Book Giveaways

The 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards: Leadership & Strategy Giveaway

November 08, 2016


This week, we're giving away all five finalists in the Leadership & Strategy category of our annual book awards to five lucky winners.

We will be dedicating our giveaways for the rest of 2016 to the books on the 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards Longlist, one category at a time.

We'll start this week with the Leadership & Strategy category. Each of this week's winners will receive all five books in the category, which are:

The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth by Chris Zook & James Allen, Harvard Business Review Press

Three principles for managing—and avoiding—the problems of growth.

Why is profitable growth so hard to achieve and sustain? Most executives manage their companies as if the solution to that problem lies in the external environment: find an attractive market, formulate the right strategy, win new customers.

But when Bain & Company’s Chris Zook and James Allen, authors of the bestselling Profit from the Core, researched this question, they found that when companies fail to achieve their growth targets, 90 percent of the time the root causes are internal, not external—increasing distance from the front lines, loss of accountability, proliferating processes and bureaucracy, to name only a few. What’s more, companies experience a set of predictable internal crises, at predictable stages, as they grow. Even for healthy companies, these crises, if not managed properly, stifle the ability to grow further—and can actively lead to decline.

The key insight from Zook and Allen’s research is that managing these choke points requires a “founder’s mentality”—behaviors typically embodied by a bold, ambitious founder—to restore speed, focus, and connection to customers:

  • An insurgent’s clear mission and purpose
  • An unambiguous owner mindset
  • A relentless obsession with the front line

Based on the authors’ decade-long study of companies in more than forty countries, The Founder’s Mentality demonstrates the strong relationship between these three traits in companies of all kinds—not just start-ups—and their ability to sustain performance. Through rich analysis and inspiring examples, this book shows how any leader—not only a founder—can instill and leverage a founder’s mentality throughout their organization and find lasting, profitable growth.

Off-Centered Leadership: The Dogfish Head Guide to Motivation, Collaboration and Smart Growth by Sam Calagione, Wiley

Find out what happens when companies stop competing and start collaborating.

Off-Centered Leadership considers an innovative approach to business by exploring what happens when companies stop competing and start collaborating—both externally in the marketplace and internally in building a culture of communication, trust and alignment. Brimming with lessons on entrepreneurship and culture from the founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, members of his leadership team and external mentors from the worlds of business and art, this game-changing text turns competition on its head by showcasing how competing organizations can work together—and with other local businesses—to reach a common goal. The text dives into how Dogfish Head has blazed a new trail through the development of a revolutionary business model that has called upon musicians, community organizations, and even other breweries to keep product development fresh and create engaging customer experiences.

This book documents and addresses the growing pains a company experiences as it evolves from the awkward early start up years into a mid-sized sustainable company with hundreds of co-workers. Calagione is candid in sharing his personal leadership challenges and success and calls on other seasoned vets inside and outside the company who inform and influence the journey of growth and creative expression Dogfish Head is on. This book is rich with practical information entrepreneurs and business people can apply to their own professional journeys.

Competition has long been the name of the game in the business world, but what if there was a different way to approach business? The collaboration over competition approach to business has been proven to foster positivity, productivity, and, ultimately, success. By partnering with your competition instead of trying to outsell them, you could actually create a memorable customer experience that will have people coming back for more!

Internally as well the dogfish approach has evolved and is not traditional org chart driven top down leadership. Calagione shared the challenges of evolving from a founder-driven entrepreneurial company where he was the sole creative and strategic director into a more collaborative collective where he is now one of many creative and strategic voices in the company.

  • Discover the methods and approaches dogfish head has used to grow a rich diverse leadership team and evolve from a company basing decisions on the gut and whims of a founder to one with a more robust wholistic strategic approach in a way that allows them to stay creative and maintain their irreverent off-centered culture.
  • Discover how ditching your competitive nature and embracing collaboration can allow you to better serve your customers.
  • Explore innovative solutions to the challenges that today's businesses face.
  • Consider how your company can grow through the collaboration over competition business model.
  • Leverage the experiences of other companies to truly understand how collaboration can contribute to your business's success.

Off-Centered Leadership is a groundbreaking book that explores the power of collaboration within the business world.

Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, Kevin Maney, Harper Business

The founders of a respected Silicon Valley advisory firm study legendary category-creating companies and reveal a groundbreaking discipline called category design.

Winning today isn’t about beating the competition at the old game. It’s about inventing a whole new game—defining a new market category, developing it, and dominating it over time. You can’t build a legendary company without building a legendary category. If you think that having the best product is all it takes to win, you’re going to lose.

In this farsighted, pioneering guide, the founders of Silicon Valley advisory firm Play Bigger rely on data analysis and interviews to understand the inner workings of “category kings”— companies such as Amazon, Salesforce, Uber, and IKEA that give us new ways of living, thinking or doing business, often solving problems we didn’t know we had.

In Play Bigger, the authors assemble their findings to introduce the new discipline of category design. By applying category design, companies can create new demand where none existed, conditioning customers’ brains so they change their expectations and buying habits. While this discipline defines the tech industry, it applies to every kind of industry and even to personal careers.

Crossing The Chasm revolutionized how we think about new products in an existing market. The Innovator’s Dilemma taught us about disrupting an aging market. Now, Play Bigger is transforming business once again, showing us how to create the market itself.

Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth by Ash Maurya, Portfolio

A hands-on guide to the metrics that matter most to young tech startups.

In the early stages of a tech startup’s life, it’s hard to decipher the meaningful metrics from the distractions. How do you know if your product is working? Is it the number of new signups? Average amount of time spent on the site? Revenue, even if you don’t have a revenue model yet?

In Scaling Lean, serial entrepreneur and author of the startup cult classic Running Lean Ash Maurya offers a tactical handbook for measuring and scaling a tech startup with maximum efficiency and efficacy. Maurya pairs real-world examples of startups like Airbnb and Dropbox with techniques and language from the manufacturing world to create a new model for measuring and describing an early stage startup’s success.

Scaling Lean is an indispensable handbook for startup founders graduating from the incubator stage to build their business in the real world.

Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways by William C. Taylor, Portfolio

The cofounder of Fast Company shows that you don’t need to be in a glamorous industry to unleash extraordinary creativity.

A new era of business and leadership cries out for new stories of success, and new strategies for bringing them to life. Today, the way to win big, argues bestselling author and Fast Company cofounder William C. Taylor, is to rethink the rules of your industry, no matter how tried-and-true they are. Taylor goes inside 19 unique organizations that have become extraordinary change agents in otherwise ordinary fields. For example:

London’s Metro Bank, the first new retail bank in England since 1835, has become a passion brand by reimagining the basics of customer service and rethinking how the whole industry operates.

1111 Lincoln Road is a one-of-a-kind parking garage in Miami Beach that also serves as a wedding venue, fashion runway, shopping center, and social hub.

Pal’s Sudden Service, a cult favorite restaurant in Tennessee and Virginia, delivers unmatched speed and order accuracy thanks to its unique approach to employee training.

Southcentral Foundation, a healthcare system based in Anchorage, used a simple shift in language to inspire doctors and patients to behave differently—and produced extraordinary health outcomes among Alaska Natives.

Taylor reveals that these organizations share a set of core principles that help them pioneer unlikely breakthroughs: They strive to be the only ones doing what they’re doing instead of competing in crowded fields; they don’t let past experience limit what they can imagine; they seek ways to be kind as well as clever; and they share the value they create with those who helped create it. By embracing these strategies, Taylor argues, leaders everywhere can achieve extraordinary results in their fields.

We have five sets to give away.

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