New summary posted! The Leading Brain by Friederike Fabritius & Dr. Hans W. Hagemann

readinglist_leadingbrainOur understanding of how the brain works has radically shifted, exploding long-held myths and fundamentally changing the way we interact and succeed in the workplace. In The Leading Brain, neuropsychologist Friederike Fabritius and leadership expert Dr. Hans W. Hagemann present simple yet powerful strategies for sharpening focus, learning and retaining information more efficiently, improving complex decision-making, cultivating trust and building strong teams. Based on the authors’ popular leadership programs, which have been delivered to tens of thousands of leaders all over the word, this clear, insightful and informed guide will help both individuals and teams perform at their maximum potential, delivering extraordinary results. Effective leadership is a science, which shouldn’t be dependent on buzzwords or slogans. It should be based on a bedrock foundation of our understanding of the brain. Thanks to breakthroughs in neuroscience, we no longer have to merely speculate on the behavior of our brains. What we’ve learned from rigorous scientific studies has the potential to radically change the way we lead and succeed.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• How understanding neurochemistry can help you achieve peak performance.
• How to retrain your brain to sharpen your focus and regulate your emotions.
• How to develop new and better habits.
• How to harness the power of unconscious decision-making.
• How to improve the learning process for yourself and your team

New Executive Summary posted: No Limits by John C. Maxwell

nolimitsWe often treat the word “capacity” as if it were a natural low of limitation. Unfortunately, most of us are much more comfortable defining what we perceive as off-limits rather than what’s really possible. Could it be that many of us have failed to expand our potential because we have allowed what we perceive as capacity to define us? What if our limits are not really our limits? In No Limits, leadership expert John C. Maxwell identifies the abilities and choices that make up our capacity. Some are things we all already possess, such as energy, creativity and leadership. Others are things we must choose, such as attitude, character and intentionality. Maxwell examines each of these capacities and provides rich insight on self-awareness as well as clean and actionable advice on how you can increase your potential. He teaches you how to identify, grow and apply your critical capabilities. Once you’ve blown the “cap” off your capabilities, you’ll find yourself more successful — and fulfilled — in your daily life.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:

• To become aware of the possibilities that can increase your capacity and make you better by recognizing your value through self-awareness.
• How to identify and develop the capacities that are already within you and understand how each capacity works together to improve you and your life.
• To make smart choices that allow you to reach your fullest potential

Mastering Civility by Christine Porath

Image result for Mastering Civility by Christine Porath Incivility is silently chipping away at people, organizations and our economy. Slights, insensitivities and rude behaviors can cut deeply and hijack focus. Even if people want to perform well, they can’t. Ultimately incivility cuts the bottom line. In Mastering Civility, Christine Porath, the leading authority on workplace incivility, shows why it pays to be civil and how people can enhance their influence and effectiveness with civility. Combining scientific research with fascinating evidence from popular culture and fields such as neuroscience, medicine and psychology, Porath makes clear what’s really at stake regarding civility, helps individuals evaluate and improve their own behavior and provides valuable strategies for how leaders can find and keep employees who help to create civility in organizations. Mastering Civility provides managers and employers with a much-needed wake-up call, while also reminding them of what they can do right now to improve the quality of their workplaces.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• The physical, psychological and monetary costs of incivility for individuals and organizations.
• Why you can be civil and get ahead.
• To evaluate your own civility and concrete strategies to improve.
• A four-step plan for organizations to improve civility.
• How to respond if you are the target of incivility.

10 Rules for Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees

The-Future-Workplace-Experience-3D-652x1024Disruptive technologies. The gig economy. Breadwinner moms. Data-driven recruiting. Personalized learning. The Future Workplace Experience presents an actionable framework for meeting today’s toughest business disruptions head-on. It guides you step by step through the process of recruiting top employees and building an engaged culture, one that will drive your company to long-term success. Two of today’s leading voices on the future of work, Jeanne C. Meister and Kevin J. Mulcahy, provide 10 rules for rethinking, reimagining and reinventing your organization. Everything we took for granted in the past, from what we expect from our jobs to whom we work with and how, is changing before our eyes. The strongest organizations today are “learning machines.” New challenges require new solutions, and some organizations are finding them. If you want to compete in the years to come, you have to meet the future now. The Future Workplace Experience is your playbook for taking your organization to the top of your industry.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• The 10 rules to help your organization recruit and engage the best employees.
• What workers expect from work and how and why companies are creating employee experiences to mirror their best customer experiences.
• How technology transforms the workplace and can be both an enabler and a disruptor.
• The changing composition of the workforce driven by gender, generation and the gig economy.

The Best Place to Work by Ron Friedman, Ph.D

bestplacetoworkIn The Best Place to Work, award-winning psychologist Ron Friedman uses the latest research from the fields of motivation, creativity, behavioral economics, neuroscience and management to reveal what really makes us successful at work. Combining powerful stories with cutting-edge findings, Friedman shows leaders at every level how they can use scientifically proven techniques to promote smarter thinking, greater innovation and stronger performance. Among the many surprising insights, Friedman explains how learning to think like a hostage negotiator can help you defuse a workplace argument, why placing a fishbowl near your desk can enhance your thinking, and how incorporating strategic distractions into your schedule can help you reach smarter decisions. Brimming with counterintuitive insights and actionable recommendations, The Best Place to Work offers employees and executives alike game-changing advice for working smarter and turning any organization — regardless of its size, budgets or ambitions — into an extraordinary workplace.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• Why successful teams make more mistakes than other teams.
• How the design of our workplace impacts our performance.
• Six insights to delay the adaptation that erodes happiness.
• Why the best managers focus on themselves.
• How to provide daily opportunities for autonomy, competence and relatedness.

Book Review: Shoe Dog By Phil Knight

Shoe DogNike is one of the world’s most famous brands. Its swoosh, famously created by an art student for just a few dollars, is ubiquitous. Its outsourcing business model is considered genius by some, controversial by others. Everyone knows Nike — or at least we think we do.

Shoe Dog, the story of Nike written by its founder, Phil Knight, offers a new perspective on the brand. Knight tells a surprisingly riveting tale. The book’s chapters are organized by year, and much of the book is spent on the first 10 years of the company (launched in 1962). As with a detective series in which we know the detective will emerge unscathed, the fact that we know the ultimate outcome of this story does not deter from the white-knuckle ride on which Knight expertly takes his readers. Knight is able to convey the fear and frustration of living on the edge that continues year after year, even as his company continues to grow. For example, Knight describes receiving the “pair count” (how many pairs of shoes shipped) from the warehouses every day. Because he depended on daily sales to generate the cash he needed to keep the business, then called Blue Ribbon Sports, alive, “the daily pair count determined my mood, my digestion, my blood pressure, because it largely determined the fate of Blue Ribbon,” he writes. “If we didn’t “sell through,” sell all the shoes in our most recent order, and quickly convert that product into cash, we’d be in big trouble.”

Blue Ribbon Sports may not be familiar to many, but it was the original name of the company that Knight founded in 1962 (the word “Nike” does not appear until nearly 200 pages into the book). Although known today as the king of outsourced manufacturing, Knight’s “Crazy Idea” — the business model he developed as a Stanford MBA student — was to introduce quality Japanese shoes to America, and specifically the Tiger, manufactured by Onitsuka Company (now Asics) in Kobe, Japan. For a number of years, Blue Ribbon Sports, a company that only existed in Knight’s mind when he traveled to Japan and told Onitsuka executives that he was its representative, was happy to be an importer of Japanese shoes — until, as Knight eloquently describes, Onitsuka decided to break its contract and surreptitiously replace BRS as distributor. The cold war battle between Knight and the man who would become his nemesis, an Onitsuka executive named Kitami, is almost worthy of the tense dance between John Le Carre’s George Smiley and the elusive Karla — which explains…(click here to continue reading this review)

Review: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

NeverSplitTheDifference_LgNever Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Never Split the Difference, a new book on negotiation, presents an alternative to Getting to Yes, the classic text by Roger Fisher and William Ury of Harvard. For author Chris Voss, the use of rational tools and techniques is not the most effective approach for negotiations. Instead, the key to success, especially in very dangerous negotiations, is tactical empathy, which he describes as “emotional intelligence on steroids.”

As reflected in the title of his book, Voss, the former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, did not develop his theories on negotiation in the halls of academia. An education that began as a beat cop on the mean streets of Kansas City continued as he joined the FBI and eventually traveled the world as the agency’s chief negotiator in the most dangerous situations. Somewhat surprisingly, one of the most valuable lessons he learned was not in a jungle negotiating with ruthless terrorists, but in the streets of Pittsburgh.

A drug dealer had kidnapped the girlfriend of another drug dealer. As Voss listened to the tapes of the two drug dealers talking, he heard the aggrieved dealer ask the kidnapper, “Hey, dog, how do I know she’s alright?” The kidnapper paused and then said, “Well, I’ll put her on the phone.”

Already an experienced negotiator, Voss recognized the power of that question. It was the prototype of what he would eventually call the “calibrated question,” a highly impactful tool because it gives the other side a sense of control even if they are doing what you want them to do. If the drug dealer had said, “Put her on the phone!” the other dealer would either have refused — because he didn’t want be controlled — or demanded
something in return. When responding to the question, “How do I know she’s alright,” the kidnapper feels in control because he is making the decision to put the hostage on the phone.

Calibrated questions reflect the philosophy of emotional intelligence on steroids. Never Split the Difference is filled with compelling, often harrowing stories that further illustrate the empathy-based techniques and approaches that Voss advocates.

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How Companies Can Overcome the Pitfalls of Globalization

Global Vision by Robert Salomon

In an increasingly interconnected world, managers frequently turn to global markets as a means of achieving profitability and growth targets despite accumulating evidence that globalizing is fraught with risk. In the last 20 years alone, high-profile companies like Tesco, IKEA, AES and Walmart (among others) have been hobbled by globalization.

Global Vision offers a lens through which to view globalization in a new and compelling way, helping managers understand the risks associated with globalization while equipping them with the necessary tools to overcome those risks. Author Robert Salomon defines country institutions across political, economic and cultural dimensions and demonstrates how to measure them so that managers can estimate the risks that institutional differences pose to global companies. Global Vision will help unlock the mysteries of globalization using a framework and a tool –– Global Acumen –– that managers can immediately apply to successfully navigate globalization’s institutional hazards.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• How to assess institutional distance.
• How to make better-informed, smarter globalization decisions.
• How to select the appropriate mode of entry into foreign markets.
• How to optimally structure your global operations.

Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

DeepWorkDeep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive 21st-century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep –– spending their days instead in a frantic blur of email and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way.

In Deep Work, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill. A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored, Deep Work is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• Why deep work is valuable, rare and meaningful.
• Strategies to help you learn to embrace deep work.
• What it means to embrace boredom.
• To determine the true value of social media in your work and life.

Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and Performance

CommittedTeamsCommitted Teams: Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and Performance is based on a deceptively simple philosophy: set a direction, try to stay on track and make adjustments when necessary. Easy to do? Hardly –– especially when the typical workday is time-crunched, stressful and deadline-driven.

Drawing on research done at the Wharton School of Business, the authors reveal how to deliver results under these tough conditions. Committed Teams will help you gain buy-in for shared objectives, assign roles to the right people and establish norms for effective collaboration. Whether your team aims to execute a strategy, produce breakthrough innovations, collaborate across global boundaries or launch a new venture, this how-to guide offers the pragmatic advice you need. This game-changing book provides the tools for aligning every member of your team behind a motivating vision, making team meetings efficient and productive, and closing the gap between stated goals and actual behaviors.

If you want to be competitive in a demanding, fast-paced work environment, you need to rely on a high-performing team. Committed Teams is the indispensable resource for creating one.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• To establish goals, roles and norms in your organization.
• To adopt an observer’s mindset and solve problems.
• To bridge key gaps between saying and doing.
• To establish and strengthen culture in different types of teams –– even virtual teams and startups.