Here are our top picks for the best leadership and business growth books for June 2015:
A groundbreaking book that sheds new light on the vital importance of teams as the fundamental unit of organization and competition in the global economy.
Teams—we depend on them for both our professional success and our personal happiness. But isn’t it odd how little scrutiny we give them? The teams that make up our lives are created mostly by luck, happenstance, or circumstance—but rarely by design. In trivial matters—say, a bowling team, the leadership of a neighborhood group, or a holiday party committee—success by serendipity is already risky enough. But when it comes to actions by fast-moving start-ups, major corporations, nonprofit institutions, and governments, leaving things to chance can be downright dangerous.
Offering vivid reports of the latest scientific research, compelling case studies, and great storytelling, Team Genius shows managers and executives that the planning, design, and management of great teams no longer have to be a black art. It explores solutions to essential questions that could spell the difference between success and obsolescence. Do you know how to reorganize your subpar teams to turn them into top performers? Can you identify which of the top-performing teams in your company are reaching the end of their life span? Do you have the courage to shut them down? Do you know how to create a replacement team that will be just as effective—without losing time or damaging morale? And, most important, are your teams the right size for the job?
Throughout, Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone share insights and real-life examples gleaned from their careers as journalists, analysts, investors, and globetrotting entrepreneurs, meeting successful teams and team leaders to reveal some “new truths”
When It’s Smart to Say No
Nearly every week we read about a tragedy or scandal that could have been prevented if individuals had said no to ill-advised or illegitimate orders. In this timely book, Ira Chaleff explores when and how to disobey inappropriate orders, reduce unacceptable risk, and find better ways to achieve legitimate goals.
The inspiration for the book, and its title, comes from the concept of intelligent disobedience used in guide dog training. Guide dogs must recognize and resist a command that would put their human and themselves at risk and identify safer options for achieving the goal. This is precisely what Chaleff helps humans do. Using both deeply disturbing and uplifting examples, as well as critical but largely forgotten research, he shows how to create a culture where, rather than “just following orders,” people hold themselves accountable to do the right thing, always.
The co-founder of the Stanford d.School introduces the power of design thinking to help you achieve goals you never thought possible.
Achievement can be learned. It’s a muscle, and once you learn how to flex it, you’ll be able to meet life’s challenges and fulfill your goals, Bernard Roth, Academic Director at the Stanford d.school contends.
In The Achievement Habit, Roth applies the remarkable insights that stem from design thinking—previously used to solve large scale projects—to help us realize the power for positive change we all have within us. Roth leads us through a series of discussions, stories, recommendations, and exercises designed to help us create a different experience in our lives. He shares invaluable insights we can use to gain confidence to do what we’ve always wanted and overcome obstacles that hamper us from reaching our potential, including:
Excuses are self-defeating;
Believe you are a doer and achiever and you’ll become one;
Build resiliency by reinforcing what you do rather than what you accomplish;
Learn to ignore distractions that prevent you from achieving your goals;
Become open to learning from your own experience and from those around you;
The brain is complex and is always working with our egos to sabotage our best intentions. But we can be mindful; we can create habits that make our lives better. Thoughtful and powerful The Achievement Habit shows you how.
Management Lessons from Taiichi Ohno: What Every Leader Can Learn From The Man Who Invented The Toyota Production System by Takehiko Harada
The 15 most powerful practices for guiding breakthrough productivity improvements in any company
Management Lessons From Taiichi Ohno provides firsthand knowledge of the tools, techniques, and challenges to implementing the Lean values of the Toyota Production System (TPS) in an organization. Takehiko Harada spent four decades applying Lean principles at Toyota with Taiichi Ohno, and the motivating insights he shares on maintaining a Lean culture are peerless.
More than a set of rules for managers and executives to implement, this personal guidebook is from the heart in an attempt to see other companies enjoy the rewards of the TPS values Toyota leaders dedicated their lives to serving. It puts you in touch with the actual people who learned the key to success is creating a workforce of smiling employees who find purpose to their work.
Real-world examples from Toyota as well as other companies striving to practice TPS/Lean fully demonstrate:
The 15 sayings of Taiichi Ohno―what his words mean and how his philosophies are practiced throughout Toyota
The 4 Stages of Things―a very useful method for visiting the gemba, which is where the action takes place
The managerial role―what management at the frontline should be, how it is different from a supervisor’s duties, and the critical motivational elements to creating a vibrant, happy workplace
Bridging the cultural gap―indispensable wisdom for deploying the Toyota method in non-Japanese cultures
The idea of leadership failure and derailment has been brushed under the carpet for far too long and only now are statistics appearing on the sheer numbers who fail. Backstabbers and Bullies provides the latest psychiatric and clinical perspectives on dark side behaviour, including: · Recognising and coping with over-confident, narcissistic and psychopathic leaders; · Causes of leadership derailment and failure; · Corrupt corporate cultures; and · The criminal personality.
Fascinating reading for anyone who has worked alongside a corporate psychopath, business narcissist or histrionic show-off, Backstabbers and Bullies goes beyond the science to explain how to better understand, manage and prevent dark-side behaviour, as well as presenting advice for reducing derailment potential for yourself, your colleagues and your organisation.