Filed under: Books in General, From the Editor, General Business, Hands-On Management, Leadership | Tags: Bob Sutton, Good Boss Bad Boss, Robert Sutton
It’s not easy to follow-up a runaway success. Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, was faced with such a task. His 2007 best-seller The No Asshole Rule raised eyebrows for more than just its title. Sutton pulled no punches in his assessment of the toxic workplace culture created by brutal, oppressive individuals. In Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best and Learn from the Worst, Sutton provides an ideal second installment. Now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary, Good Boss, Bad Boss moves the narrative forward. It gives readers a set of instructions to be the best managers they can be.
It’s interesting to note that Sutton was originally tempted to write a straight-ahead sequel to The No Asshole Rule, but after examining the situations in which many of the book’s stories occurred, he found that a boss was the central figure in nearly every case. Executives that read Good Boss, Bad Boss will be grateful that Sutton chose to focus on formulating a healthy management mindset. The practice of being a good boss requires diligence. Through case studies and research, Sutton reveals the necessary steps to move from a great mindset to transformational actions. As an added bonus, Sutton acknowledges that the bulk of individuals in management positions also report to someone, and he includes observations on surviving the worst flaws of a bad boss.
Filed under: Books in General, From the Editor, General Business, Hands-On Management, Leadership, Personal Development, Strategic Management | Tags: Claudio Feser, Good Boss Bad Boss, Les McKeown, Robert Sutton, Serial Innovators, The Synergist
Executives are constantly fighting a battle on two fronts. There is the desire to improve the organization month by month and quarter by quarter. However, personal progress cannot be neglected in the pursuit of organizational excellence. After all, to make a better company, you need to be at your best. This month Soundview Executive Book Summaries features three summaries that will help you improve the performance of yourself, your team and your organization.
Serial Innovators by Claudio Feser: The typical life expectancy of a company is estimated to be about 15 years. What does it take to exist beyond that average? A company must be able to keep up with changing markets. It has to learn what elements are slowing down its ability to adapt. A company must be able to continuously reinvent itself to stay relevant. Serial Innovators is a guide for how to build a company that is adaptive, innovative and can survive well into the future.
The Synergist by Les McKeown: A successful team includes bold dreamers (Visionaries), pragmatic realists (Operators), and systems designers (Processors) but it takes a Synergist to blend the motivations and goals of the three types and get everyone to work together effectively. The Synergist puts aside his or her own agenda and captures the best input from each team member. Anyone can learn to be the Synergist and fill this critical role in teamwork improvement. The Synergist reveals a proven method to build highly successful teams while stimulating personal and organizational growth.
Good Boss, Bad Boss by Robert I. Sutton: How a boss wields his or her power over an employee is bound to result in feelings that might include resentment, confusion or possibly comfort. If you are a boss, are you attuned to how your words and actions affect your employees? Good Boss, Bad Boss is for bosses and those who have bosses. It details how to adopt the characteristics of a good boss and survive the flaws of a bad boss. Dr. Sutton uses real-life case studies and behavioral science research to reveal exactly what the best bosses do.
To download your copies in any of Soundview’s multiple digital formats, visit Soundview’s Web site, Summary.com.
Filed under: Books in General, From the Editor, General Business, Leadership, Strategic Management | Tags: George Anders, Hiring, Human Resources, Rare Find, The Rare Find
This past weekend saw the annual running of the Kentucky Derby, the biggest thoroughbred race in the United States. For some companies, the process of hiring a new employee can be the same as placing a wager on a thoroughbred. Despite in-depth research, lengthy accolade-filled resumes and ringing endorsements, employers are often left in the same state as gamblers who put their hopes on a “sure thing,”: tearing their tickets up in disgust. Meanwhile, a select few back an unlikely candidate that surges past the pack and into the record books. Columnist and author George Anders takes an in-depth look at the science of recognizing talent in his new book The Rare Find: Spotting Exceptional Talent Before Everyone Else. The summary of Anders’ latest release is now available from Soundview Executive Book Summaries.
Anders tackles the question of talent discovery with writing that will keep any executive riveted to the page. He has a gift for telling a compelling story but sacrifices none of the takeaways that business book readers require in exchange for the investment of their time. By putting examples from Teach for America alongside more predictable references to Facebook and Hewlett-Packard, Anders provides a more complete picture of the talent-scouting process. Any executive who is involved in the hiring process at his or her company will want to read Anders section on “the jagged resume.” A candidate’s scattered success record used to be a one-way ticket to the discard pile. However, Anders does a masterful job of teaching readers why a potential employee with an up-and-down record could become a superstar if your company is the right setting.
Special Reminder for Soundview Subscribers! This Thursday, May 10, George Anders will be our guest on Soundview Live, the exclusive weekly Webinar series that puts you in touch with today’s top business authors. If you’re a Soundview subscriber, you can attend for FREE. Just visit Summary.com and click the Webinars tab to find out how you can sign up!
Filed under: Books in General, From the Editor, General Business, Leadership | Tags: David Novak, KFC, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Taking People With You, Yum! Brands
In terms of a memorable story from the head of one of the world’s largest brands, Yum! Brands Chairman and CEO David Novak delivers one of the best in his book Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make BIG Things Happen. Now available as a summary from Soundview Executive Book Summaries, Novak tells a story in the book’s introduction of a PepsiCo employee breaking down in tears. The employee was neither upset nor angry. His emotion stemmed from complete surprise that his co-workers regarded him as the best merchandising expert they’d ever encountered. Novak realized a twofold sense of disappointment. Here was an employee who never felt appreciated. It led Novak to wonder how many other PepsiCo employees felt the same way.
What Novak did with this experience is construct a recognition culture that powers a brand with more than $11 billion in revenues. In Taking People With You, Novak provides one of the best CEO tutorials for turning your organization into one in which every contributor feels valued. Managers at every level of a company will benefit from the advice dispensed by Novak. One can’t-miss section is the second of the book’s three parts. In this segment, Novak gives readers the building blocks to construct and improve strategy, structure, and culture.
Novak’s emphasis that “winning together” is the essential ingredient in creating a great workplace culture should not be overlooked. He argues that too many organizations ignore the need for culture. For companies that argue they are too big (or even too small) to implement an improved workplace culture should reconsider the statement when they read about the scope of Novak’s efforts and his conviction to the idea of a shared victory.
Filed under: Books in General, From the Editor, General Business, Leadership | Tags: Amazon, Book Review, Book Summary, books, Business, business book, Business book summary, business books, Customer Service, Joseph Michelli, Leadership, Marketing, Soundview, Soundview Summary, Success, Summary.com, Zappos
When business book authors seek companies that exemplify superior abilities in areas such as innovation, product development and talent development, a small list of names rapidly fills the pool. If asked, readers could name the top five with little effort: Apple, Google, Amazon.com, Facebook, and Procter & Gamble. In fact, the first three, respectively, are the top three companies named on FORTUNE magazine’s 2012 list of the 50 most admired companies. When the discussion turns to customer service, a new name joins the list: Zappos.com. In The Zappos Experience: 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage and WOW best-selling author Joseph Michelli explores the wildly different way of thinking that powers one of the strongest customer service engines in today’s global marketplace. The Zappos Experience is now available in multiple digital formats as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Michelli’s familiarity with corporate giants is second to none. His previous books have profiled Starbucks, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, and Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market. If there is a single quality that distinguishes Michelli from his contemporaries, it’s his ability to blend elements of a company’s history with critical insight into how the company’s finer points can be replicated in the reader’s organization. Other authors get distracted by providing more biography than takeaways. Michelli’s five principles connect Zappos’ outstanding philosophy of building a great culture to a reader’s attempts to increase employee engagement, connect with customers and provide a truly exceptional service experience.
Zappos’ abilities as a service provider were a key factor in the company’s 2009 acquisition by Amazon.com. Readers will be fascinated by what Michelli discovered about the acquisition and the linchpin that helped Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh confirm the deal. Needless to say, Amazon.com’s third-place finish on FORTUNE’s most-admired list in 2012 is tied to some extent to Zappos’ service culture.
Special Note to Soundview Subscribers! Don’t forget to listen to Soundview’s Author Insight Series featuring Joseph Michelli. He provides some additional insights about Zappos that you won’t hear anywhere else. Log in to your Soundview online library and check it out!
Filed under: Books in General, From the Editor, General Business, Hands-On Management, Leadership, Strategic Management
There is a level of performance to which individuals and companies aspire that few can achieve. It’s doubtless that the path to the pinnacle of success requires a good bit of help along the way. Now available on Summary.com are three new Soundview Executive Book Summaries that give executives strategies for three essential parts of a successful business: hiring, team-building, and customer service.
The Zappos Experience by Joseph Michelli: The Zappos name has come to stand for a new standard of customer service, an amazing online shopping experience, a great place to work, and the most impressive transformational business success story of our time. Simply put, Zappos is revolutionizing business and changing lives. Now, Joseph Michelli, author of the internationally bestselling business books Prescription for Excellence and The Starbucks Experience, explains how Zappos does it — and how you can do it in your industry.
Taking People With You by David Novak: There are countless leadership books, but how many will actually help a Taco Bell shift manager, a Fortune 500 CEO, a new entrepreneur, or anyone in between? David Novak’s new book Taking People with You will. Novak knows that managers and leaders can make things happen by one skill: getting people on their side. He offers a step-by-step guide to setting big goals, getting people to work together, blowing past your targets, and celebrating after you shock the skeptics. And then doing it again and again until consistent excellence becomes a core element of your culture.
The Rare Find by George Anders: Anyone who recruits talent faces the same basic challenge, whether we work for a big company, a new start-up, a Hollywood studio, a hospital, or the Green Berets. We all wonder how to tell the really outstanding prospects from the ones who look great on paper but then fail on the job. Or, equally important, how to spot the ones who don’t look so good on paper but might still deliver extraordinary performance. Author George Anders sought out the world’s savviest talent judges to see what they do differently from the rest of us. Drawing on the best advice of these and other talent masters, Anders reveals powerful ideas you can apply to your own hiring.
To download your copies in any of Soundview’s multiple digital formats, visit Soundview’s Web site Summary.com.
Filed under: Books in General, From the Editor, General Business, Leadership | Tags: John C. Maxwell, The 5 Levels of Leadership
John C. Maxwell remains one of the most popular authors whose books have been summarized by Soundview Executive Book Summaries. When one considers the reasons why Maxwell strikes a resonant chord time and again, a trio of potential answers become readily apparent. Maxwell’s books include straightforward advice, a strong moral and philosophical underpinning, and a warmth in delivery that feels like personal coaching from an old friend. All of the above are present once more in Maxwell’s latest best-seller The 5 Levels of Leadership, now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary at Summary.com.
Maxwell takes readers on a journey through a career in leadership. His five levels (Position, Permission, Production, People Development and The Pinnacle) are a framework upon which a career in any industry can be constructed. Each level is supported by principles, rules or beliefs that instill capability and confidence in readers. Maxwell distinguishes his level system from other leadership books by establishing up front that being named to a leadership position, while an honor, does little more than provide an empty vessel. How and with what that vessel is filled forms the heart of the challenge of leadership.
Executives reading The 5 Levels of Leadership will want to pay particular attention to Maxwell’s fourth level (People Development). The ability to develop productive leaders from one’s own team is a difficult skill to master. It can also intimidate executives who fear that they are grooming their own replacements. Maxwell provides heartfelt council about the reasons why developing leaders is the single highest goal to which any executive can aspire. It is only through the multiplication of one’s own success in others that the fifth and final level (The Pinnacle) can be attained. The fact that Maxwell states that the fifth level is a rarity is a testament to the determination it takes to achieve this goal.