The book teaches a set of strategies that anyone’s performance
improve. The challenge is to organize, communicate and implement
them. Having based his conclusions on successful workers of Bell
Labs, Kelly has offered up a blueprint for how to succeed at work. I
especially appreciate his recognition that women and minorities face
unique challenges in the workplace thus may have to implement
additional strategies. By far the best book I've ever read on performing well at
Managing Up by Rosanne Badowski
"After fourteen years of working shoulder to shoulder with GE tough guy Jack
Welch, Roseanne Badowski is not afraid of what she calls the "s-word." She
argues that all of us are secretaries as well as managers. In Managing Up,
Badowski leverages lessons she learned in building a stellar relationship with
her boss. She offers smart and solid advice beginning with her "Can you start on
Monday?" interview with Welch, and then turning to the skills of "navigating a
boss Monday through Friday." The book' s chapter titles may sound prosaic, but
her approach crackles with energy and fresh ideas. For example, she writes about
trust by including "time-tested phrases for breaking bad news." She details the
perils of being unprepared and puts in a good word for nagging. She also makes a
persuasive argument for the advantages of cultivating impatience to enhance
productivity. With splashy anecdotes and checklists, Badowski offers realistic
and and disciplined counsel. Hero worshippers be warned: Although Welch wrote
the book's introduction, Badowski is such an engaging no-nonsense advisor that
she becomes the most compelling manager represented in her book."
Getting it Done by Roger Fisher
it seem that good ideas go nowhere at your company? That meetings are often a
waste of time? That nobody seems to be in charge? Roger Fisher (the coauthor of
the bestselling book Getting to Yes) and Alan Sharp tackle, in their book
Getting It Done, the inertia that afflicts many groups. The authors advance the
idea of lateral leadership as a means of breaking apart the logjams that inhibit
effective collaboration in organizations. Lateral leadership consists of five
elements: clarifying the purpose of what you're trying to accomplish;
understanding how to harness the power of organized thought; learning how to
integrate thinking with doing; getting yourself and your team engaged; and,
finally, learning how to give feedback on what's been accomplished. This is a
practical guide to solving common workplace woes that will relieve the
frustrations that many of us experience everyday and at the same time help us to
stand out as leaders." -
Michael E. Porter on Competition by Michael Porter
The key to investing is understanding sustainable competitive
advantage, a field in which Porter has been the leading thinker over
the past three decades (full disclosure: Porter is my friend and
mentor). This book is a collection of his "greatest hits" and should
be the first stop for anyone interested in competition, competitive
strategy, and competitive advantage. From his early work on
competition among companies and within industries to his later work
on the competitive advantage of locations, to his most recent work
on competitive solutions to societal problems such as the distress
of inner cites, On
Competition covers it all in a clear, easy-to-follow
The Prime Movers by Edwin Locke
Locke, a professor at University of Maryland explores the philosophy of success
by examining the common characteristics of men and women of achievement. The book
draws heavily on Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead for its inspiration.
In Search of Excellence
by Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman
"This relatively simple and informal book still took a fascinating
look into America's leading firms and provided some extremely
insightful conclusions about the role a form of leadership that was
needed in the late 80's and 90's, when American companies were
grappling with extensive global competition combined with major
internal challenges." - Businessweek
The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
In the world
of psychology, the phenomenon is called "compliance". The rest of us
refer to it as "influence" and "persuasion". How and why people
agree to things affects us all every day, every hour. Especially in
a job interview. Learn from an expert how to use your
influence. Cialdini is a psychologist who's been studying this
subject for years, and this book is five notches above any self-help
One of the finest accounts of the psychology underlying when we are
or are not persuaded. Cialdini provides compelling examples of
persuasion tactics, which will make for an interesting read for any
one remotely interested in selling, marketing, or in understanding
why they sometimes get roped in to say yes when they wish they had
How Winners Sell
by Dave Stein
Because sales experts have useful advice for
those serious about success in their career. Stein emphasizes "the
truth" about an opportunity over the wishful thinking that leads to
bad choices. He teaches how to become proficient at asking questions
before approaching prospects. And he shows how to
recognize a lost cause.
How to Win Friends &
Influence People by Dale Carnegie
A practical guide that offers a
number of fundamelsights on relationships and people's motivations. Don't
let the title fool you, because it is not about manipulating people. Rather it
is about being sincere and communicating your message most effectively. A
by Keith Ferrazzi
Nah, you're not going to get as good at netwoking as Keith Ferrazzi,
who has established a new class of guru in the universe of inside
contacts. You won't even like some of his methods. But no matter.
There's wisdom in this book that no one should ignore. In a world
where technology lets you "connect" with a zillion other members of
"online social networks", Ferrazzi reminds us that flesh and blood
is the be-all and end-all of life. Who you know matters, and who
knows you probably matters more. It ain't the "nodes" in the
network. It's the people and the relationships. Real people. Real
relationships. If you can't sit down and break bread with a real
person, then you have no real relationship, and the joke's on you.
Having friends takes a lot of time and a lot of love.
The Art of Deception
by Nicolas Cipaldi
Definitely an unfortunately titled book as it is not about deception at all. It
is however about forming and presenting a logic based argument or position.
Absolutely a must read for anyone who needs to perform a presentation, appear in
court, or deal with a difficult person.
The Tipping Point
by Malcolm Gladwell
CLASSIC WORKS OF FICTION
Shrugged by Ayn Rand
haven't read this book or Rand's The
because, like War & Peace,
they seem long and intimidating. If you pick them up, you'll never
want these books to end. I confess I purchased and made extensive use of Cliff
Notes' summary of the book. However, Rand presents an ideal if hard to achieve definition of capitalism.
A motivator in taking responsibility for yourself, your work and your
Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
If you ever
wondered how one person could really make a difference, or how it
can be possible to succeed while remaining true to yourself, you're
not alone. Ayn Rand tells the compelling story of how the individual
is the fountainhead of all progress.
There exists the popular notion that altruism and selfishness are at odds and
further that altruism is the moral ideal. Rand argues that devotion to the
welfare of others, as Webster’s defines altruism, is no more moral or right than
the devotion to the welfare of oneself. She argues that selfish acts are not
automatically acts that are to the detriment of others. Rand goes on to
say that actions taken with the knowledge that it will be to another’s
detriment, are not rational. And true selfish behavior requires rational and
principled centered thought. For her, the truly selfish person is a
self-respecting, self-supporting human being who neither sacrifices others to
himself nor sacrifices himself to others. If you'd had any doubt or guilt about
your personal desires, this book will help you sort them out.
RUSSELL ON ETHICS by Bertrand Russell
Buffett advises us to "read your Russell". On the topic of ethics, Russell believed that they are not only meaningful, but that
they are a vital subject matter for civil discourse. In this book he iterates
his view that reason, for which he is so well known, ought to be
subordinate to ethical considerations.
The Power of Purpose:
Creating Meaning in Your Life and Work by Richard Leider
Richard Leider offers real insight into what
makes people happy at their work. He bases this book on research he has done
over 20 years. His perspective on "purpose in our work" is both profound and useful.
MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING by Victor Frankel
Frankel's message is simple. In any situation, under any circumstances, we all
have choice. And we can find meaning in our existence.
THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by
Covey provides the instruction manual on
how to do things well. Hardly profound, but right to the point. Covey encourages
us to begin with the end in mind, find the win-win relationship and renew by
concentrating on taking care of oneself.
THINK AND GROW RICH by Napoleon Hill
Though not the first, possibly the best book in the
self-help genre. About more than growing rich financially. It's about growing
rich in all aspects of life.
The Power of Now
by Eckhart Tolle
doesn't preach. His writing is simple and clear. And he teaches a simple
concept that underlies Eastern religions: If you can learn to focus on who
and where you are right now, you will relax and do your best thinking and
your best work. Sorry if that sounds mushy. I read short sections of this
book almost every day, and Tolle reminds me how to be myself rather than who
others expect me to be.
Sternberg was categorized as one of the "slow" kids in
grade school. Along the way he learned how damaging labels can be. Another
lessons learned was intelligence is not only analytical, which our educational
system emphasizes. Intelligence can also be, according to Sternberg, creative
Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich
An outstanding, entertaining book on
behavioral finance, which examines how people's emotions affect their investment
decisions and performance. This area has critical implications for investing; in
fact, I believe it is far more important in determining investment success (or
lack thereof) than an investor’s intellect.
The Big Test
by Nicolas Lehman
Lehman explores the history of standardized
tests in general and the SAT specifically to explore the country's efforts
toward a meritocracy based society.
Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid
by Robert Sternberg
The Autobiography of Benjamin
by Benjamin Franklin
Franklin has something for us all. The
most revealing thing about the Autobiography is that Franklin himself struggled
every day to be the person he wanted to be. And failed everyday. Certainly the
rest of us can put in the same effort.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
as told to
It's never to late to be what you might
have been. X exemplifies those words by George Eliot better than anyone.
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