More Books November 2023
Two dozen books on Leadership, Innovation, Belonging, Equity, Fiction, and Faction.
A roadmap for leaders of enduring greatness. Recaps the lessons learned from 35 years of research on enduring organizations. Getting the right people on the bus is finding #1. Great vision can’t happen without great people. Offers a clear framework for vision building, strategy, and execution.
Every edition keeps getting better. A classic. This seventh edition is clear, crisp, well-researched, and includes many illustrations. The best comprehensive book on leadership. Worth reading again and again. Their formula: Model the way; Inspire shared vision; Challenge the process; Enable others; Encourage the heart.
Highlights on strategy from the best of Harvard Business Review. My best takeaway: There are four strategies for change: Classic and Visionary are used 75% of the time and work well in stable times. Shaping and Adaptive work well in uncertain times but are used only 25% of the time.
It is not quite as good as her other two books, but lots of solid ideas on decision-making. Beware, she says, of simple pros and cons and lists. Give more weight to risk, reward, and impact. Develop decision-making criteria before debating. Listen more. Ask more. Talk last.
The world’s best poker player writes about when to hold and when to fold. There is a fine line, she says, between grit and quit. Grit is seen as a success. Quit as a failure. But we often learn far more from failure than we do from success.
The Art of Strategic Leadership: How Leaders at All Levels Prepare Themselves, Their Teams, and Organizations for the Future
Offers an excellent overview of seven skills for strategic leaders. It is poorly written and painful to read but has good research-based lessons learned.
Re-label, Re-frame, Re-focus. It ties together brain research, leadership, and higher-order thinking. He says we need wise counsel to help us think beyond our blind spots.
Written by the inventor of the “both/and” concept. It shares a few good tools and stories but way too much detail.
This super short book is an excellent recap of Maxwell’s best ideas from his other books.
by David Joseph Schwartz | Dec 2, 2014 | 4.7 out of 5 stars 16,085
Similar to Dale Carnegie. A Classic. Timeless principles from 1959 with (now humorous) examples from real life. Emphasizes mindset and relationships to accomplish big goals.
An interview between Daniel Goleman and Jack Welch. Keep it simple, be decisive, and act confidently. Do “competency modeling.” Find the best in class for your area of need and then post for those specific skills. Don’t post for generic skills or assume you know best.
This is an over-the-top fun read, especially in audio. And you learn some valuable lessons. The author is a British Muslim, earning his chops in the competitive work of broadcast. Great value in lessons per page. Good stories, sound principles, and practical action steps.
Written from personal experience of bouncing back from life’s toughest setbacks. Mixes personal stories and lots of humor with research and statistics.
Find the right spot for each employee. No amount of “fix-it” will help an employee not well fitted to their assignment. Part 1 is research; Part examples; Part 3 recommendations.
Worth buying, reading, re-reading, giving to others. Timeless truths. I wish I had read and applied the learnings in this book years ago.
by Heather R. Younger and Stephen M. R. Covey | Apr 13, 2021
The author was laid off during a downsizing. Started podcasts. Learned great secrets of caring leadership from dozens interviewed on her podcasts.
Use the power of relationships, openness, and trust to create a positive and inclusive work environment where individuals can thrive and contribute to the organization’s success.
Enroll, empower, and engage to inspire the best work. The solution to quiet quitting is teams.
Creation and Invention
The authors are from the Stanford D (Design) School. Their secret? Create psychological safety to unlock the creativity flow. It takes 2000 ideas to generate a few promising prototypes and one winner. Innovate lots, elevate less, test, and iterate until you find a winner.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Experiment constantly. Learn from failure. Validate learning. It is 1000 little things that succeed. Think big. Start small. Build MVPs – Minimally Viable Products – to see if anyone will use them.
Delightful, humorous, and action-oriented. Common sense says go talk to the customer and re-engage with staff. Work hard to get honest feedback … and act on it.
by Ed Oakley And Doug Krug | Oct 2, 2006 | 4.9 out of 5 stars 7
Valuable ideas on every page of this short book. Create a positive work environment by building on what works, positive relationships, and continuous improvement. Shows the power of a positive approach for harnessing employee energy, engagement, and ownership
by Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam, et al. | 4.7 out of 5 stars 71
Paul Simon is one of the best songwriters of the century, with hits in nearly every decade of his life. Why? Because he continues to experiment, learn, and grow. The audio version is an actual conversation between Gladwell and Simon.
Equity and Justice
This is an excellent book combining on-the-ground interviews, case studies, and literature reviews. Every page overflows with valuable tools and ideas for both equity and entry planning.
by AJ Crabill | Mar 22, 2023 | 4.7 out of 5 stars 35
Focusing on student achievement goals is priority one for school districts. AJ Crabill has invented, refined, and implemented strategies that work. Well-written manual for student-centered success.
35-year case study of how Chicago Public Schools went from worst to first in student learning. Shorter might have been better, but takeaways on every page. These are great examples of how the system keeps learning, getting more innovative, and building better systems.
A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them
Another remarkable book by Timothy Egan. Here, he tells the story of the KKK and how they terrorized the US until one woman gave her life to stop them. Reads way too much like our present times.
Baby boomers are old, white, conservative, religious … and fading. Surprisingly, they are no longer the largest generation. Millennials comprise a smaller percentage of a much larger nation.
This is similar to the book Aftermath but shorter and easier to follow. The US is the wealthiest nation on earth and the least equitable. We have a more significant percentage of the poor and give more tax breaks to the rich.
Answering the Call: The Doctor Who Made Africa His Life: The Remarkable Story of Albert Schweitzer
Philosopher, Theologian, Musician, Doctor. He was destined for greatness and found it in an African hospital where he gave his all for the people he came to love. Through war hardship and limited resources, he kept finding ways to serve people better.
The author compares and contrasts two prolific artists: Charles Dickens and the musician Prince. Each learned by producing more than anyone could imagine and folding that new learning back into new and original work. Staying close to the top of their game over time.
Another great story by Tracy Kidder. Here, he tells the story of Dr. Jim O’Connell, who created a remarkable homeless ministry in Boston. He was known for making midnight rounds and finding caring and compassionate workarounds to serve the poorest of the poor.
Simon Winchester is one of the best at making history read like a page-turner. Here, Winchester tells the story of earthquakes across America, the impact on San Francisco, and how the city fathers rebranded the earthquake as just another fire like Chicago.
Write quick drafts. Rewrite. Then, share your unfinished work widely. Learn from feedback. Your book will be better and more likely to sell due to the 100s who helped create it.
Rising From the Deep: The Seattle Kraken, a Tenacious Push for Expansion, and the Emerald City’s Sports Revival
The inside story of the many fits and starts of trying to bring professional basketball and hockey to Seattle.
Fiction, Fact-ion, and History
America’s deadliest avalanche during a 1910 snowstorm on Stevens Pass (WA). The story is well told, and you keep hoping for a better outcome, but in the end, 96 died.
On the best seller list. The tale of a shipwreck at the tip of South America and the remarkable resilience of several parties given up for lost. Each party tells a different story of “mutiny or murder.” I pushed myself to finish it. Long, convoluted. Read it for the history more so than the plot.
by Bonnie Garmus | Apr 5, 2022
4.6 out of 5 stars 192,429
Look at those ratings—a good read. Compelling plot. Well told. A poignant retelling of inconvenient truths about how women have been treated … and, by implication, how much further there is to go.
The story of how Israel stole enough plutonium (literally a boatload) to make a nuclear bomb. And how that bomb ensured their survival during the subsequent wars. Described as Faction by the author. Well researched (never confirmed) … as close to the truth as he could make it.