Book Review: Hacking Leadership

Blind spots can produce a dangerous set of circumstances for any organization and its leaders. Mike Myatt, CEO of N2growth and the author of the best-seller Leadership Matters, calls these blind spots “gaps.” In Hacking Leadership, he helps executives tackle 11 gaps that can be detrimental to any leader. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

The best leaders, according to Myatt, have the ability to check their egos and elevate their level of self-awareness. It requires an understanding of three critical gaps described in the book: development, influence and reality. From this starting point, Hacking Leadership then guides executives through each of the 11 gaps. The gaps range from anticipated subjects such as knowledge and talent to less explored areas such as mediocrity and expectation.

Within each of the overarching gaps, Myatt focuses on individual aspects that could be termed “component gaps.” For example, the chapter on hacking the culture gap includes an examination of how to handle the courage gap. Even in areas in which executives may feel that their own organization has a minimal, or nonexistent, gap, Myatt’s insight deserves consideration. He writes, “Culture shouldn’t be imposed upon people — as co-creators of the culture, the people are the culture.” It is a simple declaration but should cause leaders to question whether their organizations truly embody the principle Myatt describes.

Hacking Leadership makes the point that “hacking” is a method of innovating that requires leaders to “innovate around best practices in pursuit of next practices.” Myatt provides numerous sparks to light the fires of innovation for any leader that reads this book.

Three New Summaries to Unlock the Door to More Success

The barrier between standard and extraordinary leadership can be symbolized by a door. At a certain point in your career, particularly if you’ve acquired a degree of success, you’ll find yourself trying to unlock the door with the skills you’ve developed. Soundview now offers three new book summaries that can help sharpen your abilities and blend them into a single key that can open the door to greatness.

by Mike Myatt

by Mike Myatt

Hacking Leadership by Mike Myatt. In Hacking Leadership, Mike Myatt identifies 11 leadership gaps that can be holding leaders back and affecting their performance. The gaps are found in areas of leadership, purpose, future, mediocrity, culture, talent, knowledge, innovation, expectation, complexity and failure. Myatt provides actionable leadership and management “hacks” to bridge the gaps in order to create a culture of leadership within organizations and help leaders drive exceptional results.

 

by Bob Rosen

by Bob Rosen

Grounded by Bob Rosen. Internationally renowned CEO advisor Bob Rosen proposes a new approach to leadership in Grounded in which leaders at every level can become more self-aware, develop their untapped potential, and drive better results for themselves, their teams and their organizations. Rosen’s Healthy Leader model highlights six personal dimensions that any leader can master: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, vocational and spiritual health.

 

 

by Jim Burkett

by Jim Burkett

The Learned Disciplines of Management by Jim Burkett. In The Learned Disciplines of Management, Jim Burkett presents a framework of individual disciplines that form a self-reinforcing management system for making the right things happen. These include planning, organizing, measuring performance, executing, following up, real-time reporting and problem solving. Practicing these will reveal what effective management can do.

Book Review: Platform

by Michael Hyatt

by Michael Hyatt

Trying to get the message of your company or brand heard in today’s social media environment is equivalent to trying to hear an ant’s footsteps while seated next to a jet turbine. The secret, according to author, blogger and publishing executive Michael Hyatt, is to build the virtual stage from which you address your carefully cultivated following. In Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, Hyatt gives executives a thorough method to connect and build your business.

Hyatt didn’t acquire more than 200,000 Twitter followers without providing a mountain of bankable advice. Platform gives readers the best of the best in a jam-packed read that should sit close at hand on an executive’s desk or digital reader. He begins with the observation that too many social media books overlook: start by creating a great product. Fortunately, Hyatt’s advice about product creation covers everything from how to be compelling to how to create a memorable name.

Once a company has its outstanding product, Hyatt takes readers through the steps to prepare for launch, build a strong strategy, expand your reach and stay actively engaged with your followers. The section on building your home base is can’t-miss reading. In an era when litigators are fielding more and more questions about intellectual property, Hyatt’s tips to protect oneself are well-considered.

Of the utmost importance to executives is Hyatt’s staunchly realistic reminder about how a great platform is built. For any leader who considers platform creation a task that can be farmed out to what Hyatt calls a “babysitter,” he provides the following advice. “Take a long look in the mirror. The person you are looking at is your new chief marketing officer,” he writes. Executives can lead the charge to be heard and Platform is the book to help them do it.

Book Review: Focus

by Daniel Goleman

by Daniel Goleman

When a pioneer in any field returns with a new piece of thought leadership, whether written or spoken, the eyes and ears of the business world instinctively turn to see and hear. Daniel Goleman, former New York Times science reporter and multiple-bestselling author, changed the landscape of management with his book Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Goleman returns now with a book that has the potential to rival his previous peak. In Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, Goleman coaches readers on the need to strengthen a trait that like a muscle can indicate just how well we can lift a figurative load. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

Goleman begins Focus by helping readers understand the anatomy of attention. Of particular interest is his discussion of the bottom-up and top-down minds. The bottom-up mind works faster and is involuntary and automatic, while the top-down mind is, as Goleman writes, “the seat of self-control, which can (sometimes) overpower automatic routines and mute emotionally driven impulses.” The interplay between these two sections of the brain is critical to understanding mental toughness and, perhaps more importantly, mental tiredness.

The overarching theme that focus is a mental muscle serves as a powerful metaphor that will help the material stick with readers. Focus moves through subjects such as self-awareness, reading others, and smart practice in ways that offer new, thought-provoking views. As with Emotional Intelligence, Goleman has found a way to turn the complexity of human behavior into an engaging read with practical takeaways. Focus will help keep any executive razor sharp.

Book Review: Choosing Change

by Walter McFarland and Susan Goldsworthy

by Walter McFarland and Susan Goldsworthy

Change is a business topic that generates both fear and excitement among readers. Executives are being constantly reminded that the pace of change is ever increasing. The business impact of not being able to stay ahead of change is sometimes described as catastrophic. What’s missing from many books on change is a by-the-numbers approach to making change a repeatable process. In Choosing Change: How Leaders and Organizations Drive Results One Person at a Time, Walter McFarland and Susan Goldsworthy provide a model that helps leaders focus on the personal and organizational dimensions of change. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

The authors created a framework called the Five Ds to provide an overarching set of guidelines to create change. Readers are given detailed steps to become a change-focused leader through the lenses of disruption, desire, discipline, determination and development. Once a leader understands the principles that create change in an individual, the focus turns to the organization. This section will prove helpful to any leader who, while personally full of fire to lead a change effort, encounters a tepid or resistant response from employees.

Choosing Change delivers its principles in a tight, research-dense package. McFarland and Goldsworthy are timely in their combination of findings from neuroscience and psychology. They use a level of restraint that prevents their book from falling into the “deep dive” trend that can derail books that lean heavily on the science side of management science. It is one of the most balanced, impactful books on change that executives can read today.