You’re Not That Great

You’re Not That Great

by Daniel Crosby

Psychologist Daniel Crosby tells it like it is in this book about the numerous ways human nature can work against us, not the least of which is egoistic self-absorption (solipsism).

“The biggest finding to emerge from the self-esteem movement was that praise did not predict self-esteem, accomplishment did… Many of the theories about self-esteem that had impacted policy were simply junk science.” Continue reading

Turn the Ship Around

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Turn the Ship Around: How to Create Leadership at Every Level

by L. David Marquet , Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Capt. Marquet writes about implementing a profoundly different management approach when he took command of the worst performing submarine in the U.S. Navy. “Within a year, the situation was totally turned around. We went from worst to first in most measures of performance, including the one I valued the most—our ability to retain our sailors and officers.”

“Disengaged, dissatisfied, uncommitted employees erode an organization’s [productivity] while breaking the spirits of their colleagues.” Marquet found the root cause of the problem to be the leader-follower structure, in which subordinates “have limited decision-making authority and little incentive to give the utmost of their intellect, energy, and passion… We had 135 men on board and only 5 of them fully engaged their capacity to observe, analyze, and problem solve.” Continue reading

Team of Teams

team-of-teams

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

by General Stanley McChrystal with Tantum Collins, David Silverman, and Chris Fussell

When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2003, he was fighting a 21st-century war with a 20th-century military. This engaging book is about the reconfiguration which  led to faster decisions and greater results. McChrystal’s mission was to defeat Al Quaeda in Iraq (AQI), but his   leadership insights are applicable to business as well. Continue reading

What You’re Really Meant to Do

what-youre-really-meant-to-do

What You’re Really Meant to Do: A Roadmap for Reaching Your Unique Potential

by Robert Steven Kaplan

“The key to achieving your aspirations lies not in ‘being a success’ but rather in working to reach your unique potential… Remember, lots of people will tell you what you should do and what you should want, but they don’t have to live your life. Chances are, moreover, that they’re not very happy with their own lives.” Continue reading

The Balance Myth

the-balance-myth

The Balance Myth: Rethinking Work-Life Success

by Teresa A. Taylor

Teresa Taylor is a former COO of a Qwest Communications. She writes about how she navigated her career while also juggling the demands of her personal life as a wife and mother of two boys.  As the title implies, she found that “trying to achieve this mythical ‘balance’ simply causes us endless frustration.” She uses layers of clothing as an analogy. You can add or remove layers to adapt to changing circumstances. “Thinking in layers allows you to integrate your work and your personal time to create one life and one family.” Continue reading

Confessions of an Accidental Businessman

confessions-of-an-accidental-businessman

Confessions of an Accidental Businessman: It Takes a Lifetime to Find Wisdom

by James A. Autry

James Autry worked his way up from copy editor of Better Homes and Gardens to president of the magazine division. This memoir gets off to a slow start talking about his childhood and military service, but it gets more interesting when he starts to focus on his publishing career.

There are some memorable lines in this book: Continue reading

What Keeps Leaders Up at Night

what-keeps-leaders-up-at-night

What Keeps Leaders Up at Night: Recognizing and Resolving Your Most Troubling Management Issues

by Nicole Lipkin

In this excellent book, clinical psychologist Nicole Lipkin explains the psychology behind many of the human behaviors that affect productivity and sound decision making in the workplace. “Good leadership requires dealing effectively with messy, quirky, unpredictable, confusing, irrational, and clumsy people. That is what makes the business of leadership so insanely difficult and complex.” Continue reading