Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Leading Through Troubled Times
December 16, 2008, 3:10 PM
Filed under: Leadership | Tags: ,

“In times of economic uncertainty, corporations resort to any number of means to solidify their organizations and ensure that they are able to look through problems to see success on the other side. Trying times are often the forge in which successful leaders reach for the stratosphere while up-and-coming executives prove their mettle under fire.” – from Defining the Leader, Transforming the Team, a free Soundview Special Report.


In this climate of economic uncertainty, there is no better time than now for executives to focus on improving their leadership skills. Business book publishers are very aware of this interest in leadership and at Soundview I see many leadership titles come across my desk every year. Here’s a sampling.


Jack Welch is the quintessential CEO, and many books have been written about him. In one recent title What Made jack welch Jack Welch, authors Stephen Baum and Dave Conti look at the roots of leadership. They explore the experiences that shape a good CEO and turn these stories into a descriptive road map to the corner office.


James Parker, former CEO of Southwest Airlines, describes his team leadership approach in the book Do the Right Thing. One of his many points is to describe a successful accomplishment as a team effort but to take personal responsibility in the event of a failure. He also makes every effort to get employees to “think like owners.”


Engagement is also a hot topic with leaders right now. According to a recent Gallup Organization poll, only 26% of employees are truly engaged and of the remaining 74%, 55% are disengaged and have no passion for their jobs. Clint Swindall takes on this issue in his book Engaged Leadership, breaking his solution into three elements: Directional Leadership, communicating the corporate vision in a way that gets employees to agree to it; Motivational Leadership, motivating employees positively by celebrating the small successes that move toward the larger goal; and Organizational Leadership, using the team and culture to overcome disengagement.


During this economic crisis, you might consider picking up a few of the top leadership titles and applying their key principles to your leadership strategy. You can also get an introduction to additional titles by picking up Soundview’s free special report, Defining the Leader, Transforming the Team: How to Turn Turbulence into Success.


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