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Home > Books > What I’m Reading… – December 25, 2008

What I’m Reading… – December 25, 2008

December 25th, 2008

This is one in a series of posts highlighting what books I have currently in my “To Read” or “Reading” stack. I typically have 5-6 books out of our library at any one time so I can switch between them, giving a shirt break to let concepts jell before diving back in.

Book Description: At some point, almost all of us will find ourselves in the same bind at work: we know what needs to be done and how to do it, but we can’t get the right people on board. The risk is allowing frustration to become resignation—or unproductive retaliation. Fortunately, the new and improved Influence Without Authority, Second Edition offers a proven, effective model for breaking through the impasse and building an environment of collaboration, mutual assistance, and real achievement.

Leadership gurus Allan Cohen and David Bradford explain how to coax cooperation from the people who control the resources, information, or support you need to succeed. You’ll learn how to get past your restrictive assumptions, figure out the interests and needs of potential partners, and negotiate mutually beneficial exchanges that help you both achieve your goals. It’s a powerful and proven way to cut through interpersonal and interdepartmental barriers to turn coworkers and competitors into allies.

This new Second Edition adds clarity, depth, and insight with new chapters on applying the Exchange Model to entire organizations, making it even more useful for team leaders and managers. It includes many more practical applications such as working cross-functionally, leading major change initiatives, using direct influence, and overcoming organizational politics.

No matter what your organizational position, or what kinds of clients and customers you deal with, part of your success depends on being able to influence people over whom you have no formal control. Influence Without Authority, Second Edition presents a clear model and effective, practical strategies for convincing and influencing those around you in order to accomplish important workplace goals—to the benefit of you, your colleagues, and your organization.


Amazon.com Review:
All of us, from birth onward, learn by emulating others. Yet when it comes to our professional lives, we often forget that what we see, we imitate, and what we imitate, we become. This is obviously a positive thing for those who have found successful, encouraging mentors in their fields, but finding those mentors is still much easier for men than for women. In Be Your Own Mentor, Sheila Wellington seeks to provide women not only with advice on locating appropriate mentors, but with the tools to mentor themselves and the opinions, advice, and encouragement of women leaders worth emulating.

Wellington speaks from a broad range of experience. Having spent 20 years working in public health and one term as the first female Secretary of Yale University, she now serves as the president of Catalyst, a nonprofit research organization that works to advance women in business. Catalyst has conducted numerous interviews, surveys, and focus groups on the subject of women succeeding and excelling in their professional lives, and the results of much of that research is included here. CEOs from industry and the nonprofit world, law-firm partners, university presidents, and senior consultants all add their two cents’ worth (or more like six figures’ worth) to Wellington’s observations on everything from planning your career and avoiding being boxed in to learning how to network efficiently and successfully integrate your work life with your home life.

Be Your Own Mentor is jam-packed with informative statistics, useful suggestions, and encouraging reminders–almost to the point of overload. With so many “voices” and so many topics covered, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. Despite this organizational drawback, however, this book is a useful tool for women, especially those just starting out. And for the avid emulator, who better to learn from than the likes of Zoe Baird, respected lawyer and president of the Markle Foundation; Betty Beene, president and CEO of United Way of America; Ellen Hancock, chairman and CEO of Exodus Communications; and Anne Mulcahy, president and COO of Xerox Corporation? On that note, the appendix, which provides career-path profiles of each of the pioneers quoted, is one of the most interesting sections of the book. –S. Ketchum


Book Description: We live in digital time. Our pace is rushed, rapid-fire, and relentless. Facing crushing workloads, we try to cram as much as possible into every day. We’re wired up, but we’re melting down. Time management is no longer a viable solution. As bestselling authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz demonstrate in this groundbreaking book, managing energy, not time, is the key to enduring high performance as well as to health, happiness, and life balance.

The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. This fundamental insight has the power to revolutionize the way you live your life. The Power of Full Engagement is a highly practical, scientifically based approach to managing your energy more skillfully both on and off the job.

At the heart of the program is the Corporate Athlete® Training System. It is grounded in twenty-five years of work with some of the world’s greatest athletes to help them perform more effectively under brutal competitive pressures. Clients have included Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in tennis; Mark O’Meara and Ernie Els in golf; Eric Lindros and Mike Richter in hockey; Nick Anderson and Grant Hill in basketball; and gold medalist Dan Jansen in speed skating.

During the past decade, dozens of Fortune 500 companies have paid thousands of dollars to learn the Corporate Athlete training system. So have FBI swat teams, critical care physicians and nurses, salesmen, and stay-at-home moms. The Power of Full Engagement lays out the key training principles and provides a powerful, step-by-step program that will help you to:

• Mobilize four key sources of energy
• Balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal
• Expand capacity in the same systematic way that elite athletes do
• Create highly specific, positive energy management rituals

Above all, this book provides a life-changing road map to becoming more fully engaged on and off the job, meaning physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and spiritually aligned.


Book Description: Management expert Michael Feiner’s candid leadership guide cuts through rhetoric and theory and gives managers and executives a “hands-on” approach to dealing with problems in business.

As the former chief people officer at PepsiCo, and now a management professor at the Columbia University School of Business, Feiner shares his solutions from his years of handling unexpected crises, meditating between warring corporate factions, and taking care of all the “people problems” that pop up on a routine basis in companies all over the world. Feiner’s approach is based on common sense and practicality, and his book is full of examples that managers everywhere will identify with and relate to. Along the way, Feiner doles out his “laws” of how those in supervisory roles can resolve these vexing situations. Instructive and entertaining, THE FEINER POINTS OF LEADERSHIP will be mandatory reading for anyone in a managerial position.

This essential guide features 50 clearly defined laws of leadership together with illustrative stories that demonstrate these laws in action. There is also a unique back-of-book “matrix” highlighting classic business scenarios– and the leadership laws that apply to each.

For 20 years, Michael Feiner was a senior executive and chief people officer at PepsiCo. He is currently a management consultant and professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Business.


Product Description: Kevin Liles’ meteoric climb from street kid to unpaid intern at Def Jam Records to executive vice president of the Warner Music Group is far more than a rags-to-riches story. It is a tribute to Liles’ work ethic, discipline and confidence in doing his thing his way — the hip-hop way.

In Make It Happen, Liles — named one of America’s Most Powerful Players Under 40 by Black Enterprise — offers his ten rules of business success, which range from “Find Your Will” to “Don’t Let Cash Rule” and “Play Your Position.” As he outlines these and other strategies for success, Liles shares his own hard-won wisdom about his journey to the top, along with career advice from the various music artists, industry professionals, mentors and friends he has known along the way. No matter what version of the American Dream you choose to explore, this book will help you to empower yourself and Make It Happen.

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