Here are our top picks for the best leadership & business books for October 2015:
Today we live in a culture that says, “Life should be easy and work well.” This attitude, called entitlement, influences our most important institutions: family, business, church, and government. Its devastating effects contribute to relational problems, work ethic issues, and emotional struggles.
It comes down to this: People are not getting to where they want to go, because they don’t know how to do life the hard way. Entitlement keeps them from tackling challenges and finding success.
But whether readers are struggling with their own sense of entitlement or dealing with someone who acts entitled, The Entitlement Cure will equip them to turn away from a life of mediocrity to a life of engagement, satisfaction, and joy.
Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring For Your People Like Family by Bob Chapman & Raj Sisodia
Starting in 1997, Bob Chapman and Barry-Wehmiller have pioneered a dramatically different approach to leadership that creates off-the-charts morale, loyalty, creativity, and business performance. The company utterly rejects the idea that employees are simply functions, to be moved around, “managed” with carrots and sticks, or discarded at will. Instead, Barry-Wehmiller manifests the reality that every single person matters, just like in a family. That’s not a cliché on a mission statement; it’s the bedrock of the company’s success.
During tough times a family pulls together, makes sacrifices together, and endures short-term pain together. If a parent loses his or her job, a family doesn’t lay off one of the kids. That’s the approach Barry-Wehmiller took when the Great Recession caused revenue to plunge for more than a year. Instead of mass layoffs, they found creative and caring ways to cut costs, such as asking team members to take a month of unpaid leave. As a result, Barry-Wehmiller emerged from the downturn with higher employee morale than ever before.
It’s natural to be skeptical when you first hear about this approach. Every time Barry-Wehmiller acquires a company that relied on traditional management practices, the new team members are skeptical too. But they soon learn what it’s like to work at an exceptional workplace where the goal is for everyone to feel trusted and cared for—and where it’s expected that they will justify that trust by caring for each other and putting the common good first.
Everyone knows collaboration creates high performing teams and organizations—and with today’s diverse, globalized workforce it’s absolutely crucial. Yet it often doesn’t happen because people and groups typically believe that the problem is always outside: the other team member, the other department, the other company. Bestselling author Ken Blanchard and his coauthors use Blanchard’s signature business parable style to show that, in fact, if collaboration is to succeed it must begin with you.
This book teaches people at all levels—from new associates to top executives—that it’s up to each of us to help promote and preserve a winning culture of collaboration. The authors show that busting silos and bringing people together is an inside-out process that involves the heart (your character and intentions), the head (your beliefs and attitudes), and the hands (your actions and behaviors). Working with this three-part approach, Collaboration Begins with You helps readers develop a collaborative culture that uses differences to spur contribution and creativity; provides a safe and trusting environment; involves everyone in creating a clear sense of purpose, values, and goals; encourages people to share information; and turns everyone into an empowered self-leader.
Lead More, Control Less: 8 Advanced Leadership Skills That Overturn Convention by Marvin R. Weisbord & Sandra Janoff
In their decades of leading groups all over the world, Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff discovered they could get superior results by creating an unconventional approach to leadership. Leaders still need to get everyone aligned around the same goals. But to maximize energy, creativity, and productivity, they gain more by focusing on structure rather than behavior, enabling people to take responsibility and manage themselves.
Lead More, Control Less describes eight essential skills for establishing a culture of autonomy and self-leadership. Using examples and case studies, Weisbord and Janoff describe how leaders can share responsibility, defuse group conflicts, show everyone the big picture, and more. With this approach, leaders truly gain more control by giving it up.
In Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin share hard-hitting, Navy SEAL combat stories that translate into lessons for business and life. With riveting first-hand accounts of making high-pressure decisions as Navy SEAL battlefield leaders, this book is equally gripping for leaders who seek to dominate other arenas. Jocko and Leif served together in SEAL Task Unit Bruiser, the most highly decorated Special Operations unit from the war in Iraq. Their efforts contributed to the historic triumph for U.S. forces in Ramadi. Through those difficult months of sustained combat, Jocko, Leif and their SEAL brothers learned that leadership–at every level–is the most important thing on the battlefield. They started Echelon Front to teach these same leadership principles to companies across industries throughout the business world that want to build their own high-performance, winning teams.
This book explains the SEAL leadership concepts crucial to accomplishing the most difficult missions in combat and how to apply them to any group, team, or organization. It provides the reader with Jocko and Leif’s formula for success: the mindset and guiding principles that enable SEAL combat units to achieve extraordinary results. It demonstrates how to apply these directly to business and life to likewise achieve victory.