9 notable business books for your Christmas gift list
A look at business books that lean toward leadership, management and the modern workplace
A management consultant in a bookstore is like a kid in a candy store, at least it is for me. I really look forward to my twice annual list of notable books that I prepare for summer reading and for gift giving during the holiday season. As usual, most of the books were published this year but there are a few included from a few years back that I missed in earlier lists.
Grit to Great
Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary — Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval (2015). Two award-winning New York ad executives speak of their unlikely ascension in the highly competitive world of advertising through applying their formula for success based on grit. Theirs is a recipe that relies much less on natural talent and much more on putting in the time to do the hard work. Lots of stories of perseverance and seeing things to the very end. How can you resist a quick read that has the word "pluck" in the subtitle?
Getting to Yes with Yourself and other Worthy Opponents
What You Really Need to Lead
Here is the balance of the list for late 2015 gift giving or to add to your bookshelf:
- Collaboration Begins with You — Be a Silo Buster by Ken Blanchard, Jane Ripley, Eunice Parisi-Carew (2015). Blanchard has authored over 60 books mostly with others … enough said.
- Leading — Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson (2015). What I wouldn't give to attend Ferguson's infrequent classes at Harvard Business School. One of the very few instances where sport leadership effectively crosses over into real-life leadership lessons for organizations and communities.
- Triggers — Creating Behavior That Lasts — Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith (2015). Success self help for the CEO set by the executive coach to elite CEOs. Goldsmiths offers us "the 6 questions to Kick-Start Change". Great read, not as compelling a book title as his previous book What Got You Here Won't Get You There.
- The Best Place to Work —The art and science of creating extraordinary workplaces by Ron Friedman (2014). I have followed Friedman on Twitter for some time. It is workplace science with unexpected twists and turns. Well written, exquisitely researched with valuable and applicable insights on virtually every page. Very compelling.
- Presentation Zen — Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds (2012).Simple ideas and examples to make our presentations look fantastic.
- Beyond Bullet Points — Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire Cliff Atkinson (2011). The science of effective PowerPoint presentations; so many need to read this to avert the epidemic of death by PowerPoint.