• Tony Richards

Leadership & Business Growth Books for August 2013

Here are our top picks for the best leadership and business growth books this month.

Creative Followership: In The Shadow of Greatness by Jimmy Collins with Michael Cooley

A good story-teller, Jimmy Collins is well known for his common-sense style of communication. In Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness, Collins uses personal illustrations and stories to tell how he discovered and used his “Creative Followership Principles” for a successful and satisfying thirty-two-year career of service. Collins hopes to offer an inspiring message for men and women entering or redirecting their careers. He says, “My mission is to use my life experience to motivate others to venture out on a journey of discovery and adventure.” Starting at the age of twelve, he delivered groceries on a bicycle for a neighborhood store. By the time he retired, he was the chief operating officer of a one-billion-dollar restaurant chain. A real success story!

Creative Followership promises readers a better route to success and satisfaction than the over-emphasized pursuit of leadership roles. Collins begins Creative Followership with his unrealized search for a formula to become a leader. He reminds readers why leadership cannot be taught. He points out that only those who have followers are leaders, and that followers choose to follow a leader because of a unifying purpose that they can share. For example, Collins describes his absolute loyalty to Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, which he claims resulted in Truett’s unwavering support of him as Truett’s “Chief Follower.”

He also explains how he built his career using these Creative Followership Principles, which are easily transferable and usable for any individual in any organization. Jimmy’s own journey to becoming a business executive and receiving the recognition and reward that followed is living proof of the effectiveness of these principles.

Breathrough by David C.M. Carter

For the first time, the world’s leading mentor David C.M. Carter shares his most effective “breakthrough” secrets in this practical guide to becoming the best you can be. Previously only accessible to his handful of exclusive international clients, these strategies are the key to a more successful and happier you. By following them, you will learn how to identify and clarify your goals—and then achieve them in every area of your life.

With simple easy-to-action “breakthroughs” outlined in each chapter, complete with how-to tools, you’ll have no excuse to live anything less than the life you were destined to live.

The Chaos Imperative: How Chance & Disruption Cause Innovation, Effectiveness and Success by Ori Brafman and Judah Pollack

In the bestselling tradition of Switch and Made to Stick, Ori Brafman reveals how organizations can drive growth and profits by allowing contained chaos and disruption the space to flourish, generating new ideas that trigger innovation.

In The Chaos Imperative, organizational expert and bestselling author Ori Brafman (Sway, The Starfish and the Spider) shows how even the best and most efficient organizations, from Fortune 500 companies to today’s US Army, benefit from allowing a little unstructured space and disruption into their planning and decision-making.

Stop Talking, Start Communicating: Counterintuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life by Geoffrey Tumlin




PLAY DUMB. BE BORING. DON’T SOLVE PROBLEMS. AND ABOVE ALL, DON’T BE YOURSELF.

Not exactly what you’d expect to hear from a communication expert, but these counterintuitive strategies are precisely what we need to interact productively and meaningfully in today’s digital world. Our overreliance on quick, cheap, and easy means of “staying connected” is eroding our communication skills. Speed steamrolls thoughtfulness; self-expression trumps restraint. Errors and misunderstandings increase. And our relationships suffer.

With startling insights and a dash of humor, Stop Talking, Start Communicating combines scientific research with real-world strategies to deliver a proven approach to more effective communication.

“Only Geoffrey Tumlin could write a book about a serious problem–our mounting communication deficiencies–and make me laugh and learn all the way through it. Witty, smart, and 100 percent accurate, Stop Talking, Start Communicating points the way to a better conversational future.” — Tina Morris, managing director at Standard & Poor’s

“An elegantly analytical, accessible, and enjoyable guide to improving interpersonal communication, Stop Talking, Start Communicating is a key resource for anyone who wants to be a difference-making leader, manager, or team member.” — Eduardo Sanchez, deputy chief medical officer of the American Heart Association

Leadership Transformed: How Ordinary Managers Become Extraordinary Leaders by Peter Fuda

How does a good manager become a great leader? Ask around in business circles and you’ll get a thousand different answers. But now, internationally renowned leadership expert Dr. Peter Fuda has created a single, coherent roadmap for leadership effectiveness in Leadership Transformed.

After more than a decade’s research and practice, Dr. Fuda shares the seven common themes that have enabled hundreds of CEOs around the world to transform themselves into highly effective leaders, and transform the performance of their organizations as well. Through his work, Dr. Fuda discovered that the best way to elicit deep and broad discussion of the seven leadership themes—and to describe the CEOs’ mastery of what they had learned—was through metaphor.

Fire—motivational forces that initiate and sustain transformation efforts.

Snowball—mutual accountability, and the consequent momentum that occurs when a critical mass of leaders commit to shared leadership principles.

Master Chef—leadership frameworks, tools, and strategies that can be “artfully” deployed.

Coach—how a “coaching staff” can collectively help leaders achieve their aspirations.

Mask—leaders can shed the heavy burden of wearing a mask in favor of a more congruent “best self.”

Movie—leaders can develop critical capabilities of self-awareness and reflection.

Russian Dolls—how a leader’s personal journey can align with the journeys of his or her colleagues and organization.

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