On this page you'll find books and references to
Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
Here's another management parable that draws its lesson from an unlikely source--this time it's the fun-loving fishmongers at Seattle's Pike Place Market. In Fish! the heroine, Mary Jane Ramirez, recently widowed and mother of two, is asked to engineer a turnaround of her company's troubled operations department, a group that authors Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen describe as a "toxic energy dump." Most reasonable heads would cut their losses and move on. Why bother with this bunch of losers? But the authors don't make it so easy for Mary Jane. Instead, she's left to sort out this mess with the help of head fishmonger Lonnie. Based on a bestselling corporate education video, Fish! aims to help employees find their way to a fun and happy workplace. While some may find the story line and prescriptions--such as "Choose Your Attitude," "Make Their Day," and "Be Present"--downright corny, others will find a good dose of worthwhile motivational management techniques. If you loved Who Moved My Cheese? then you'll find much to like here. And don't worry about Mary Jane and kids. Fish! has a happy ending for everyone
Good to Great
Five years ago, Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great Collins, the author of Built to Last, concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not so great, the book offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence that any organization would do well to consider. Like Built to Last, Good to Great is one of those books that managers and CEOs will be reading and rereading for years to come
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
John C. Maxwell offers lively
stories about the foibles and successes of Lee Iacocca, Abraham Lincoln,
Princess Diana, and Elizabeth Dole in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of
Leadership. Readers can expect a well-crafted discussion that emphasizes
the core attitudes and visions of leadership. Maxwell uses the same
tell-it-like-it-is approach that he honed in the bestselling Developing the
Leader Within You. For instance, when explaining "The Law of Influence,"
Maxwell states that "job titles don't have much value when it comes to
leading. True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed or assigned. It comes
only from influence and that can't be mandated." Even after Princess Diana
was stripped of her title, Maxwell says she was still able to lead a global
effort toward banning land mines because of her sophisticated ability to
The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All
This earnest guide to career transition periods-when a new job or promotion puts an employee in an unfamiliar role-asserts, reassuringly, that navigating the all-important first 90 days is a "teachable skill." Business professor Watkins, co-author of Right From the Start: Taking Charge in a New Leadership Role, lays out a "standard framework" for leadership transitions, based on "five fundamental propositions," "ten key challenges," and a four-fold typology of situations that new managers find themselves in. Fortunately, Watkins balances the theorizing with practical steps managers can take to get on top of things and initiate changes, including elaborate self-assessment checklists, planning exercises and meticulous guidelines on how to have conversations with underlings and bosses. His advice, if not very original, is sound. He warns managers not to assume that their existing skills will suffice for new roles, advises them to pursue small-scale "early wins" to boost credibility, and admonishes workplace Machiavellis to "avoid pressing for closure until you are confident the balance of forces acting on key people is tipping your way." Watkins's penchant for cut-and-dried schematizations sometimes goes overboard, especially in the book's plethora of elementary graphs, tables, diagrams and matrices (novice orators are informed that "classic values invoked to convince others to embrace potentially painful change are summarized in table 8-1," while the oceanic topic of "Intersecting Cultural Dimensions" gets boiled down to a three-ring Venn diagram). But if the content of Watkins's counsel is not always obviously helpful, his systematized approach to thinking will at least help panicky executives keep their wits about them.
The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader
Why do some people consistently inspire others to follow their lead? According to John C. Maxwell, author of 24 books and a regular speaker on the topic, it's the "character qualities" they possess. In The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, Maxwell identifies these top traits as character, charisma, commitment, communication, competence, courage, discernment, focus, generosity, initiative, listening, passion, positive attitude, problem-solving, relationships, responsibility, security, self-discipline, servant hood, teach ability, and vision--and then defines them in ways that readers can absorb and utilize. Each is covered in a separate chapter opening with a high-concept definition and continuing with relevant anecdotes, details on its meaning, suggestions for further reflection, and exercises for improvement. For example, in the section on vision ("You can seize only what you can see"), Maxwell describes how Walt Disney initially developed the theme-park concept after accompanying his daughters to a fun-filled but rather shabby amusement park. He then analyzes how Disney's resultant projects drew on his personal history while meeting other's needs, and explains how readers must "listen to several voices" to develop successful foresight in a similar way. Finally, Maxwell suggests methods to articulate these visions and measure their implementation.
You're in Charge--Now What? : The 8 Point Plan
For any manager in a new position, from CEO to department subhead, the title's question is of paramount importance. The authors of this seminal book, top brass at leading global executive search firm Spencer Stuart, answer it with a comprehensive approach to maximizing the first 100 days on the job, drawing dramatically on the experience of more than 50 chief executives (as well as other corporate personnel) interviewed in depth. The authors' clear, sound eight-point plan covers the bases of what incoming business leaders need to know, from how to prepare physically and mentally for the first 100 days to crafting a strategic agenda; dealing with and transforming corporate culture; shaping the management team; working with a boss or a board; and more. What truly distinguishes this book from available management volumes, besides its inspiring hit-the-ground-running approach, is the material gleaned from the chief executives (among them, for example, Gary Kusin of Kinko's; Paul Pressler of Gap Inc.; Jonathan F. Miller of AOL; Steve Bennett of Intuit), which is full of entertaining, enlightening first-person anecdotes. Notably, this material focuses on steps to avoid as well as on appropriate actions to take. Lawrence Summers, for instance, named president of Harvard University in 2001, recalls that he "didn't fully appreciate the importance of simply providing traditional institutional reassurance.... I failed to appreciate that if you're going to be questioning everybody and challenging everybody, you have to do a lot of reassuring in return." Near book's end, Neff and Citrin (Lessons from the Top, etc.) distill their plan into two principles: "Listen and Learn. Under promise and over deliver." Their expert elaboration of those principles throughout will make their work a guiding light to many an incoming manager.
Developing The Leader Within You
Few of us are natural-born
leaders, according to John C. Maxwell, author of Developing the
Leader Within You. Fortunately though, "the traits that are the raw
material of leadership can be acquired," he promises. "Link them up
with desire and nothing can keep you from becoming a leader. This
book will supply the leadership principles. You must supply the
desire." True to his words, Maxwell offers a detailed and inspiring
primer on becoming a leader. Even the Table of Contents reads like a
Winning With People : Discover the People Principles that Work
for You Every Time
With more than seven million copies of 30-odd titles in print, preacher turned leadership guru Maxwell is a one-man publishing empire. His latest follows the proven format—a series of short, friendly sermons filled with plainspoken common sense. This time, Maxwell takes on interpersonal skills, saying, "All of life's successes come from initiating relationships with the right people and then strengthening those relationships by using good people skills." The book offers 25 chapter-based "People Principles" that explore how to prepare oneself for relationships, focus on others, build trust, invest in others and create win-win relationships. The quality of the content varies. Some chapters, like "The Confrontation Principle" with its six-step "road map for healthy confrontation," are concise, thoughtful and original. Others (particularly in the later sections, where the book starts to run out of steam), such as "The Partnership Principle," are more like motivational talks and offer few practical takeaways. Each principle is introduced with two to three pages featuring a familiar figure—Abraham Lincoln, Barbara Walters, Ben Franklin, Angelina Jolie, etc.—or a personal story from the author's life. Maxwell concludes each principle with a page of discussion questions, which should prove useful since the book doesn't lend itself to a cover-to-cover read and is probably best swallowed one principle at a time, with some reflection in between.
The 8th Habit
In the more than fifteen years since its publication, the classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has become an international phenomenon with over fifteen million copies sold. Tens of millions of people in business, government, schools, and families, and, most important, as individuals have dramatically improved their lives and organizations by applying the principles of Stephen R. Covey's classic book.
The world, though, is a vastly changed place. The challenges and complexity we all face in our relationships, families, professional lives, and communities are of an entirely new order of magnitude.
Being effective as individuals and organizations is no longer merely an option -- survival in today's world requires it. But in order to thrive, innovate, excel, and lead in what Covey calls the new Knowledge Worker Age, we must build on and move beyond effectiveness. The call of this new era in human history is for greatness; it's for fulfillment, passionate execution, and significant contribution.
Accessing the higher levels of human genius and motivation in today's new reality requires a sea change in thinking: a new mind-set, a new skill-set, a new tool-set -- in short, a whole new habit. The crucial challenge of our world today is this: to find our voice and inspire others to find theirs. It is what Covey calls the 8th Habit.
So many people feel frustrated, discouraged, unappreciated, and undervalued -- with little or no sense of voice or unique contribution. The 8th Habit is the answer to the soul's yearning for greatness, the organization's imperative for significance and superior results, and humanity's search for its "voice." Profound, compelling, and stunningly timely, this groundbreaking new book of next-level thinking gives a clear way to finally tap the limitless value-creation promise of the Knowledge Worker Age. The 8th Habit shows how to solve such common dilemmas as:
Covey's new book will transform the way we think about ourselves and our purpose in life, about our organizations, and about humankind. Just as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People helped us focus on effectiveness, The 8th Habit shows us the way to greatness
Leadership and the One Minute Manager : Increasing
Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership
simple terms Leadership and the One Minute Manager® teaches
managers the art of Situational Leadership®--a simple system
that refutes the conventional management mandate of treating all
employees equally. Here, you'll learn why tailoring management
styles to individual employees is so important; why knowing when
to delegate, support, or direct is critical; how to identify the
leadership style suited to a particular person; and how
consistent use of the One Minute techniques will produce better
management and enhanced motivation on all levels. This
remarkable, easy-to-follow book is a priceless guide to
creative, personalized leadership that elicits the best
performance from your staff--and the best bottom line for any