There are three hardcover business books that debuted on today’s Wall Street Journal best-selling list (May 28-29, p. C 16).
# 4 – NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE by Christopher Voss (Harper Business)
# 5 – YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A SHARK by Robert Herjavec (St. Martin’s Press)
#10 – MAKERS AND TAKERS by Rana Foroohar (Crown Business)
We will watch to see which of these, if any, make the New York Times business best-seller list. That is our primary source for selecting books for the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. Click here for information about our monthly event.
Of interest, our August selection at the FFBS, The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey-Bass) climbed from # 7 to # 3 this week. The Chris Anderson book, TED: A Guide to Public Speaking (Houghton-Mifflin) dropped from # 3 to # 9 this week.
The new book by Chris Anderson, TED: Guide to Public Speaking (Houghton Mifflin, 2016), rocketed to the #3 position in its debut week on the Wall Street Journal best-selling hardcover business list, published on May 21-22 (p. C14).
We rely on the New York Times business best-seller list as our primary source for selecting books for the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. We will consider this book, as well as others, as soon as we see its listing there.
Other new books include The Ideal Team Player (Jossey-Bass, 2016) by Patrick Lencioni at #7. It debuted at #8 last week.
Let me help you plan your reading for 2011.
The issue is… Leadership Development.
Look at those words. Think about them. They say a lot. Mainly they say this – leaders have to be developed, and leaders have to focus on, and work on, continual development. This does not happen by accident. Some leaders may be “born,” but most leaders are “developed.”
And one practice of ever-developing leaders is that they read. They read books for the purpose of personal development.
I thought about all of this after a great conversation over breakfast with my blogging colleague, Bob Morris. We talked about a lot. We share a love of reading, we share a deep appreciation of good authors and good books, so we are probably a little “biased” in our view of leadership development. But I think the evidence is on our side – leadership development does not happen by accident, and reading good books is a critical and time-tested path to leadership development.
So – assume that you are leader, and that you want to work on leadership development. What should you read? I’ve got a suggested list. If Bob, or my First Friday Book Synopsis colleague Karl Krayer were to suggest a list, it would be a different list. These are mostly books that I have read. It is my list of “areas of focus.” Some of these books are not new. But they are all worth reading, and if you want to get serious about leadership development, I think this is a pretty good list to start with.
Of course, there are other areas of focus that need/deserve/beg for attention — and other truly deserving book titles. This list is only a beginning…
So – here it is – my suggested reading list for leadership development. It includes seven areas of focus, with a total of eleven books. That is one book a month for 2011 (giving you either July or December “off”). Whether you choose these titles or not; whether you choose these areas of focus, or not; this I recommend: follow a leadership development plan. It is worth the investment of time!
|As you focus on:||A good book to read is:|
|The Right Values||True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership (J-B Warren Bennis Series) by Bill George and Peter Sims|
|The Right Strategy||The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking by Roger L. Martin
Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm by Verne Harnish
|Effective Leadership||(note: this was a tough “focus” for which to choose the “best” book(s). I absolutely would include this Kouzes and Posner book: it is practical, and extraordinarily valuable).
Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst “Best” Practices of Business Today by Susan Scott
|Effective Communication||Words that Work by Frank Luntz
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
|Functional, Effective Teamwork
|The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni|
|Cultivating Creativity and Innovation||The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson
|Successful Execution||Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan|
I hope you succeed at your attempts at leadership development in 2011.
Note: this is not my first attempt to suggest a reading list. Earlier, I posted this: Build Your Own Strategic Reading Plan — or, How Should You Pick Which Business Book(s) to Read? It has other suggestions, for other areas of focus.
So many books…so little time!
Here are three ways we can help with your leadership development efforts:
#1: You can bring me, or my colleague Karl Krayer, into your organization to present synopses of these, and many other books. These synopses provide the key content, and facilitated discussion of the implications. Contact me at .
#2: You can purchase our 15 minute version of these synopses, with audio + handout, from our companion web site at 15minutebusinessbooks.com. (Most of these were presented live at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. Be sure to read the faqs).
#3: Our blogging colleague Bob Morris is an accomplished business consultant, and can help your organization tackle these (and other) issues in an extended way. Contact Bob directly at .
Update: My blogging colleague Bob Morris, added some worthy volumes to this list. Check out his expanded list by clicking here.
Here’s his expanded list:
The Right Values
True North by Bill George and Peter Sims
The Executive’s Compass by James O’Toole
The Highest Goal by Michael Ray
The Heart Aroused by David Whyte
The Right Strategy
The Opposable Mind by Roger L. Martin
Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Unstoppable by Chris Zook
Enterprise Architecture as Strategy by Jeanne Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson
Fierce Leadership by Susan Scott
Encouraging the Heart by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
Maestro by Roger Nierenberg
True North by Bill George and Peter Sims
Words that Work by Frank Luntz
Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Influence by Robert Cialdini
The Back of the Napkin and Unfolding the Napkin by Dan Roam
Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
Functional & Effective Teamwork
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
Organizing Genius by Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman
Collaboration by Morten Hansen
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Cultivating Creativity and Innovation
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
Freedom, Inc. by Brian M. Carney and Isaac Getz
The Idea of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation by Thomas Kelley
Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono
Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind by Guy Claxton
Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki
The Other Side of Innovation by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble
Open Innovation and Open Business Models by Henry Chesbrough
Plus two additional categories:
Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice co-edited by Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana
The Talent Masters by Bill Conaty and Ram Charan
The Center for Creative Leadership Handbook of Leadership Development co-edited by Ellen Van Velsor, Cynthia D. McCauley, and Marian N. Ruderman
Extraordinary Leadership co-edited by Kerry Bunker, Douglas T. Hall, and Kathy E. Kram
Employee Engagement & Talent Management
A Sense of Urgency and Buy-In by John Kotter
The Art of Engagement by Jim Haudan
Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees by Lee J. Colan
Growing Great Employees by Erika Andersen
Bob Morris has reviewed over 10 million books by now (ok – the actual number is over 2,000 – but if you get to know the man, you think he has read every book! He is an amazing font of knowledge). His reviews appear in a lot of places, including Amazon.com, and of course here on our blog.
So – here’s a question: which of his reviews has been looked at more than any other on our blog? It is his review of the Patrick Lencioni book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. (read his review here). And it is not number one by a little bit – but by a whole lot.
The book is terrific. I just checked, and at this moment, it is ranked in the top 650 in books over-all on Amazon, and is #1 in “teams,” #1 in “Human Resources & Personnel Management,” and #1 in “Entrepreneurship” among Amazon’s sales categories. And, remember, the book came out in 2002. Amazing!
Is it that good a book? Yes. I have presented my synopsis of the book, and it is always easily grasped, it is true to real-world circumstances, and it is always appreciated.
Here are the five dysfunctions of a team, from the book:
1. Dysfunction one: an absence of trust among team members. – (resulting problem: invulnerability)
2. Dysfunction two: fear of conflict. — (resulting problem: artificial harmony)
3. Dysfunction three: lack of commitment. — (resulting problem: ambiguity)
4. Dysfunction four: an avoidance of accountability. — (resulting problem: low standards)
5. Dysfunction five: inattention to results. — (resulting problem: status and ego)
And here’s another way to look at this model: imagine how members of truly cohesive teams behave:
1. They trust one another.
2. They engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas.
3. They commit to decisions and plans of action.
4. They hold one another accountable for delivering against those plans.
5. They focus on the achievement of collective results.
So here is the question. With its enduring popularity, is it really that good of a book, or, is it that building and maintaining a truly functional team is really that big of a problem? Though the book is terrific, I think the second is the real truth.
Whenever I speak about this book, or related subjects, I ask: Have you ever seen a dysfunctional team? Every hand goes up. Always. Dysfunctional teams are everywhere around us. And, though many teams have been helped by reading this book, I suspect that the overall functionality of teams has not improved in the last eight years.
There are a lot of dysfunctional teams out there!
So, maybe the sixth dysfunction of a team is this:
• Dysfunction six: a failure to recognize the likelihood of being a dysfunctional team. – (resulting problem: blindness to reality)
If you are on a team; if you lead a team; never assume that you will be, and remain, functional. You have to be intentional about being fully functional.
It is work to read a book. It is hard work to be honest about circumstances, and take actual, tangible steps to improve, correct, change… You’ve got your work cut out for you. And one place to start is to read this book – as a team!
You can purchase my synopsis of this book, with handout + audio, at our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.
We had a wonderful morning at the October First Friday Book Synopsis. Karl presented a synopsis of the terrific new Tony Schwartz (et. al) book, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance.
I presented my synopsis of The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems by Richard Pascale, Jerry Sternin, and Monique Sternin, which described how the worst problems can be solved — in fact, in many cases have already been solved – by the successful “positive deviants” found in almost any and every group.
Both books were really good, useful, challenging, books. We will have our synopses, with handouts + audio, up on our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com, available in a couple of weeks.
For next month, (the first Friday of November, November 3), we have chosen these two books. Karl will present Derailed: Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership by Tim Irwin, Patrick Lencioni (Foreword).
And I will present a synopsis of the brand new book by Don Tapscott (et. al) Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World. (I can’t wait to read this!) His earlier book, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (which I presented at the May, 2007 First Friday Book Synopsis), is a genuinely significant book in this/for this connected age.
If you are in/will be in the DFW area, come join us on November 3. As one enthusiastic participant said this morning – “great content, really good food, great networking – the best event I attend each month.”