Monthly Book Club – May 2010

Apologies that there was no book club in April – I ended up getting very busy with client commitment and had to go overseas frequently.

So what have I been reading this month?

The Art of Influence is written by Chris Widener and published by Doubleday.

I don’t always like the use of a parable to describe business related topics. However, in this instance, Chris uses the process to great effect.

A self assured young business school graduate gets the opportunity to spend the weekend with one of the wealthiest and most successful businessmen in the world. Through this experience, he learns the lessons of a lifetime.

The golden rules of influence are;

1. live a life of undivided integrity

2. always demonstrate a positive attitude

3. consider other people’s interest as more important than your own

4. don’t settle for anything less than excellence

5. character is more important than skill

A really easy read that gets you thinking


Monthly Book Club – March 2010

For the last 20 years, I have been heavily involved in managing corporate change across a range of sectors and in both large and small organisations.

One thing is common in every experience that I’ve had – that the majority of people are totally uncomfortable with change!

Unsurprisingly then, I was attracted to the Book ‘Changability’ by Michael Jarrett, published by FT Prentice Hall.

The premise is that whilst change is inevitable, very few organisations achieve the benefits they should. Changability addresses the positive question of what makes people and organisations good at change and is based upon a 6 year study involving 5000 managers from around the world.

Jarrett concludes that there are three core factors;

1. internal capabilities

2. the external environment

3. leadership

The book provides an excellent assessment of the issues directors need to think about. Its also packed with tips and tools of value to anyone implementing change.

I have developed six presentations taking you step by step through the implementation of effective change. You can download your copies here –

Monthly Book Club – or What I’m reading now…

I’ve always be interested in leadership and what makes a good leader and I was drawn to the book ‘Leading in times of Crisis’ by David L Dotlich, Peter C Cairo and Stephen H Rhinesmith.

The central message is that leadership is reaching an almost impossible level of complexity and recent economic events have created the perfect storm for leaders out there trying to make businesses work. They claim that even the most accomplished leaders are exhausted abd confused by the challenges presented in these turbulent times.

The key to riding the storm is leadership style – the need to be the whole leader – ‘head, heart and guts’.

Their guidance is simple;

1. be clear about what you have the courage to be known for

2. prioritise relationships

3. lead everyone, not just those that report to you

4. be clear about what is important

5. consider the things that are limiting you

The book challenges you to rethink things and for this, it makes a very interesting read.