Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It Is Off Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood)

We swim in an ocean of feedback. Bosses, colleagues, customers—but also family, friends, and in-laws—they all have “suggestions” for our performance, parenting, or appearance. We know that feedback is essential for healthy relationships and professional development—but we dread it and often dismiss it.

That’s because receiving feedback sits at the junction of two conflicting human desires. We do want to learn and grow. And we also … [ Read more ]

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

Communication is essential in a healthy organization. But all too often when we interact with people—especially those who report to us—we simply tell them what we think they need to know. This shuts them down. To generate bold new ideas, to avoid disastrous mistakes, to develop agility and flexibility, we need to practice Humble Inquiry.

Ed Schein defines Humble Inquiry as “the fine art of drawing … [ Read more ]

Leadership Conversations: Challenging High-Potential Managers to Become Great Leaders

Whether you’re newly-promoted into your first management role, an established veteran of the C-suite, or somewhere between, your most powerful skill as a leader is the ability to hold effective conversations.

After a promotion to a management or leadership role, most people struggle with how to leave behind former priorities and mindsets. Leadership Conversations defines and distinguishes the very different mindsets of management and leadership, and … [ Read more ]

Leading Outside the Lines: How to Mobilize the (In)Formal Organization, Energize Your Team, and Get Better Results

From the bestselling coauthor of the business classic The Wisdom of Teams comes an all-new exploration of the modern workplace, and how leaders and managers must embrace it for success. Katzenbach and Khan examine how two distinct factions together form the bigger picture for how organizations actually work: the more defined “formal” organization of a company-the management structure, performance metrics, and processes-and the “informal”-the culture, … [ Read more ]

Productive Workplaces: Dignity, Meaning, and Community in the 21st Century: 25th Anniversary Edition

This third edition of the classic resource, Productive Workplaces is smart, well-written and well-researched, thoughtful, somewhat provocative, and a one-of-a-kind review of the integration of economics, technology, and people. It covers such topics as: the work on self as integral to organizational change; the revision of Lewinian concepts for a new era; and the history behind “getting everybody improving whole systems” as a response to … [ Read more ]

Reading the Room: Group Dynamics for Coaches and Leaders

In Reading the Room, renowned systems psychologist and family therapist David Kantor applies his theory of structural dynamics to help leaders and coaches understand and improve communication within their teams. He helps readers understand how and why they and their teams communicate differently when faced with low-stakes or high-stakes situations, and he provides a framework to help improve leadership behavior in high-stakes situations.

Acknowledging that early … [ Read more ]

Bass & Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership

For seventeen years and through two editions, this Handbook has been the indispensable “bible” for every serious student of leadership. This third edition reflects the growth and changes in the study of leadership since the 1981 edition. There have been shifts in both content and method. Senior managers, for example, have become an increasing subject of inquiry. Distinctly separate fields of inquiry, such as … [ Read more ]

Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice

The study of leadership suffers intellectual neglect and has yet to be considered a serious academic discipline. And though the mission statements of most business schools profess to ‘develop leaders who make a difference in the world’, these same schools produce hardly any serious scholarship or research to advance our understanding of leadership. To fill this void, Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana have invited leading … [ Read more ]

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why. It … [ Read more ]

Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow

From the author of the long-running # 1 bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0 comes a landmark study of great leaders, teams, and the reasons why people follow.

Nearly a decade ago, Gallup unveiled the results of a landmark 30-year research project that ignited a global conversation on the topic of strengths. More than 3 million people have since taken Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment, which forms the core of several … [ Read more ]

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor

In Transparency, the authors – a powerhouse trio in the field of leadership – look at what conspires against “a culture of candor” in organizations to create disastrous results, and suggest ways that leaders can achieve healthy and honest openness. They explore the lightning-rod concept of “transparency” – which has fast become the buzzword not only in business and corporate settings but in government and … [ Read more ]

Walk the Walk: The #1 Rule for Real Leaders

In Walk the Walk, Alan Deutschman offers a new take on the true nature of great leadership. Though some experts make it seem complicated, it is actually breathtakingly simple. According to Deutschman, most leaders focus too much on what they say and not nearly enough on setting an example.

This book shows what happens in those unusual cases of true leaders-in business, education, the military, and … [ Read more ]

Leadership in Administration: A Sociological Interpretation

Philip Selznick has profoundly affected how all serious students of organizations think about their subject. Leadership in Administration is, perhaps, his masterpiece: a lucid, rigorous, yet humane analysis of the essential task of leadership that brilliantly reaffirms the organic, value-infused character of a successful enterprise, whether private or public. The central concepts of the book–‘mission,’ ‘distinctive competence’–have become so much a part of our … [ Read more ]

Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help

In this seminal book on helping, corporate culture and organizational development guru Ed Schein analyzes the dynamics of helping relationships, explains why help is often not helpful, and shows what any would-be-helper must do to insure that help is actually provided.

Many words are used for helping — assisting, aiding, advising, coaching, consulting, counseling, supporting, teaching, and many more — but they all have common dynamics … [ Read more ]

The Puritan Gift: Reclaiming the American Dream Amidst Global Financial Chaos

The Puritan Gift traces the origins and the characteristics of American managerial culture which, in the course of three centuries, would turn a group of small colonies into the greatest economic and political power on earth. It was the Protestant ethic whose characteristics–thrift, a respect for enquiry, individualism tempered by a need to cooperate, success as a measure of divine approval–helped to create the conditions … [ Read more ]

Leadership Ensemble: Lessons in Collaborative Management from the World-Famous Conductorless Orchestra

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1972 in New York, designed to rely on the skills, abilities, and passionate commitment of its members rather than on the leadership of a conductor. Power, responsibility, and motivation rest entirely in the hands of the musicians. Jointly its members make the artistic decisions that are ordinarily the work of a conductor, and they participate in choosing the … [ Read more ]

The Leadership Code: Five Rules to Lead By

What makes a great leader?

It’s a question that has been tackled by thousands. In fact, there are literally tens of thousands of leadership studies, theories, frameworks, models, and recommended best practices. But where are the clear, simple answers we need for our daily work lives? Are there any?

Dave Ulrich, Norm Smallwood, and Kate Sweetman set out to answer these questions–to crack the code of leadership. … [ Read more ]

Radical Trust: How Today’s Great Leaders Convert People to Partners

In this engaging and hard-hitting guide to leadership, Joe Healey reveals a simple, yet powerful method for teaching the four competencies necessary to build performance-enhancing trust. Using inspiring case studies and stories of real leaders, Healey shows how these four competencies form the foundation of financial success in this age of global competition. While recent books make the case for why trust is important, Radical … [ Read more ]

Change the Way You Lead Change: Leadership Strategies that Really Work

Popular wisdom suggests that fewer than 20% of all change initiatives are really successful. More alarming still for top managers, a survey of 1087 corporate directors, reported in BusinessWeek in 2005, found that 31% of CEOs fired by their boards were removed because they mismanaged change; more than any other cause. Why is this happening—and why do we need another book purporting to have “the … [ Read more ]

High Flyers: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

How do you develop the people who will one day lead your company? High Flyers challenges conventional wisdom about how to groom executives for the top positions in the firm by presenting a strategic framework that senior managers can use to identify and develop future executives. McCall demonstrates that the best executives aren’t necessarily managers who possess a previously identified, generic list of traits or … [ Read more ]