Weekend Leadership Reading 11/24/17

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular work days. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about learning from history and scoping out the future.

From Carlota Perez, Leo Johnson, and Art Kleiner: Are We on the Verge of a New Golden Age?

“History doesn’t exactly repeat itself, but it does run in cycles. One of the most robust theories of such cycles was articulated by economic historian Carlota Perez, in her influential book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages (Edward Elgar, 2002). It suggests that humanity can get through the current period of upheaval and economic malaise and enter a new ‘golden age’ of broad economic growth, if the world’s key decision makers act in concert to help foster one.”

From Jon Mertz: Leaders: Have a Sense of History

“A sense of history relates to purpose. Whether it is crafting a financial system for a nation or pursuing civil rights, leaders in the moment are thinking about how to make decisions and take actions for future generations. Benefits come earlier, but these leaders know that they are building a foundation. They know that they need to get it right.”

From Shane Parrish: Finding Truth in History

“If we are to learn from the past, does the account of it have to be true? One would like to think so. Otherwise you might be preparing for the wrong battle. There you are, geared up for mountains, and instead you find swamps. You’ve done a bunch of reading, trying to understand the terrain you are about to enter, only to find it useless. The books must have been written by crazy people. You are upset and confused. Surely there must be some reliable, objective account of the past. How are you supposed to prepare for the possibilities of the future if you can’t trust the accuracy of the reports on anything that has come before?”

From Margaret MacMillan: 8 leadership lessons from history

“But what the past will not do is provide the magic formula for how to become an effective leader. Looking for clear lessons in history is a futile quest: there are too many and their meaning is always in dispute. History can be useful, however, in suggesting patterns and parallels, raising questions, and – equally important – giving warnings about why things go wrong.”

Book Suggestions

The Sixth Kondratieff: The New Long Wave in the Global Economy by Leo Nefiodow and Simone Nefiodow

The New Leadership Literacies by Bob Johansen

Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision-Makers by Richard E. Neustadt and Ernest R. May

Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret MacMillan

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What People Are Saying

Nicholas Holley   |   27 Nov 2017   |   Reply

What happened to your leadership reading to start the week it was outstanding wide ranging and informative?

Wally Bock   |   27 Nov 2017   |   Reply

Thanks for the kind words, Nick. I loved doing the “Reading to Start Your Week,” but it was an enormous time investment, with most of the time coming out of family time.