Here are our top picks for the best leadership & business books for January 2015
Bestselling author Edward M. Hallowell, MD, the world’s leading expert on ADD and ADHD, has set his sights on a new goal: helping people feel more in control and productive at work.
You know the feeling: you can’t focus; you feel increasingly overwhelmed by a mix of nonstop demands and technology that seems to be moving at the speed of light; and you’re frustrated just trying to get everything done well—and on time. Not only is this taking a toll on performance, it’s impacting your sense of well-being outside the office. It’s time to reclaim control.
Dr. Hallowell now identifies the underlying reasons why people lose their ability to focus at work. He explains why commonly offered solutions like “learn to manage your time better” or “make a to-do list” don’t work because they ignore the deeper issues that are the true causes of mental distraction. Based on his years of helping clients develop constructive ways to deal with distraction, Dr. Hallowell provides a set of practical and reliable techniques to show how to sustain a productive mental state.
Fairness Is Overrated: And 51 Other Leadership Principles to Revolutionize Your Workplace by Tim Stevens
Tim Stevens traveled an alternative road—leaving high school and immediately joining a national non-profit organization. He rose quickly through the ranks of leadership, but nine years later left it all behind to help an upstart church get its footing. During the 20 years Stevens served as Executive Pastor at Granger Community Church near South Bend, Indiana, the ministry grew from a congregation of 300 to more than 5,000; from a staff of five to more than 130; with a preschool, restaurant, three campuses and more than 1,800 new churches planted in southern India.
Leaders learn by leading. Stevens knows that creating a healthy and successful organization requires throwing out the conventional instruction manual and writing one that balances practical lessons, spiritual truths, and twenty-first century realities—exactly what you will find in Fairness Is Overrated.
Stevens, now an executive with the Vanderbloemen Search Group, takes his lifetime of service and dispenses with conventional wisdom. Short, powerful chapters end with actionable discussion questions. Four pillars hold up every successful leader: Be a person of integrity. Identify the right people around you. Build a great culture. Lead through crisis.
This is a manual of doing, not talking. No fluff, no stale inspirational platitudes. It’s time to move past planning and kick-start Monday into action.
The Power of Thanks: How Social Recognition Powers Employees & Creates A Best Place To Work by Eric Mosley & Derek Irvine
The most powerful word in your leadership vocabulary is . . . THANKS!
Building a fully engaged, energized workforce is the key to business success. The Power of Thanks reveals how leading companies like Intuit, JetBlue Airways, IHG, Symantec, ConAgra Foods, and The Hershey Company empower employees through social recognition, in which the practice of mutual appreciation and trust directs and rewards higher performance.
Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine, executives at the world-renowned employee recognition firm Globoforce, explain why social recognition is so powerful and how you can apply it in your company. Case by case, they show how a carefully planned and consistently executed Culture of Recognition business strategy inspires:
Greater employee engagement and loyalty
Stronger, more unified teams and departments
A creative, innovative company culture
Improved customer satisfaction
Increased profitability and organizational health
Mosley and Irvine provide practical advice and proven examples for devising a powerful, growth-generating strategy that modernizes employee recognition for today’s social, global, multi-generational and 24×7 wired workforce.
When employees participate in a culture that makes everyone a stakeholder in the organization’s success, positive energy spreads like wildfire, and business results follow. Something so simple and powerful might work like magic, but it’s really just common sense. It’s smart management. It’s long-term thinking.
It’s The Power of Thanks.
Make Change Work For You: 10 Ways To Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate & Succeed Despite Uncertainty by Scott Steinberg
Finding the courage to embrace change and take chances is the only way to succeed.
Business, culture, and competitive landscapes have fundamentally changed, but basic principles and best practices for succeeding and future-proofing both yourself and your organization haven’t. With a mix of compelling stories, research from the social sciences and psychology, and real-world insights, Make Change Work for You shows how to reignite your career, rekindle creativity, and fearlessly innovate your way to success by providing the tools needed to master uncertainty and conquer every challenge in life or business.
Make Change Work for You opens with a comprehensive overview of the most common factors that lead to self-defeating behaviors, including fear of failure, embarrassment, underperformance, rejection, confrontation, isolation, and change itself.
Using a simple, four-part model, Steinberg helps you understand and better respond to the challenges that change can bring:
Focus: Define the problem and come to understand it objectively. Engage: Interact with the challenge and try a range of solutions. Assess: Review the response(s) generated by your tactics. React: Adjust your strategy accordingly.
A Beautiful Constraint: How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages & Why It’s Everybody’s Business by Adam Morgan & Mark Barden
An inspiring yet practical guide for transforming limitations into opportunitiesA Beautiful Constraint: How to Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages And Why It’s Everyone’s Business Now is a book about everyday, practical inventiveness, designed for the constrained times in which we live. It describes how to take the kinds of issues that all of us face today—lack of time, money, resources, attention, know-how—and see in them the opportunity for transformation of oneself and one’s organization’s fortunes. The ideas in the book are based on the authors’ extensive work as business consultants, and are brought to life in 35 personal interviews from such varied sources as Nike, IKEA, Unilever, the U.S. Navy, Formula One racecar engineers, public school teachers in California, and barley farmers in South Africa. Underpinned by scientific research into the psychology of breakthrough, the book is a practical handbook full of tools and tips for how to make more from less. Beautifully designed and accessible, A Beautiful Constraint will appeal beyond its core business audience to anyone who needs to find the opportunity in constraint.The book takes the reader on a journey through the mindset, method and motivation required to move from the initial “victim” stage into the transformation stage. It challenges us to:
Examine how we’ve become path dependent—stuck with routines that blind us from seeing opportunity along new paths
Ask Propelling Questions to help us break free of those paths and put the most pressing and valuable constraints at the heart of our process
Adopt a Can If mentality to answer these questions—focused on “how,” not “if”
Access the abundance to be found all around us to help transform constraints
Activate the high-octane mix of emotions necessary to fuel the tenacity required for success
We live in a world of seemingly ever-increasing constraints, driven as much by an overabundance of choices and connections as by a scarcity of time and resources. How we respond to these constraints is one of the most important issues of our time and will be a large determinant of our progress as people, businesses and planet, in the future. A Beautiful Constraint calls for a more widespread capability for constraint-driven problem solving and provides the framework to achieve that.