Skip to content

Management and Leadership

two liquids are mixed in a test tube of DNA molecule

Subcategories

Or browse all Management and Leadership books

Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust

Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust

One of my favorite things to do in a presentation on collaboration was to ask people to define it. I'd offer up the idea that, much like trust, they probably thought they knew what it was that collaboration meant – right up to the point where they'd t...
Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Build Common Ground, and Reap Big Results

Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Build Common Ground, and Reap Big Results

I’ve spent a great deal of my professional career working on helping users collaborate in one form or another. I setup Local Area Networks (LANs) when they were still called that and not networks. I connected folks via email before the Internet was a...
Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking with People Who Think Differently

Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking with People Who Think Differently

No one is as smart as all of us – sometimes that’s very true and sometimes not. What makes people work together in a way where all their talents are expanded instead of diminished? That’s the idea behind Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking with People...
Collaborative Intelligence: Using Teams to Solve Hard Problems

Collaborative Intelligence: Using Teams to Solve Hard Problems

Like many people, I enjoy action movies where there are terrorists trying to wreck our world and the lone hero – or hero team – that are standing in the breach between the terrorists and our way of life. However, I’ve never really given much thought to wh...
Team Genius: The New Science of High-Performing Organizations

Team Genius: The New Science of High-Performing Organizations

How do we get productive work out of a group of people? Team Genius: The New Science of High-Performing Organizations seeks to answer this complex question. Instead of focusing on the big picture corporate strategy like Strategic Management , which...
Crucial Conversations

Crucial Conversations

With seven children in the house, a wife, and people I work with, it feels like I move from one crucial conversation to another. It feels like I move from one conversation that is important to my relationship with someone to the next one. Certainly I’m n...
Dialogue Mapping: Building a Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems

Dialogue Mapping: Building a Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems

Years ago I met Paul Culmsee . He and I were speaking at a SharePoint best practices conference and we became fast friends – even though he lives halfway across the planet in Perth, Australia. Over the years we’ve had numerous early morning/late nigh...
Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together – Defensive Routines

Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together – Defensive Routines

Sometimes my book reviews take on a life of their own. While preparing for my review of Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together , I started to gather some thoughts on one of the key aspects of dialogues, which is the impact of defensive routines. Before ...
Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together – Dialogue Together

Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together – Dialogue Together

I’ve written about Dialogue before. I initially summarized my thoughts from The Fifth Discipline  and Dialogue Mapping  in a post called Discussion and Dialogue for Learning . More recently I posted about one aspect of Dialogue in my post on Defensive Routine...
Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together – The Inner Game of Dialogue

Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together – The Inner Game of Dialogue

This is second in the three part series of blog posts about dialogue spawned by Dialogue . The first part was about Defensive Routines . In this post I’ll talk about the inner game of dialogue, what you and everyone else has to do to allow dialogue to ...
The Ethnographic Interview

The Ethnographic Interview

I’m about as far away from an ethnographer as you can get. I live in the heart of the United States and in the same home for over 20 years. And yet, I use ethnographic interviewing in one form or another every single week. How can it be that I’m not emb...
Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

When I first started reading about humility, I was struck by the idea "power held in service to others." Edgar Schein's Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling brings that power through asking questions. He proposes that when we're...
Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling

Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling

One of the problems I have with my blog – and I’m keenly aware – is that its text based. While I insert the occasional graphic, because of the logistics of the medium it’s difficult to get the level of images in the stories. I also find that I’m often try...
Mastering Logical Fallacies: The Definitive Guide to Flawless Rhetoric and Bulletproof Logic

Mastering Logical Fallacies: The Definitive Guide to Flawless Rhetoric and Bulletproof Logic

Have you ever felt like you’re in a discussion where the other person isn’t following the rules of logic? Have you ever felt like you knew things were off but you weren’t sure exactly why? I’ve felt that way, and that’s why when the book Mastering Logical Fa...
On Dialogue

On Dialogue

What does a physicist have to say about dialogue? It turns out, if that physicist is David Bohm, a lot. Bohm’s work has been referenced from six of the books that I’ve already reviewed (Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology,   Dialogue: The A...
Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel

Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel

If you had a burning passion to write a novel, how would you do it? Starting from scratch and never having done it before, what steps would you take? The answer may lie inside of Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write ...
Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

Socrates thought that books would do terrible things to our memories. Since the beginning of time, our knowledge had been passed on in the oral tradition of stories. These stories were memorized and repeated. They were handed down from generation to generation,...
De-Escalate: How to Calm an Angry Person in 90 Seconds or Less

De-Escalate: How to Calm an Angry Person in 90 Seconds or Less

There’s an angry person standing in front of you, and you want to help them with their problem – but you can’t. You can’t not because you’re incapable of solving their problem, but instead because they won’t let you. They can’t get past their anger t...
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

I don’t like win-lose games. I don’t think they’re the right way to approach life, so it would make sense that I’d resist reading Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In . It feels like it’s about dominating and conquering the other ...
Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, and Raise Performance

Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, and Raise Performance

When you can look at the topic of conflict from the eyes of a hostage negotiator, you realize that it’s a unique opportunity. Few people have the role of hostage negotiator, and it seems like it’s a role that involves nerves of steel and powerful cha...
Resolving Conflicts at Work: Ten Strategies for Everyone on the Job

Resolving Conflicts at Work: Ten Strategies for Everyone on the Job

Conflicts are everywhere. They’re at home, at work, in our politics, and in our communities. Resolving Conflicts at Work: Ten Strategies for Everyone on the Job  focuses on only work conflicts but delivers real thinking and tools that can be used in ...
Solve Employee Problems Before They Start: Resolving Conflict in the Real World

Solve Employee Problems Before They Start: Resolving Conflict in the Real World

Every once in a great while, you get to experience serendipity – a happy accident.  In this case, we had asked Scott Warrick to review our book, and in the follow up we got to see his latest book, Solve Employee Problems Before They Start: Resolving Con...
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

“Freud had a point. He was, after all, a genius. You can tell that because people still hate him.” That’s what brought me to 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos . I’m a part of a list where folks discuss various aspects of positive psychology. A 20-pag...
The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

It's an uncomfortable conversation. There is a group of change practitioners who believe coaching is required to accomplish change. I'm not convinced. However, to investigate the premise a bit, I picked up The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More &...
Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Leadership isn’t easy. It’s difficult, because leadership requires a great deal of strength. I don’t mean lift-a-car-off-a-child sort of strength. I mean the kind of strength to both understand who you are and be who you are. Brené Brown’s latest book, Da...
Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

I read a lot of content on psychology. I love learning more about how people think. I am intrigued by different attempts to understand the human condition. However, I don’t find myself interested in studying the neurology of how the brain works. In Emotional In...
Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World

Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World

Sometimes you stumble over a book in a way that makes you believe that there’s some outside force – God or the higher power or whatever – and you decide you need to read it. Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the Wo...
Joy, Inc.

Joy, Inc.

Learning how to grow a company is a difficult challenge. There’s never enough time and always too many problems. There’s always the gap between what you want to do and what you actually do accomplish. However, despite this some leaders manage to create not...
Leadership

Leadership

The title is simple. The book is long. However, Leadership  is a comprehensive look at political leadership that James MacGregor Burns executes well. I’m not personally much of a fan of political books. However, as I read Leadership for the Twenty-First Cent...
Leadership and Self-Deception

Leadership and Self-Deception

Self-Esteem is something we’re pushing into our children. Dr. Spock’s guidance to parents in the 1950s led parents to work on a child’s self-esteem to the exclusion of proper discipline. Here’s what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says in Finding Flow : “Dr...
Leadership for the Twenty-First Century

Leadership for the Twenty-First Century

Leadership is a tricky word to define. That’s why, in Leadership for the Twenty-First Century , Joseph Rost takes more than two-thirds of the book to try to define it – and probably still doesn’t get it quite right. You might expect that I wouldn’t be a fan...
The Leadership Machine

The Leadership Machine

There’s an old I Love Lucy  episode where Lucy and Edith are workers at a chocolate factory, and they can’t keep up, so they start eating the chocolates and stuffing them in their clothes. Laverne and Shirley  are standing in front of an assembly line in...
Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Change

Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Change

Never has the relationship between leadership and change been so laid bare as in Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Change . It should not be surprising that leadership and change are so related. Leaders are the catalysts and...
Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

As a consultant for the better part of my career, I have had the opportunity to move between organizations fairly fluidly. I’ll be working with a manager for a few months or a few years and then move to the next project at the next organization. One o...
On Becoming a Leader

On Becoming a Leader

Sometimes my reading list has me walking down a long hall with statues lining each side. The statues are the great men and women who moved forward our understanding of ourselves, the way that we work, and the way that we lead. On Becoming a Leader is...
One Minute to Midnight

One Minute to Midnight

It was the closest that the world had ever come to a global nuclear war, and it started in America’s back yard. Metaphorically speaking, it was just one minute from the end of the atomic day. The clock advanced to just one minute before midnight, a w...
Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

There are numerous books about leadership. A plethora of visionaries over the years have sought to improve leadership in organizations. So what makes Primal Leadership  unique is that it talks about the emotional component of leadership. Speaking about e...
Quiet Leadership

Quiet Leadership

There are a lot of noisy leaders in our world today. There are too few people who have the courage and desire to demonstrate Quiet Leadership . The book is interesting, because, ostensibly, it's introducing you to a six-step process for transforming...
Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership

I meet monthly with a group of organizational development folks. Some of them are professors. Some are consultants. Others are practitioners in their organizations. I love the meetings because they challenge me to learn and grow. Several of the participants...
The Titleless Leader: How to Get Things Done When You’re Not in Charge

The Titleless Leader: How to Get Things Done When You’re Not in Charge

Being the president of your own company has its advantages. However, it doesn’t mean that you always get your way or that you’ve always got the power to tell others what to do. There are committees, boards, and other places where you’re not in charge. In my...
The Wisdom of Walt: Leadership Lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth

The Wisdom of Walt: Leadership Lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth

My first visit to Walt Disney World was when I was about eight or nine. I can’t remember my exact age but from the pictures and my memories I know that I wasn’t too much older than that. I can remember arriving when the park opened and leaving when the...
The Four Disciplines of Execution

The Four Disciplines of Execution

Running your own company is sometimes challenging – in truth most entrepreneurs would say that it’s almost always challenging. In some ways I feel like the challenges of a small business are very different than the challenges of large organizations. Som...
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t

I had read Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t  by Jim Collins years ago but I decided to re-read it because for whatever reason when I read it the last time, I didn’t have any memorable pull quotes – I didn’t have anythi...
The Halo Effect: … and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers

The Halo Effect: … and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers

It seems like we’re all prone to want to find amazing solutions. Whether it’s Ponce De Leon looking for the fountain of youth, searching for the lost city of Atlantis, or searching for El Dorado, we seek to find the seemingly impossible – and in at le...
Human Capital

Human Capital

These days it's relatively common to hear employees described as "human capital." However, that wasn't always the case. The term began to become popular in 1964 with the publishing of Human Capital , the work of Gary Becker. Before that, capital was...
Making It Happen: Turning Good Ideas into Great Results

Making It Happen: Turning Good Ideas into Great Results

With a title of Making It Happen  you might expect that the book is all about execution. How do you get the idea converted into action? At some level this is true, it’s about making ideas happen. However, at another level, it’s not. It’s less about e...
Management and the Worker

Management and the Worker

It started two years before The Great Depression, and the impact on what we know about management can't be understated. Management and the Worker seems to share the insights that were discovered at the Western Electric Company's Hawthorne Works based...
No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Workplace Drama, End Entitlement, and Drive Big Results

No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Workplace Drama, End Entitlement, and Drive Big Results

It started with the liars. They’d ask, “Do you have a minute?” They’d plop themselves down in the comfy guest chair and proceed to take about 45 minutes. That’s what kicked off Cy Wakeman’s quest and led to No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Work...
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

No one cares what you know until they know how much you care. That truth is at the heart of Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity . Your job as a manager or leader is to bring out the best in the people you’re working with, an...
Seeing David in the Stone

Seeing David in the Stone

While speaking with a friend recently she said that she had written in her notebook a concept similar to Snapchat  that she had never followed up on. I once knew someone who said that her father had invented the technology behind invisible fencing but n...
Taiichi Ohno’s Workplace Management: Special 100th Birthday Edition

Taiichi Ohno’s Workplace Management: Special 100th Birthday Edition

Lots of people speak about the Toyota Production System or lean manufacturing, but few have taken the time to look at what the originator has to say about it. Taiichi Ohno's Workplace Management: Special 100th Birthday Edition is his writing about the...
Who: The “A” Method for Hiring

Who: The “A” Method for Hiring

In my work on knowledge management it’s become all too clear that labor costs are the costs that dominate most organizations’ budgets. Unless you’re in a particularly material cost intensive industry – such as manufacturing – most of your cost in an org...
Working Out Loud: For a Better Career and Life

Working Out Loud: For a Better Career and Life

I’ve worked out loud in my career by accident. I started with editing then writing books. I started writing articles (because they required less effort) and I’ve been speaking for years now. In many ways, my life has been what Working Out Loud: For a Be...
How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business

How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business

Douglas Hubbard certainly knows how to throw down a dare. His book, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Intangibles in Business  certainly is a superlative title. The promise is that you’ll be able to measure absolutely anything with the techniques lai...
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t (Statistics and Models)

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t (Statistics and Models)

In the first part of this review we spoke of how people make predictions all the time. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail- but Some Don’t  has more to offer than some generic input on predictions, it has a path for us to walk abo...
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

Nearly everyone has fantasized about getting a winning lottery ticket, even if we don’t play the lottery. The number one desire for a time traveling machine may be to go into the future and get the list of lottery numbers, so we can come back and win. W...
The Tyranny of Metrics

The Tyranny of Metrics

Everyone has been held accountable for metrics that they didn’t own the results of. Whether it was sales, profitability, or some other metric, we’ve been subject to The Tyranny of Metrics . That does not necessarily mean, however, that all metrics are ...
The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

I heard Patrick Lencioni  speak at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit  and that prompted me to pick up his latest book, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business . I’ve been a fan of Lencioni’s work for a while....
The Heretic’s Guide to Management: The Art of Harnessing Ambiguity

The Heretic’s Guide to Management: The Art of Harnessing Ambiguity

Years ago I came to understand how learning worked in the trades model. The apprentice was – literally – following the instructions of a journeyman or master to complete small repeatable tasks. The journeyman would start to detach from the small repeatable tas...
Organizational Traps: Leadership, Culture and Organizational Design

Organizational Traps: Leadership, Culture and Organizational Design

The first quote from the book in my notes is, “Anyone who has spent time in an organization knows that dysfunctional behavior abounds. Conflict is frequently avoided or pushed underground rather than dealt with openly.” This is the heart of why I kne...
Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness

I’ve been a consultant for 25 years or so. In that time, I’ve seen some truly stellar organizations, a lot of so-so organizations, and a few that are seriously dysfunctional. When I was prompted in a session to take a look at the book Reinventing Orga...
The Theory of the Growth of the Firm

The Theory of the Growth of the Firm

What makes some organizations grow and thrive and others wither and die? That's just part of the question that Edith Penrose set out to answer in Theory of the Growth of the Firm . Her book was initially published in 1959 and was reprinted after her...