Here are our top picks for the best leadership & business books for October 2014
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created The Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens.
What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?
In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page.
This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative.
For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, The Innovators shows how they happen.
Leaders today need to be mindful of their circumstances as well as mindful of their own strengths and shortcomings. They need to have the disposition to succeed as well as the inner resourcefulness to persevere. Leaders must be willing to do things differently but also draw on tried and true traits, such as courage and gumption.
Moxie is a concept that the modern leader is wise to adopt—one part courage, one part can-do spirit, and one part recognition. In Moxie: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership, author John Baldoni uses concrete, tried-and-true steps to bring out the inner leader in everyone. For management and employees alike, Moxie provides a roadmap to inspire innovation and effective leadership. Whether you’re already at the helm of your organization or still looking for a way up the ladder, Moxie is the leadership tool you can’t do without. Built on the MOXIE framework, leaders learn how Motivation, Opportunity, an “X” factor, Innovation, and Engagement work together for success.
The Moment You Can’t Ignore: When Big Trouble Leads To A Great Future by Malachi O’Connor and Barry Dornfeld
These are “moments that cannot be ignored”—events, actions, comments that stop people in their tracks and, in one fell swoop, make it blindingly clear that an organization is stuck and unable to move forward. And they have become regular occurrences in today’s corporations, non-profits, and educational institutions as new forms of work, communication, and technology expose the ways in which an organization’s culture—or “the way we do things around here”—conflicts with new competitive demands. The result: telling incidents—all too visible elephants in the room—that reveal underlying conflicts as well as hidden assets.
In The Moment You Can’t Ignore, Malachi O’Connor and Barry Dornfeld tell fascinating “you are there” stories of people and organizations as they encounter and then navigate through and beyond these un-ignorable moments, and show what we can learn from them. They outline the big questions organizations need to ask themselves about identity, leadership, and the capacity to innovate that an understanding of culture can help answer, and deliver powerful insights into recognizing and harnessing hidden assets that point in the direction of a new future.
In our age of porous organizations and constant change, The Moment You Can’t Ignore demonstrates that the adage, “culture eats strategy for lunch,” is more relevant now than ever.
Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative offers practical insights for the executive, manager or professional who feels like their RPM is maxed out in the red zone. By making the concepts and practices of mindfulness simple, practical and applicable, this book offers actionable hope for today’s overworked and overwhelmed professional.
New research shows that the smartphone equipped professional is connected to work 72 hours a week. Forty eight percent of Americans report that their stress level is up and that the number one source of stress is the job pressure of a 24/7 world.
What’s the alternative? Top leadership coach and educator Scott Eblin offers one in Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative. While mindfulness is one of the “Top Ten Trends for 2014 and Beyond,” many professionals think it’s just too hard to give it a try. In this book, Eblin shows that mindfulness that makes a difference doesn’t require meditating like a Buddhist monk.
Overworked and Overwhelmed is a handbook for more mindful work and living.
Is it possible to be at your best even when you are underqualified or doing something for the first time? Is it still possible, even after decades of experience, to recapture the enthusiasm, curiosity, and fearlessness of youth to take on new challenges? With the right mindset—with Rookie Smarts—you can.
In a rapidly changing world, experience can be a curse. Careers stall, innovation stops, and strategies grow stale. Being new, naïve, and even clueless can be an asset. For today’s knowledge workers, constant learning is more valuable than mastery.