WHAT TO READ

Growing Mentor Intelligence™

One of the best things a leader can do for another is to be their mentor. I recently met the author as we are both alumni of the same college, The United States Military Academy at West Point. Alan Landry’s book, “Growing Mentor Intelligence™, A Field Guide to Mentoring” is an easy to read and understand guide to being an effective mentor and mentor partner (more on that in a bit). In the classic sense, this mentoring relationship usually meant a more seasoned executive mentoring an up-and-coming leader to help them gain the experience needed to effectively achieve their goals. In the non-classic sense, it still means an experienced professional mentoring a less-experienced professional in helping them achieve their goals. In a perfect sense, the best of both worlds occurs and both parties benefit from the mentoring partnership. My favorite part of the book is Chapter 6: Tools to Empower Mentor...
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The Missing Piece for Entrepreneurs

Achieving Sustainable Growth through Business Alignment As we wrap up Small Business Appreciation Month, I reflect on the many entrepreneurs and small business owners I have worked with in the past as well as those who I currently work with. It is these innovative, hardworking, sometimes frustrating and all the time inspirational business leaders who motivated me to publish, “The Missing Piece for Entrepreneurs – Achieving Sustainable Growth through Business Alignment”! It provides a framework to help the many current and future entrepreneurs and small business owners successfully thrive as a key component of a growing economy. In the book’s Foreword, Joe Abraham, noted entrepreneur and author of “Entrepreneurial DNA” wrote about three groups of entrepreneurs. Of the third group he wrote, “Then there’s the minority – I call the elite – that have invested the time and energy to go through the process you are about to go through. The...
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A Contrarian's Guide to Leadership

Every once in awhile, I pick up a book sitting on my leadership bookshelf and re-read it. Because I process anything I read in the context of the here-and-now, re-reading older books through a new lens adds to the freshness of what it takes to make leadership a way of life! My most recent re-read is Steven Sample’s “A Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership”. The contrarian reference is about doing things that may buck conventional wisdom based on that wisdom created under circumstances that created a much different context than what leaders need in the current situation and contingency. My favorite chapter is actually the last full chapter titled “”Being President versus Doing President” and comes from advice the author received prior to becoming the tenth president of the University of Southern California (USC). In the chapter he describes the challenges of leadership that many times cause leaders to subordinate their own...
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Hacking Leadership

In my July 2014 newsletter, I referenced a book that has a wealth of ideas on how to improve our leadership success. Hacking Leadership, by Mike Myatt's is a book written for any type of leader. The author defines hacking as discovering an alternate path, clever and skillful tricks, shortcuts and workarounds, breaking the code, deciphering complexity, influencing outcomes, acquiring access, and creating innovative customizations to existing/outdated methodologies. The book provides actionable, topical leadership and management hacks to bridge eleven gaps every business needs to cross in order to create a culture of leadership: leadership, purpose, future, mediocrity, culture, talent, knowledge, innovation, expectation, complexity, and failure. My favorite sections are the discussions around both the Future and the Mediocrity hacks. I really could not determine which of these actually has more impact on the success of the leadership I’ve encountered in the last 30+ years. Between the ability to overcome the motivation...
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No More Excuses

I had the opportunity several months ago to hear Sam Silverstein speak about his book “No More Excuses”. At some point in our leadership careers we have had to deal with excuses, either from ourselves, or from others around us. The author provides a simple framework around five accountabilities for effectively dealing with a constant barrage of excuses. My favorite part of the book is in Chapter Six where he talks about the fourth of five accountabilities, “Establishing the Right Expectations”. This hits close to home with my own beliefs of setting the right expectations for accountability around a core set of values that ultimately permeates the culture of the business, regardless of size and industry. In this chapter he also cites Dr. Maxwell Maltz, the author of “Psycho-Cybernetics”, a book that had a profound impact on my own expectations at an early age. Managing our own expectations and accountability sets...
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