• Tony Richards

Leadership & Business Growth Books for March 2015

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

Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention by Ben Parr



The former editor of Mashable and cofounder of DominateFund examines the psychological phenomena that captivate our attention—and how we can leverage them to draw and retain attention for our ideas, work, companies, and more.

Whether you’re an artist or a salesperson, a teacher or an engineer, a marketer or a parent—putting the spotlight on your ideas, insights, projects and products requires a deep understanding of the science of attention. In Captivology, award-winning journalist and entrepreneur Ben Parr explains how and why the mind pays attention to some events or people—and not others—and presents seven captivation triggers—techniques guaranteed to help you capture and retain the attention of friends, colleagues, customers, fans, and even strangers.

Parr combines the latest research on attention with interviews with more than fifty scientists and visionaries—Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, film director Steven Soderbergh, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, magician Jon Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author Susan Cain, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, founder of Reddit Alexis Ohanian, and more—who have successfully brought their ideas, projects, companies, and products to the forefront of cultural consciousness. The result is an insightful and practical book that will change how you assign jobs to your kids or staff, craft a multi-million dollar ad campaign, deliver your next presentation, attract users to your product, or convince the world to support your cause.

Road To Power: How GM’s Mary Barra Shattered The Glass Ceiling by Laura Colby


Follow a pioneer’s journey from factory floor to CEORoad to Power is the story of how Mary Barra droveherself to the pinnacle of a company that steers the nation’swealth. Beginning as a rare female electrical engineer and daughterof a General Motors die maker, Barra spent more than thirty yearsbuilding her career before becoming the first woman to ever lead aglobal automaker. With $155 billion in sales and 200,000 employees,GM is widely considered to be a proxy for the U.S. economy, makingBarra’s position arguably the most important corporate role a womanhas ever held. This book describes the personal character, choices,and leadership style that enabled her to break through the glassceiling.When 52-year-old Mary Barra was named CEO of General Motors in2013, only people outside of the company were surprised. She haddone everything from working on the factory floor to overseeingmanufacturing, from improving union relations to paring downbureaucracy, and from running human resources to helping drag thecompany back from its 2009 bankruptcy. This book details each stepof her career, and the lessons she learned along the way.

  1. Learn how Mary Barra’s willingness to take on diverseassignments helped steer her career trajectory

  2. Examine the fine details of Barra’s management style and herability to relate to colleagues

  3. Discover the qualities and experiences Barra had that drove herto lead this male-dominated profession

  4. Study the valuable lessons Barra learned at each stage in herprofessional life, and why they stuck with her throughout herjourney to the top

Barra is most certainly a pioneer for women in business, butshe’s also a living lesson as to how far the right outlook, skills,and drive can take you in your career. Road to Powerexplores the talent and the mindset that got her all the way to the top.

Becoming Your Best: Bringing Your Best Self To Work by Harry M. Kraemer

In his bestselling book From Values to Action, HarryKraemer showed how self-reflection, balance, true self-confidence,and genuine humility are the traits of today’s most effectiveleaders. In Becoming the Best, his highly anticipated follow-up, Kraemer reveals how, in practical terms, anyone canapply these principles to become a values-based leader and to helpcreate values-based organizations.

Drawing on his own experiences as the former CEO and chairman ofBaxter International, as well as those of other notable leaders and organizations, Kraemer lays out a pathway for understanding the principles and putting them into practice, showing specifically, how to:

  1. Use self-reflection to become your “best self” as you leadyourself and others more effectively

  2. Create a “best team” that understands and appreciates whatthey’re doing, and why

  3. Forge “best partnerships” through win/win collaboration withvendors and customers that enhance the end user’s experienceSupport the mission, vision, and values of the organization togenerate returns that distinguish a “best investment”

  4. Make a difference in the world beyond the organization bybecoming a “best citizen”

Powerful case studies from Campbell’s Soup, Ernst & Young,Target, Northern Trust, and many others demonstrate the fourprinciples of values-based leadership in action and show howthinking beyond the corporation can trigger positive outcomes for both the company and the world.

Regardless of level or job title, individuals can make a difference in their organization and beyond by embodying theessential traits of a great leader. Becoming the Best offer sa definitive, actionable guide to show anyone how to apply in practice the principles of values-based leadership personally and professionally, making it an indispensable manual for the new wave of better leaders.

Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom For Today’s Leaders by Peter F. Drucker, Joan Snyder Kuhl and Frances Hesselbein

Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions provides insightful guidance and stirring inspiration for today’s leaders and entrepreneurs. By applying Drucker’s leadership framework in the present context of today’s leaders and those who lead with them, this book is an essential resource for people leading, managing and working in all three sectors—public, private and social. Readers will gain new perspectives and develop a solid foundation upon which to build a successful and bright future. They will learn how to focus on why they are doing what they’re doing, how to do it better, and how to develop a realistic, motivational plan for achieving their goals. This brief, clear, and accessible guide — peppered with commentary from distinguished management gurus, contemporary entrepreneurs and dynamic millennial leaders —will challenge readers and stimulate spirited discussion and action within any organization, inspiring positive change and new levels of excellence. In addition to contributions from Jim Collins, Marshall Goldsmith, and Judith Rodin, the book features new insights from some of today’s most influential leaders in business (GE and Salesforce.com), academia (Harvard Business School and Northwestern University), social enterprise (Levo League, Pencils of Promise and Why Millennials Matter) and the military (United States Military Academy), who have been directly influenced by Drucker’s theory of management.

The Attacker’s Advantage by Ram Charan

The phenomenon of uncertainty is not new; what is new is its intensity and potential to change industries and destroy companies. Business leaders can be on the defensive, or they can be on offense, prepared to lead decisively. The ability to deal with uncertainty is perhaps the paramount skill leaders must have to be successful in this era. Without it they risk becoming personally obsolete and driving their companies off a cliff.

In The Attacker’s Advantage, renowned business expert and bestselling author Ram Charan shows what skills are needed to be able to spot the disruption that is coming, and what actions are necessary to take advantage of these changes. While many leaders know how to cope with operational uncertainty—when, for example, revenue fluctuates—the same cannot be said for dealing with structural uncertainty that can alter the money-making patterns of a company, industry or entire economic sector. Charan demonstrates the huge upside offered by structural uncertainty and provides the concepts and tools—such as being able to spot the catalysts of disruption, building organizational preparedness, developing a financial understanding of the consequences—to take advantage of forces that are creating new customer needs, market segments and ways to make money.

Uncertainty is now ubiquitous. The sources of structural change are so varied and fast moving, and their convergence so unpredictable. Digitization and the integration of technologies through software and hardware has already impacted many businesses, but much more is to come. With his unparalleled ability to cut through complexity and provide workable solutions, Ram Charan provides his readers with the ability to anticipate and deal with the biggest threats facing their business.

#PersonalDevelopment #Leadership #Learning #LeadershipDevelopment #LeadershipBehavior

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