For the fourth straight summer I’m sharing reading recommendations because previous posts have proven popular. As we emerge from a period as challenging as any in recent memory, these seven books—some new, others classic—invite you to learn, lead and laugh.
Lencioni’s previous 11 books examine the “how” of leadership. This one—told as a fable of a struggling CEO—examines the “why.”
I bought this book four months into the pandemic and laughed out loud as I read Seinfeld’s “bits” that he’d saved during his 45 years as a comic. Next to a vaccine for COVID, laughter is good medicine.
Less about cutting and more about pruning unhealthy programs, processes and people to focus on and then double down on the “few differentiating capabilities—the things [an organization does] better than any other company.”
Each of us walks around with more than 100 cognitive biases. This timeless book (first published in 1985) is a short, powerful guide for leveraging a team’s strengths (and minimizing biases) to explore new possibilities and make better decisions.
First, Break All the Rules
by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
Based on two gargantuan research studies by Gallup surveying more than one million employees, this book distills that research into 12 simple questions that distinguish the characteristics separating high-performing organizations from all the rest.
The Man Who Ran Washington
by Peter Baker & Susan Glasser
Regardless of your political leanings, leaders can learn James A. Baker III who wielded power and pragmatism while serving six U.S. presidents and “negotiated with Democrats at home and Soviets abroad, rewrote the tax code, assembled the coalition that won the Gulf War, brokered the reunification of Germany and helped bring a decades-long nuclear superpower standoff to an end.” Baker’s style of leadership is “a lost art in today’s fractured nation.”
The Insider’s Guide to Rejuvenating Underperformers
by Greg Bustin
Before we blame others who are underperforming, we first need to look in the mirror. This new, free eBook provides concepts, questions and tools for coaching underperformers, including many not included in my full-length book Accountability. Download your free copy of the eBook today.
To dive even deeper into the topic of accountability, I invite you to purchase a copy of my bestselling book, “Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture.”
Business schools teach case studies. Hollywood blockbusters are inspired by true events.
Exceptional leaders are students of history. Decision-making comes with the territory.