Readin’ Up

A little while ago I decided to take a night off from walking on the treadmill and reading my book club book and instead follow some sage advice and leaf through more business books. I decided to pull out four books that cover a variety of topics.

1. Leading Out Loud, Inspiring Change Through Authentic Communication

*Another similar book you may want to check out is: Leading Out Loud: A Guide for Engaging Others in Creating the Future

2. The First 90 Days

3. The Culture Code, An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do

4. Consumed-Rethinking Business in the Era of Mindful Spending

Below are some quotes from each book. I have numbered the quotes according to the number next to each book above. But I do encourage you to leaf through your own versions and learn a few things you may not have known in the past or had not thought about.

“Mindful consumption will flourish if consumers embrace it en masse. If enough of us change the way we buy, businesses will have no choice but to adapt. As the Internet has taught us, when tens of thousands of people band together to work toward a common end, it quickly gets the attention of corporations….The shift toward mindfulness maybe gradual. For most of us-including those who aspire toward mindful consumption-there is a wide gap between how we would like to consume and how we actually do consume…but consumer habits, however and grain, can be influenced by various means-a fact of which marketers are increasingly aware. “-4

The change that is now required for success in many institutions is no longer merely incremental, it is discontinuous, radical, frightening to those who participate. And fields as diverse as economics, medicine, biological and physical research, social and political structures,and certainly business, we are not simply being asked to do better than our predecessors, we are being asked to do different. Leaders are faced with inspiring followers to take the same kind of risk; to jump this chasm with them…experiencing conviction of what changes required calls for personal reflection-not merely reading good management books. An authentic vision for progress doesn’t just appear out of the ether, nor does it [come] from what others believe to be important. Your passion about what you want to change the gross from the foundation of values that have been formed by your life experience.”-1

“Communication that moves committed action includes both passion and reason. Both are necessary general trust infection from others, so that the mind is as fully engaged as the heart. Accordingly, writing is imperative to communicating authentically. Writing reveals fuzzy thinking, exposes slurred distinctions: it clarifies. That’s why it is so difficult. And it takes time, more time to write them to make a few notes…Any leadership message you construct will be the basis for most communication you have about your plan to change things for the better. Others can help, but finally, it is your own values, your own commitment to an issue that will determine the power of the message to you, and therefore to others. Whatever response you want from others must happen to you first.”-1

Method: structured interviews with the organization. Uses: identifying shared and divergent perceptions of opportunities and problems. You can interview people at the same level in different departments or bore down through multiple levels. Whichever dimension you choose, ask everybody the same questions and look for similarities and differences... Useful for: most useful for managers leading groups of people from different functional back rooms. Can be useful at lower levels if the unit is experiencing significant problems….Your learning priorities and strategies will inevitably shift… As you start to interact with your new boss, or to figure out where to get some early wins, or to build supportive coalitions, it will be critical for you to gain additional insights…What is your learning agenda, based on what you know now compose a list of questions to guide your early inquiry. If you have begun to form hypotheses about what is going on, what are they and how will you test them? How might you increase the efficiency of your learning process? What are some ways you might extract more actionable insights for your investment of time and energy?”-2

Poke around any of these books and you are sure to learn a few new things!

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