Here are our top picks for the best leadership & business books for November 2015:
Nobody wants to fail. But in highly complex organizations, success can happen only when we confront our mistakes, learn from our own version of a black box, and create a climate where it’s safe to fail.
We all have to endure failure from time to time, whether it’s underperforming at a job interview, flunking an exam, or losing a pickup basketball game. But for people working in safety-critical industries, getting it wrong can have deadly consequences. Consider the shocking fact that preventable medical error is the third-biggest killer in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths every year. More people die from mistakes made by doctors and hospitals than from traffic accidents. And most of those mistakes are never made public, because of malpractice settlements with nondisclosure clauses.
For a dramatically different approach to failure, look at aviation. Every passenger aircraft in the world is equipped with an almost indestructible black box. Whenever there’s any sort of mishap, major or minor, the box is opened, the data is analyzed, and experts figure out exactly what went wrong. Then the facts are published and procedures are changed, so that the same mistakes won’t happen again. By applying this method in recent decades, the industry has created an astonishingly good safety record.
Few of us put lives at risk in our daily work as surgeons and pilots do, but we all have a strong interest in avoiding predictable and preventable errors. So why don’t we all embrace the aviation approach to failure rather than the health-care approach? As Matthew Syed shows in this eye-opening book, the answer is rooted in human psychology and organizational culture.
Why Should Anyone Work Here: What It Takes To Create An Authentic Organization by Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones
Imagine designing the best company on earth to work for . . .
What would that company be like? How would you build and sustain it? As a leader, you need to know. In the past, businesses made people conform to the organization’s needs. But the old paradigm has shifted. Now leaders must transform their organizations so that they attract the right people, keep them, and inspire them to do their best work. How do you create a culture people want to belong to?
In this powerful and necessary follow-up to the classic Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?, leadership and organizational sages Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones identify and illuminate the six key organizational attributes to do just that. In separate chapters, they delve deeply into each one:
1. Let people be themselves 2. Practice radical honesty 3. Magnify people’s strengths 4. Stand for authenticity (more than shareholder value) 5. Make work meaningful 6. Make simple rules
With vivid stories and examples from global companies, the authors illustrate the kind of strong, attractive workplace culture that leads to sustained high performance. They also provide ways of assessing how your company is doing and describe the tensions and trade-offs that leaders must manage as they transform their organizations.
Businesses are built by growing relationships with customers. Culture is created by the stories those relationships tell. Two of the most important differentiators of a business are its talent and its culture. Talent energized by a compelling culture will drive organizational success and provide innovative growth opportunities for both the business and the individual.
Based on her more than thirty years at Chick-fil-A, most of which have been spent as Vice President, Corporate Talent, Dee Ann Turner shares how Chick-fil-A has built a devoted talent and fan base that spans generations. It’s My Pleasure tells powerful stories and provides practical applications on how to develop extraordinary talent able to build and/or stimulate a company’s culture.
Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set The Tone & Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives by Anese Cavanaugh
A proven approach to corporate culture that’s positively contagious
You are about to enter a new era of leadership. With more competiton, more connectedness, and more opportunities than ever before, this exciting new era demands a workplace culture that is collaborative, productive, energized, and contagious. A culture that encourages extraordinary growth and innovation. A culture that starts with you—showing up, setting the tone, and lighting the fire…
This book is about answering that call and setting yourself up for success.
It’s about improving your leadership presence and your impact, not just on others but yourself.
It’s about creating the space you need to share your vision, state your intention, and jump-start your team.
It’s about working yourself over—from the inside out—so you can become the strong, effective, inspiring leader you know you can be.
This is Contagious Culture, a game-changing guide to transforming corporate culture from within, developed by the award-winning creator of The IEP Method to strengthen your “Intentional Energetic Presence.” This is more than a leadership book—this is your future calling.
Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance & Extraordinary Business Results by Robert J. Anderson & William A. Adams
Is your leadership a competitive advantage, or is it costing you? How do you know? Are you developing your leadership effectiveness at the pace of change?
For most leaders today, complexity is outpacing their personal and collective development. Most leaders are in over their heads, whether they know it or not. The most successful organizations over time are the best led. While this has always been true, today escalating global complexity puts leadership effectiveness at a premium. Mastering Leadership involves developing the effectiveness of leaders—individually and collectively—and turning that leadership into a competitive advantage. This comprehensive roadmap for optimal leadership features:
Breakthrough research that connects increased leadership effectiveness with enhanced business performance
The first fully integrated Universal Model of Leadership—one that integrates the best theory and research in the fields of Leadership and Organizational Development over the last half century
A free, online self-assessment of your leadership, using the Leadership Circle Profile, visibly outlining how you are currently leading and how to develop even greater effectiveness
The five stages in the evolution of leadership—Egocentric, Reactive, Creative, Integral, and Unitive—along with the organizational structures and cultures that develop at each of these stages
Six leadership practices for evolving your leadership capability at a faster pace
A map of your optimal path to greater leadership effectiveness
Case stories that facilitate pragmatic application of this Leadership Development System to your particular situation
This timeless, authoritative text provides a systemic approach for developing your senior leaders and the leadership system of your organization. It does not recommend quick fixes, but argues that real development requires a strategic, long-term, and integrated approach in order to forge more effective leaders and enhanced business performance. Mastering Leadership offers a developmental pathway to bring forth the highest and best use of yourself, your life, and your leadership. By more meaningfully deploying all of who you are every day, individually and collectively, you will achieve a leadership legacy consistent with your highest aspirations.