• Tony Richards

Leadership & Business Growth Books for March 2013

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

Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How To Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results by Mark Sanborn


Nine years ago, bestselling author and business consultant Mark Sanborn introduced the world to Fred, his postman, who delivered extraordinary service in simple but remarkable ways. Fred’s story inspired millions. Companies—even, cities—were inspired to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary each day.

Today, with stiff competition from the networked global economy, delivering extraordinary results is more important than ever. With Fred 2.0, Mark not only revisits the original Fred to gain new insights, but also equips all of us with new strategies to achieve more. You’ll not only be inspired by Fred 2.0, you’ll also have the tools and strategies to aim higher and achieve the extraordinary.

Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity by Steven Snyder


All Leaders Face Adversity. Exceptional Leaders Thrive in It.

Leadership is often a struggle, and yet strong taboos keep us from talking openly and honestly about our difficulties for fear of looking weak and seeming to lack confidence. But Steven Snyder shows that this discussion is vital—adversity is precisely what unlocks our greatest potential.

Using real-life stories drawn from his extensive research studying 151 diverse episodes of leadership struggle—as well as from his experiences working with Bill Gates in the early years of Microsoft and as a CEO and executive coach—Snyder shows how to navigate intense challenges to achieve personal growth and organizational success. He details strategies for embracing struggle and offers a host of unique tools and hands-on practices to help you implement them. By mastering the art of struggle, you’ll be better equipped to meet life’s challenges and focus on what matters most.

Create Distinction: What To Do When “Great” Isn’t Good Enough to Grow Your Busines by Scott McKain

Have you taken your business from good to great, only to find that “great” still isn’t cutting it? Are you making all the right moves in your career and still not receiving the recognition you have earned? Why do companies like Apple get all the attention, when you have difficulty getting anyone to focus on your efforts? In our homogenized world, companies in every sector—from big-box retail to financial services; from fast food to entrepreneurs—appear more and more alike, as do the tweets and LinkedIn pages of professionals across the country. But if people see you or your company as nothing more than a carbon copy of the competition, how can you expect to attract attention?

Scott McKain’s original approach to this problem, first captured in his book Collapse of Distinction, was conceived and written in the direct aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown. His forceful case for the importance of distinction—finding success by setting yourself apart from the crowd—resonated with thousands of readers. To reflect the changing reality since that book’s publication—and to incorporate new research and up-to-date examples.

Global Dexterity: How To Adapt Your Behavior Across Cultures without Losing Yourself in the Process by Adam Molinsky

What does it mean to be a global worker and a true “citizen of the world” today? It goes beyond merely acknowledging cultural differences. In reality, it means you are able to adapt your behavior to conform to new cultural contexts without losing your authentic self in the process. Not only is this difficult, it’s a frightening prospect for most people and something completely outside their comfort zone.

But managing and communicating with people from other cultures is an essential skill today. Most of us collaborate with teams across borders and cultures on a regular basis, whether we spend our time in the office or out on the road. What’s needed now is a critical new skill, something author Andy Molinsky calls global dexterity.

In this book Molinsky offers the tools needed to simultaneously adapt behavior to new cultural contexts while staying authentic and grounded in your own natural style. Based on more than a decade of research, teaching, and consulting with managers and executives around the world, this book reveals an approach to adapting while feeling comfortable—an essential skill that enables you to switch behaviors and overcome the emotional and psychological challenges of doing so.

Decisive: How to make Better Decisions in Life and Work by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Chip and Dan Heath, the bestselling authors of Switch and Made to Stick, tackle one of the most critical topics in our work and personal lives: how to make better decisions. Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We’re overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn’t. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings doesn’t fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are nearsighted helps us to see. The real question is: How can we do better?

   In Decisive, the Heaths, based on an exhaustive study of the decision-making literature, introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases. Written in an engaging and compulsively readable style, Decisive takes readers on an unforgettable journey, from a rock star’s ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO’s disastrous acquisition, to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions.

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