• Tony Richards

Leadership & Business Growth Books for July 2013

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

Business Quest of the Tappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity by August Turak


August Turak is a successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, and award-winning author who attributes much of his success to living and working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey for seventeen years. As a frequent monastic guest, he learned firsthand from the monks as they grew an incredibly successful portfolio of businesses.

Service and selflessness are at the heart of the 1,500-year-old monastic tradition’s remarkable business success. It is an ancient though immensely relevant economic model that preserves what is positive and productive about capitalism while transcending its ethical limitations and internal contradictions. Combining vivid case studies from his thirty-year business career with intimate portraits of the monks at work, Turak shows how Trappist principles can be successfully applied to a variety of secular business settings and to our personal lives as well. He demonstrates that monks and people like Warren Buffett are wildly successful not despite their high principles but because of them. Turak also introduces other “transformational organizations” that share the crucial monastic business strategies so critical for success.

The Rise of the Naked Economy by How To Benefit from the Changing Workplace by Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner

What happens when work is no longer a place but a state of mind: when the trappings that have defined the economy as we knew it are stripped away and we start from the bare essence of what it means to make a living? From corner coffee shops to Fortune 500 companies, workers from all different backgrounds are creating a new reality and prosperity. The Rise of the Naked Economy shows readers how to achieve both personal and professional success in an economy that does not guarantee lifetime employment. Pioneers Coonerty and Neuner report from the front lines on the future of work. From the recently graduated to the recently laid off, this book covers how the rise in non-traditional employment calls for a new infrastructure, strategy, and attitude for workers, companies, and communities alike. Through interviews with the people, companies, and policymakers who are leading the change and already profiting from it, The Rise of the Naked Economy provides an optimistic, humorous, and inspirational vision for readers who want reclaim their lives and livelihoods.

Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entreprenuers Create and Capture Extraordinary Value by Daniel Isenberg

n this fascinating book, global entrepreneurship expert Daniel Isenberg presents a completely novel way to approach business building—with the insights and lessons learned from a worldwide cast of entrepreneurial characters. Not bound by a western, Silicon Valley stereotype, this group of courageous and energetic doers has created a global and diverse mix of companies destined to become tomorrow’s leading organizations.

Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid is about how enterprising individuals from around the world see hidden value in situations where others do not, use that perception to develop products and services that people initially don’t think they want, and ultimately go on to realize extraordinary value for themselves, their customers, and society as a whole. What these business builders have in common is a contrarian mind-set that allows them to create opportunities and succeed where others see nothing. Amazingly, this process repeats itself in one form or another countless times a day all over the world.

From Albuquerque to Islamabad, you will travel with Isenberg to discover unusual yet practical insights that you can use in your own business. Meet the founders of Grameenphone in Bangladesh, PACIV in Puerto Rico, Sea to Table in New York, Actavis in Iceland, Studio Moderna in Slovenia, Hartwell Metals in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, Given Imaging in Israel, WildChina in China, and many others. You’ll be moved by the stories of these plucky start-ups—many of them fueled by adversity and, more often than not, by necessity.

Great stories, stunning successes, crushing failures—they’re all here. What can we, in the East and West, learn from them? What can you learn—and what will these entrepreneurial stories, so compellingly told, inspire you to do?

The Leadership Contract: The Fine Print to Becoming A Great Leader by Vincent Molinard

Establish the terms and conditions of a “Leadership Contract” to ensure the success of your companyRecent studies show that only 7 percent of employees have trust and confidence in their senior leaders. How can we ever get our organizations to succeed if so few employees believe in their senior leaders? The Leadership Contract explains why leadership, and specifically leadership culture, is the only real differentiator between the organizations that thrive and those that fall behind. This book explains how to establish a leadership contract that is fully understood and agreed upon by business leaders to ensure the success of their company.

The book lays out the four terms and conditions of the leadership contract and enlists leaders in making a conscious decision to lead, including the understanding that leadership is a decision, entails an obligation, is difficult, and requires a community.

  1. Designed for top-level executives, mid-level managers, front-line leaders, and emerging leaders, the book identifies the shortcomings of current leadership methods and explains how to adopt new policies and mentalities to make you a better leader and ensure business success

  2. Author Vince Molinaro, Ph.D., CMC is the author of two successful books, Leadership Solutions and The Leadership Gap and is also a Certified Management Consultant

Create the contract that ensures your leadership will take your organization to new heights.

Make Change Work: Staying Nimble, Relevant and Engaged in a World of Constant Change by Randy Pennington

Remain competitive, inspire innovation, and ensure success

Constantly adapting, improving, and changing is more important than ever for companies to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. Make Change Work presents real solutions to thriving in a world of constant change. This book educates managers and leaders on how to lead change, with strategies for creating urgency, building support, and ensuring successful change. Get the guidance you need to be bold in the face of change, and learn how to make your company faster, better, cheaper, and friendlier—by simply listening to your customers

  1. Advises leaders on how to design and implement a strategy that allows you to successfully lead change and deliver meaningful business results

  2. Author Randy Pennington is a 20-year business performance veteran, author, and expert in helping organizations build a culture focused on results

Learn how to establish a clear and purposeful goal, inspire a culture relentlessly focused on customers, and create an environment where your talented team wants to Make Change Work.

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