is learning to lead yourself. It requires some luck, but more than anything it means always pressing forward and a good dose of creativity especially when things don’t look good. It’s not surprising then that Anthony Scaramucci’s book, Hopping Over The Rabbit Hole is not just an important read for would-be entrepreneurs but anyone who looking move through life in a forward direction. (Blog Post)


9781633691742
Managing in the Gray: Five Timeless Questions for Resolving Your Toughest Problems at Work
by Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.

Joseph Badaracco offers five questions we should be asking to resolve the inevitable gray areas we will all face from time to time. Gray areas demand our best judgment. The five questions provide a way to get there. They are “a distinctive way of sizing up gray area issues, analyzing them carefully, grappling with their full, human complexity, and then—and only then—making final decisions.” (Blog Post)


9781591847755
Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways
by William C. Taylor

There's no such thing as an average or old-fashioned business, just average or old-fashioned ways to do business. In fact, the opportunity to reach for extraordinary may be most pronounced in settings that have been far too ordinary for far too long. The story of this book, its message for leaders who aim to do something important and build something great, is both simple and subversive: In a time of wrenching disruptions and exhilarating advances, of unrelenting turmoil and unlimited promise, the future is open to everybody. The thrill of breakthrough creativity and breakaway performance . . . can be summoned in all sorts of industries and all walks of life, if leaders can reimagine what’s possible in their fields.


9781119209591
The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues
by Patrick M. Lencioni

Beyond the fable, Lencioni presents a practical framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring, and developing ideal team players. Whether you’re a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork, a staffing professional looking to hire real team players, or a team player wanting to improve yourself, this book will prove to be as useful as it is compelling.



2016bestbookpick

Biographies:

9781501135910
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
by Phil Knight

Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. Knight details the many terrifying risks he encountered along the way, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors, the countless doubters and haters and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs and narrow escapes. Above all, he recalls the foundational relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike.


9780307959492
A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service
by Robert M Gates

In a time when change is not just inevitable, but must be encouraged and led, Robert Gates’ A Passion for Leadership is a must read. Gates offers from experience, strategies, techniques, and principles for implementing change. He includes many examples from the organizations he has served. (Blog Post)


9781613749531
Preston Tucker and His Battle to Build the Car of Tomorrow
by Steve Lehto

Steve Lehto tackles the story of Tucker's amazing rise and tragic fall, relying on a huge trove of documents that has been used by no other writer to date. It is the first comprehensive, authoritative account of Tucker's magnificent car and his battles with the government. And in this book, Lehto finally answers the questions automobile aficionados have wondered about for decades: Exactly how and why was the production of such an innovative car killed?


9781594204845
The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan
by Sebastian Mallaby

This is definitive biography of the most important economic statesman of our time. It is the product of over five years of research based on untrammeled access to his subject and his closest professional and personal intimates, brings into vivid focus the mysterious point where the government and the economy meet. To understand Greenspan's story is to see the economic and political landscape of the last 30 years—and the presidency from Reagan to George W. Bush—in a whole new light. As the most influential economic statesman of his age, Greenspan spent a lifetime grappling with a momentous shift: the transformation of finance from the fixed and regulated system of the post-war era to the free-for-all of the past quarter century. The story of Greenspan is also the story of the making of modern finance, for good and for ill.



Related Interest:
Best Leadership Books of 2015
Best Leadership Books of 2014
Best Leadership Books of 2013

Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:32 AM
| Comments (0) | Books

12.22.16

How to Matter: The 5 Key Ways Companies Win


Matter

IN TODAY'S ECONOMY of volatility and velocity, the lifespan of a Fortune 500 company has plummeted from an average 50 years to a mere fifteen. When constant disruption is the new normal, how do companies succeed? They find a way to matter.

When we looked at thirty-plus case studies of successful companies, we found that they all share an audacious approach to disruption. Large to small, in fields from construction to tech to health care, they win hearts, minds and wallets by innovating ways to stay the obvious choice in the market. Here are five key ways that winning companies stay on top:

1. Embrace disruption. Great companies recognize disruption and face it. They don’t try to stick to business as usual. They see disruption as an opportunity to adapt and grow, staying the obvious choice in the changing marketplace.

Case in point: Burberry. When threatened by faster, cheaper online competitors, the legendary retail company confronted this digital disruption head-on. CEO Angela Arendt and her team created digital and omni-channel shopping experiences to stay relevant. By adding digital without compromising the quality of the 160-year-old brand, Burberry regained market superiority in the new retail economy.

2. Offer more value. By solving challenges their costumers, employees and stakeholders face, companies become the ones that matter. They offer value by identifying an authentic need and meeting it.

Case in point: Blueshore Financial. This former working-class credit union in British Columbia seized an opportunity that bigger banks missed: unique customer experience. Financial “spas” with personalized, concierge service and expert advice transformed Blueshore into the bank of choice for affluent clients. In 2014, it had more than twice the administration assets of its closest competitors.

3. Seek out the right partners. Smart companies create strategic partnerships to help mitigate the volatility and velocity that disrupt the marketplace.

Case in point: DeBeers. New Russian mines began producing a bumper crop of diamonds that threatened to flood the market. DeBeers worked out a partnership to become their sole distributor, and control supply. The legacy firm continues to innovate and form key partnerships to sustain the health of the marketplace.

4. Care about more than profits. Successful organizations embrace a broad perspective when tackling challenges and align company values with strategic initiatives to improve lives.

Case in point: Unilever. When the soap giant wanted to cross into nonwestern markets, it identified a cultural gap and a serious social need. Washing hands was not a habit, and children’s rates of fatal infections and diarrhea were high as a result. Unilever partnered with Red Cross and UNICEF hygiene initiatives including a grassroots, mother-to-mother campaign. The soap giant was instrumental in a marked improvement in children’s health.

5. Identify future needs. Disruption in the tech market is relentless. Without constant innovation, one-time market giants quickly find themselves irrelevant. Winning companies take a long view and use disruption to pinpoint the needs of the future.

Case in point: Adobe. Countless rivals and the emergence of the Cloud diminished Adobe’s primacy in design software and products. It bypassed its original customer base (art directors and designers), and retooled as a strategic partner to marketing executives. Adobe reshaped the market by offering design services, social media help, and subscriptions in an all-in-one creative, cloud-based solution.

Companies that boldly embrace the disturbances that threaten to derail them are the ones that prevail, as we found out. And their success is far less about products, and far more about value. These are the firms that raise the bar.

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Leading Forum
This post is by Peter Sheahan and Julie Williamson authors of Matter: Move Beyond the Competition, Create More Value, and Become the Obvious Choice. Peter Sheahan, Founder and CEO of global consultancy Karrikins Group, is known internationally for innovative business thinking and thought leadership. Having successfully grown his own global company, Peter has first-hand experience in the challenges of building a business in a volatile, disruptive world. He has worked with some of the world’s powerhouse brands, including Microsoft, IBM, AT&T, and Wells Fargo. Julie Williamson, PhD, Chief Growth Enabler of Karrikins Group, responsible for strategy and research. She is a leading voice in how organizations create sustainable growth by linking communication, design, strategy, sales, marketing, and service. Julie is a grounded theory researcher, and she uses traditional and progressive resources in her strategy and transformation work.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 03:14 PM
| Comments (0) | Management

12.05.16

Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole

SO MUCH OF SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSHIP is learning to lead yourself. It requires some luck, but more than anything it means always pressing forward and a good dose of creativity especially when things don’t look good.

It’s not surprising then that Anthony Scaramucci’s book, Hopping Over The Rabbit Hole: How Entrepreneurs Turn Failure Into Success is not just an important read for would-be entrepreneurs but anyone who looking move through life in a forward direction.

Scaramucci is the founder of SkyBridge Capital, a global investment firm with around $12 billion in assets. The firm also produces the annual SkyBridge Alternatives (“SALT”) Conference, a premier global investment and thought leadership forum. But his road to success has not been without a number of failures and near-misses. And he shares many of them to our benefit. He points out that SkyBridge’s success was ultimately defined by “our ability to learn from mistakes and turn failures into success.”

He writes: “I’m a firm believer in the idea that you’re either moving forward or backward. You’re either growing in confidence or swelling with hubris. The moment you become complacent is the moment you lose your edge. There is always somebody working harder than you, and there are always copycats ready to take the model you’ve built and make it better.”

So “we need to put our egos on the floor, get outside of our comfort zones, and push ourselves, while maintaining some level of gracious audacity.”

Life and business bring with it regrets. But we can learn from them or let them hold us back. The danger is to look for to blame and not taking responsibility for your outcomes.
What regrets really speak to is a measure of self-awareness. The trick is how we chose to deal with them. Successful people have the ability to accept the past, embrace it, learn from it, and ultimately move forward. Less successful individuals tend to wallow in regrets, constantly reliving a series of events and asking themselves over and over what could have been, what should have been, and ultimately what ought to have been.

Whatever series of events conspired to separate what “ought” to have happened from what actually happened is ultimately your responsibility.
When he was fired from Goldman Sachs his impulse was to lash out. But his boss told him that he would be angry, but “This is important Anthony. You’ve got to move through that stuff. And you’ve got to accept this is happening to you.”

By sharing his own shortcomings throughout this book, he helps us identify where we also fall short. He then shares practical solutions.

He points out that “starting your own business is the most terrifying and nausea-inducing thing you can do. The dream comes first, and if you’re lucky, smart, and work your tail off, money will follow. Success should never be viewed as a given. If you are afraid of failure, don’t become an entrepreneur.”

When beginning a business it is easy to begin spending money on the wrong things. Thriftiness is key.
This is an important lesson for any entrepreneur—if you are starting a new business, you should maintain the appearance of a start-up. You want people to know that you are hungry and focused on one thing: work. Your customers come first. Your employees come a close second. Always keep your expenses down.
Pressing forward and never giving up requires a special mindset regarding negative feedback:
If you can take ridicule and negative opinions roll off you like raindrops, don’t be afraid to take a chance and be an entrepreneur.

Most people—myself included—care what others think. But what you can’t do is allow that to impact your business, your performance, your potential.

You have to believe you are going to be successful. You need to think positively if you want a positive outcome.
In the beginning you need the right kind of people:
Start-ups don’t have the luxury of hiring people to fit specific job functions. They typically lack the money to fill specialized roles. Instead, start-ups look for people who are problem solvers. People who can do a little bit of everything.

You need staff that have the entrepreneurial mind-set to lead your company’s evolution. I value a self-starter mentality.

You can be right about everything or you can be in a partnership.

True leadership requires personal subordination. True empowerment requires trust and personal subordination.
Finally, Scaramucci says, “There is no skill more vital to an entrepreneur than networking. Your ability to connect with people on a personal level will differentiate you from your peers.” And you need to get comfortable with public speaking.

If you want to get to where you want to be, he says you have to believe that you are enough. You will do what it takes to get the job done. “It’s your attitude that will make you.”

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:27 PM
| Comments (0) | General Business

12.01.16

First Look: Leadership Books for December 2016

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in December.

  Speed: How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman
  Killing It: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart by Sheryl O'Loughlin
  Your One Word: The Powerful Secret to Creating a Business and Life That Matter by Evan Carmichael
  Win at Losing: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains by Sam Weinman
  Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace by Christine Porath

Speed Killing It Your One Word Win at Losing Rabbit Hole

For bulk orders call 1-800-423-8273


discounted books


Build your leadership library with these specials on over 100 titles. All titles are at least 40% off the list price and are available only in limited quantities.


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"A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others."
— Abraham Lincoln


Posted by Michael McKinney at 05:30 PM
| Comments (0) | Books



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