Book recommendations for business leaders: 5/4/20

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Stephen King says that if you want to be a writer, there are two things you must do: read a lot and write a lot. This is about the “read a lot” part. I include reading lists and book reviews that will help you do business more effectively and write better for business.

In this post, I point you to reviews of Beyond Performance 2.0: A Proven Approach to Leading Large-Scale Change, What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence, Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen, Teaching by Heart: One Professor’s Journey to Inspire, How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice, Overload: How Good Jobs Went Bad and What We Can Do About It, and Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World. Plus there’s a pointer to Michael McKinney’s list of leadership books due out in May.

From Michael McKinney: Organizational Health and Performance: Beyond Performance 2.0

“Considering that most change efforts only succeed 30% of the time, Scott Keller and Bill Schaninger(both McKinsey partners) put forth a change model to increase the odds of success (upwards of 79% of the time) in Beyond Performance 2.0.”

From Daniel Gross: Blackstone’s builder

“Stephen A. Schwarzman discusses what it takes to think big — in business, deals, and philanthropy.”

From Bob Morris: A Book Review: Upstream

“What we have in Upstream is a brilliant explanation by Dan Heath of how to ‘solve problems before they happen.’ Yes, it is much better to prevent them than to solve them. In fact, Dan points out, ‘I’m defining upstream efforts as those intended to prevent problems, before they happen or, alternately, to systematically reduce the harm caused by those problems.’ For example, ‘Swim lessons are further upstream than life preservers.'”

From Martha Lagace: A Great Teacher’s Lessons for Leading

“Thomas DeLong, a professor at Harvard Business School, explains in a new book what makes a great teacher—and manager.”

From Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel: Book Review: How Learning Happens (Kirschner & Hendrick)

“‘How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice’ is the title of the book and the authors collaborated with Oliver Caviglioli who provided his wonderful illustrations. The book covers all important science of learning topics in a unique way. Instead of going from chapter to chapter and introducing the topics as you would in a textbook, this book uses published papers as anchors for each chapter. Each chapter reviews one representative paper on the topic and explains why you should read this article, provides an abstract of the article, summarizes the article in an accessible way (this part is often supported by helpful illustrations), discusses implications for educational practice, offers ideas on how to use the work in your teaching, and concludes with the most important take home messages. I really enjoyed this very structured approach of how the chapters are designed. Each chapter offers a range of suggested readings and useful links in the end – many of them can be easily accessed by scanning a QR code. Brilliant for the tech savvy who want to get their fingers on the additional resources as fast as possible.”

From Theodore Kinni: Too much work, too little time

“In the new book Overload, professors Erin L. Kelly and Phyllis Moen report the results of a rigorous five-year field experiment in giving employees more control over their jobs.”

From Vicki Stanford: Nine Lies About Work with Marcus Buckingham

“Marcus Buckingham believes some basic assumptions about work are simply no longer true in today’s business environment. He shares his insights in his latest book, Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World, coauthored with Ashley Goodall.”

From Michael McKinney: First Look: Leadership Books for May 2020

Reading recommendations are a regular feature of this blog. Want more recommendations about what to read? Check out my Three Star Leadership blog, Michael McKinney’s LeadingBlog, and Skip Prichard’s Leadership Insights.

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