My Reading List

  • The Effective Executive
    by Peter Drucker
    The measure of the executive, Peter F. Drucker reminds us, is the ability to "get the right things done." This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them into results.
    Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can, and must, be learned:
    - Managing time
    - Choosing what to contribute to the organization
    - Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect
    - Setting the right priorities
    - Knitting all of them together with effective decision-making
  • The Power Of Simplicity: A Management Guide to Cutting Through the Nonsense and Doing Things Right
    by Jack Trout

    Renowned marketing expert and best-selling author Jack Trout has a message for managers who are struggling to keep up with today’s ever-changing business climate: “Keep It Simple.” In this paperback edition of The Power of Simplicity, Trout advocates the importance of paying attention to the basics and simplifying processes in order to stay focused on the core business at hand. Through case studies and interviews with successful executives, he shows managers how to cut through jargon, articulate their vision, and regain control of the vital elements of their business in order to make it thrive. According to Trout, the things that propose to streamline companies, like the ubiquitous “mission statements,” often end up bogging down operations by introducing unnecessary complexity where a straightforward approach may be more effective. Trout cites Southwest Airlines, Intel, and Kohl’s department stores among others as successful companies that have rejected showy trappings in favor of simplification.

  • Winning
    by Jack Welch, Suzy Welch

    Jack Welch knows how to win. During his forty-year career at General Electric, he led the company to year-after-year success around the globe, in multiple markets, against brutal competition. His honest, be-the-best style of management became the gold standard in business, with his relentless focus on people, teamwork, and profits.

  • The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!
    by Al Ries, Jack Trout

    As Al Ries and Jack Trout—the world-renowned marketing consultants and bestselling authors of Positioning—note, you can build an impressive airplane, but it will never leave the ground if you ignore the laws of physics, especially gravity. Why then, they ask, shouldn't there also be laws of marketing that must be followed to launch and maintain winning brands? In The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Ries and Trout offer a compendium of twenty-two innovative rules for understanding and succeeding in the international marketplace. From the Law of Leadership, to The Law of the Category, to The Law of the Mind, these valuable insights stand the test of time and present a clear path to successful products. Violate them at your own risk.

  • Jack Trout on Strategy
    by Jack Trout

    With his 1981 classic, Positioning, Jack Trout (along with coauthor Al Reis) forever changed the way marketing strategy is done. In the more than two decades since then, he has remained at the forefront of marketing and strategic thinking. Written in response to the demands by Trout fans, acolytes, and students worldwide, this book brings together the key ideas from his substantial body of work in a quick-bite format.

  • Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition
    by Jack Trout
    "Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith, and perseverance to create a brand."-David Ogilvy
    In today's ultra-competitive world, the average supermarket has 40,000 brand items on its shelves. Car shoppers can wander through the showrooms of over twenty automobile makers. For marketers, differentiating products today is more challenging than at any time in history yet it remains at the heart of successful marketing. More importantly, it remains the key to a company's survival.
  • Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
  • The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed
    by Adam Bryant

    This is for all you young people out there. Indispensable advice on what to expect when you join a company and how to manage your career (yes, YOU have to manage it, not we), inasmuch a career can be managed.

  • Jack: Straight from the Gut
    by Jack Welch, John A. Byrne

    A very candid account of one of the world's greatest executives - Jack Welch. His mistakes, his people philosophy, his focus on results and winning. Should be read bey every young and aspiring executive.

  • Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter's Guide
    by Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway, Jon Warshawsky

    The responsibility of every manager includes fighting complexity - including complexity in language. Complex language is the result of a cluttered mind. Fight it! Read this book! The title says everything.

  • The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations
    by John P. Kotter, Dan S. Cohen

    Simple premise! People change what they do less because we give them analysis that shifts their thinking than because we show them a truth that influences their feelings

  • Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All
    by Jim Collins, Morten T. Hansen

    In Great By Choice: Uncertainty Chaos and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All we ask: why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? Based on nine years of research, buttressed by rigorous analysis and infused with engaging stories, Jim and coauthor Morten Hansen enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times. This book is classic Collins: contrarian, data-driven, and uplifting.

  • How to Hire A-Players: Finding the Top People for Your Team- Even If You Don't Have a Recruiting Department
    by Eric Herrenkohl

    How to Hire A-Players is a roadmap for finding the A-player talent you need to create the business you want.  No matter the state of the economy, it is never easy to find A-players.  You have to know where to look and how to attract phenomenal performers to your business.

  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
    by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

    Switch asks the following question: Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?

  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
    by Daniel H. Pink

    Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake. The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

  • Outliers: The Story of Success
    by Malcolm Gladwell

    "Outlier" is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience. In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

    His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. 
  • Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions By Knowing What To Ask
    by Michael J. Marquardt

    In Leading with Questions, internationally acclaimed management consultant Michael Marquardt shows how you can learn to ask the powerful questions that will generate short-term results and long-term learning and success. Throughout the book, he demonstrates how effective leaders use questions to encourage participation and teamwork, foster outside-the-box thinking, empower others, build relationships with customers, solve problems, and much more. Based on interviews with twenty-two successful leaders who “lead with questions,” this important book reveals how to determine which questions will lead to solutions in today’s complicated business world.

  • The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office
    by Ray Fisman, Tim Sullivan

    In THE ORG, Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan explain the tradeoffs that every organization faces, arguing that this everyday dysfunction is actually inherent to the very nature of orgs. THE ORG diagnoses the root causes of that malfunction, beginning with the economic logic of why organizations exist in the first place, then working its way up through the org's structure from the lowly cubicle to the CEO's office.

  • The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
    by Atul Gawande

    The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry—in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people—consistently, correctly, safely. We train longer, specialize more, use ever-advancing technologies, and still we fail. Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument that we can do better, using the simplest of methods: the checklist. In riveting stories, he reveals what checklists can do, what they can’t, and how they could bring about striking improvements in a variety of fields, from medicine and disaster recovery to professions and businesses of all kinds. And the insights are making a difference. Already, a simple surgical checklist from the World Health Organization designed by following the ideas described here has been adopted in more than twenty countries as a standard for care and has been heralded as “the biggest clinical invention in thirty years” (The Independent).

  • Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work
    by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

    Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We’re overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn’t. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings doesn’t fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are nearsighted helps us to see. The real question is: How can we do better?

  • The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
    by Robert I. Sutton

    Good read. Funny.The idea of the book is based on the notion, as adapted in hugely successful companies like Google and SAS, that employees with malicious intents or negative attitudes destroyed any sort of productive and pleasant working environment, and would hinder the entire operation's success. No matter how good their individual results.

  • The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do
    by Clotaire Rapaille

    Why are people around the world so very different? What makes us live, buy, even love as we do? The answers are in the codes.

  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
    by Charles Duhigg

    In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.