Soundview Executive Book Summaries


One Editor’s Opinion (Part One)

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the end of December will see a double-dose of Top Ten lists. Media outlets of all sizes and categories will be cramming in both the best of the year and best of the decade for their respective fields of interest. At the time, I also promised you that I wouldn’t subject you to a similar review of 20 items. Soundview is best known for two things: Bringing you the 30 best business books of the year and helping busy executives save time. So, in keeping with my promise and the business’s premise, I’ll give you my personal opinion on two books that had a major impact this decade. These books are ones from which you might benefit by giving them a second look.

One of the key books to be released between 2000 and 2009 hit the shelves in 2006. Leadership expert John Maxwell had already established a notable legacy of influence in his chosen area of expertise, but he topped his previous achievements with the release of The 360 Degree Leader.

The secret to this book’s success came from its detailed answer to a simple question: how can someone lead if he or she isn’t the boss? Maxwell went beyond the traditional hierarchy in business and demonstrated the strength of one’s leadership skills at any level of an organization. I appreciated the fact that Maxwell’s personable writing style gets in touch with the reader and gives him or her the needed reminder that leadership is hard work. Many leadership books that are published in a given year seem to start midstream, assuming that a person landed a management position with little effort. Maxwell dispels the notion that anything comes easy to a leader. Respect, skill strength and consistency are earned through constant effort and the scrutiny of one’s personal performance.

The 360 Degree Leader is a book I’ve returned to and referenced frequently since its publication. Granted, I’m not the only one who felt that this book had a great impact on her leadership abilities. Our readers responded in droves to our annual survey concerning their favorite titles published during the year. Maxwell was rewarded by winning the 2006 Harold Longman Award as the best business book of the year for The 360 Degree Leader.

I’ll be back later this week with the second business book from the past 10 years that I felt had (and continues to have) great impact on the executive landscape.

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