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 The CEO Test: Master the Challenges that Make or Break All Leaders, The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect, Organizational Learning From Performance Feedback: A Behavioral Perspective on Multiple Goals, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, and Power Moms: How Executive Mothers Navigate Work and Life. I also included Bruce Rosenstein’s post on the work and impact of James Carse.
“Niki Leondakis, a veteran hotel-industry CEO, started managing people in college when she was promoted from waiter to shift supervisor at a restaurant called the Hungry U near the University of Massachusetts. She took the job seriously, but in that role, as well as in her first management job out of college, she made a mistake common to many young leaders: She was too friendly with the people she was managing and had to learn the appropriate boundaries and necessary distance that managers have to keep from their teams. ‘I think people fall into one of two camps,’ she said. ‘Very few people become a supervisor or a boss for the first time and know exactly where the right balance is. Both with myself and all the young managers I see, people seem to swing to one end of the pendulum or the other — overzealous with power or, ‘I’m everybody’s friend, and I want them to like me, and if they like me, maybe they’ll do what I ask and then it’ll be easier.’”
“The passive observation of data has limited value, because, as Judea Pearl reminds readers several times in The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect, data is profoundly dumb. ‘Data can tell you that the people who took a medicine recovered faster than those who did not take it, but they can’t tell you why,’ writes the director of UCLA’s Cognitive Systems Lab. ‘Maybe those who took the medicine did so because they could afford it and would have recovered just as fast without it.’”
“Godoff’s story is literally a textbook example of the unfortunate complications that can occur when sub-unit managers must work on several tracks at once, i.e. toward divergent if not necessarily conflicting goals. As detailed in my new book, Organizational Learning From Performance Feedback: A Behavioral Perspective on Multiple Goals (co-authored by Pino G. Audia of Dartmouth College), the two main goals Godoff was tasked to pursue – profitability and prestige within the literary world – involved entirely different sets of criteria and forms of feedback.”
“Below, Adam shares 3 key insights from his new book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know (available now on Amazon).”
Wally’s Comment: I reviewed Think Again on this blog.
“In this episode of ‘Aim Higher,’ we got to talk about her [Joann Lublin] time at the Wall Street Journal as a working mom, which spanned some innovations like the introduction of family leave and flex time. And we talked about some of the changes that occurred between the Boomer generation of leaders covered in her first book about working women, Earning It and the GenX and Millennial women she spoke to in her recently published second book, Power Moms: How Executive Mothers Navigate Work and Life.”
“Sometimes the full impact of an artistic creation takes years to unfold. That is precisely what happened to James P. Carse, and his 1986 book Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility. Although it gained many devoted readers, and almost a cult-like following, the book didn’t reach the attention of a mass audience until 2019, when the Start With Why mega-star author Simon Sinek published his Carse-influenced book The Infinite Game.”
Reading recommendations are a regular feature of this blog. Want more recommendations about what tao read? Monday is “Book Day.” Come back for book reviews, reading lists and other reading-related posts.