Book recommendations for business leaders: 3/6/23

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Leaders are readers. Reading helps you discover ideas to try and expand your mental models. In this post, I point you to reviews of recent business books. You’ll find pointers to reviews of Escape from Model Land: How Mathematical Models Can Lead Us Astray and What We Can Do About It, Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon, Experiential Intelligence: What It Is and How to Grow It, Real-Time Leadership: Find Your Winning Moves When the Stakes Are High, and Rising Together: How We Can Bridge Divides and Create a More Inclusive Workplace. There’s also Michael McKinney’s look at great leadership books scheduled for release in March 2023.

From strategy+business: The limitations of mathematical modeling

“The single most famous weather forecast in British history is also one of the worst. In October 1987, a meteorologist working for the British Broadcasting Corporation reassured a concerned viewer that rumors of an approaching hurricane were unfounded. Hours later, 22 people had been killed and billions of pounds of damage done by highly unusual hurricane-force winds. Although the erroneous forecast owed to a lack of data in parts of the North Atlantic, it was the meteorologist, Michael Fish, who became a synonym for flawed prediction models. The work of everyone who uses such mathematical models to produce explanations of how complicated things work is the subject of a new book by Erica Thompson, an academic at the London School of Economics. Her contention is that too many of us have become ensconced in a comfortable but ultimately unhelpful place, which she dubs Model Land.”

From William D. Cohan: Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon

“William D. Cohan is the author of seven books. A founding partner of Puck, the new digital media company, he has written for The New York Times, the Financial Times, Air Mail, Town & Country, Rolling Stone, and others. His latest book, Power Failure, was named one of the best books of the year by the New Yorker, the Financial Times, and the Economist. Below, William shares 5 key insights from his new book, Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon”

From Michael McKinney: Experiential Intelligence: What It Is and How to Grow It

“In Experiential Intelligence, author Soren Kaplan describes XQ as ‘the combination of mindsets, abilities, and know-how gained from your unique life experience that empowers you to achieve your goals.’ He adds, ‘XQ provides a holistic way to understand what’s needed for success in today’s world by getting in touch with the accumulated wisdom and talents you have gained over time through your lived experience.’”

From the Harvard Business Review: Why Leaders Should Rethink Their Decision-Making Process

“Many people believe that leaders instinctively make the best decisions based on past experience, almost like muscle memory. But Carol Kauffman, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the founder of the Institute of Coaching, says falling back on automatic patterns of behavior is often wrong—especially in a crisis or high-stakes choices. Instead, she explains a framework of stepping back, evaluating options, and choosing the tactics that work best in each situation. Kauffman is a coauthor, along with View Advisors founder David Noble, of the HBR article ‘The Power of Options’ and the book Real-Time Leadership: Find Your Winning Moves When the Stakes Are High.”

From McKinsey Author Talks: Sally Helgesen shares tools for achieving workplace inclusion

“Leadership coach Sally Helgesen breaks down the ‘how’ of inclusive communication, and the simple method she uses to assess workplace culture.”

From Michael McKinney: First Look: Leadership Books for March 2023

“HERE’S A LOOK at some of the best leadership books to be released in March 2023 curated just for you.”

Reading recommendations are a regular feature of this blog. Want more recommendations about what to read? Monday is “Book Day.” Come back for book reviews, reading lists, and other reading-related posts.

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