Business Books to Watch in January
January 09, 2019
20 business books we will be looking at more closely to start the new year.
In order of their release dates, these are just 20 of the business books we will be looking at more closely to start the new year, and the publisher's description of them.
In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other in Work and Life by Nancy D O'Reilly, Adams Media
Thoughts, advice, and stories from 40 successful women across a variety of careers—from authors to actresses, CEOs and professors—encouraging women to support each other in the workplace and in life, along with action plans on how all women can work together to break free from the binds of gender inequality.
Women worldwide are breaking their silence—coming forward against the men that have oppressed and abused them in the #MeToo movement. It’s an exciting, liberating moment of female empowerment—but now we have to relearn how to connect with each other.
Instead of supporting each other through the challenges of a traditionally male-dominated working world, millions of women have experienced the polar opposite. Studies show that 30 percent of workplace bullies are female—employing tactics such as cyber bullying, verbal attacks, gossiping, and shunning each other—and many women have garnered “mean girl” reputations as competitive and unsupportive in the workplace.
In the galvanizing new book, In This Together, 40 successful and eminent women from a wide range of fields show us how much we can achieve if we embrace our collective power and strength—such as learning new skills to advance in our careers and ultimately earn more money, working to dramatically increase the number of women in leadership positions, and even recruiting men to take up workplace equality as their own impassioned cause—instead of competing against each other.
Empowering, stirring, and actionable, In This Together is an indispensable addition to every modern woman’s arsenal in our continued fight for the opportunities we deserve.
Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It by Susan Crawford, Yale University Press
An illuminating vision of the next information revolution, centered on a fiber-optic infrastructure.
The world of fiber optic connections reaching neighborhoods, homes, and businesses will represent as great a change from what came before as the advent of electricity. The virtually unlimited amounts of data we’ll be able to send and receive through fiber optic connections will enable a degree of virtual presence that will radically transform health care, education, urban administration and services, agriculture, retail sales, and offices. Yet all of those transformations will pale compared with the innovations and new industries that we can’t even imagine today. In a fascinating account combining policy expertise and compelling on-the-ground reporting, Susan Crawford reveals how the giant corporations that control cable and internet access in the United States use their tremendous lobbying power to tilt the playing field against competition, holding back the infrastructure improvements necessary for the country to move forward. And she shows how a few cities and towns are fighting monopoly power to bring the next technological revolution to their communities.
55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal: Your Guide to a Better Life by Elizabeth White, Simon & Schuster
For the millions of people in their fifties and sixties who find themselves out of work, unable to find a job, and financially incapable of retiring, here’s a practical plan for getting past any blame or shame, overcoming denial, and finding a path to a new normal.
Elizabeth White has an impressive resume, which includes advanced degrees from Harvard and Johns Hopkins and a distinguished employment history. She started a business that failed and then tried to re-enter the work force in her mid-fifties, only to learn that there is little demand for workers her age, even with her outstanding resume. Her retirement savings account was largely depleted by her business. For a while Elizabeth lived in denial, but then had to begin to adjust to her new reality, shedding the gym membership, getting a roommate, forgoing restaurant meals, and so on. She soon learned she wasn’t alone: there are millions of Americans in her predicament and worse, exhausted trying to survive and overcome every day.
In 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal, Elizabeth invites you to join her in looking beyond your immediate surroundings and circumstances to what is possible in the new normal of financial insecurity. You’re in your fifties and sixties, like Elizabeth, and may have saved nothing or not nearly enough to retire. It’s too late for blame or shame—and it wouldn’t help anyway. What you want to know is what you can do now to have a shot at a decent retirement. Or, as Elizabeth puts it, “small up to create the best possible life on less income.”
Affirming and empowering, this book is a must-have for anyone whose income has suddenly diminished or even disappeared. With more than 100 online resources, it guides you through the emotional aspects of where you’ve landed and offers practical advice and options. If you’re ready to stop beating up on yourself and get serious about feeling good again, this book is for you.
The Edge of Anarchy: The Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, and the Greatest Labor Uprising in America by Jack Kelly, St. Martin's Press
The dramatic story of the explosive 1894 clash of industry, labor, and government that shook the nation and marked a turning point for America.
The Edge of Anarchy offers a vivid account of the greatest uprising of working people in American history. At the pinnacle of the Gilded Age, a boycott of Pullman sleeping cars by hundreds of thousands of railroad employees brought commerce to a standstill across much of the country. Famine threatened, riots broke out along the rail lines. Soon the U.S. Army was on the march and gunfire rang from the streets of major cities.
This epochal tale offers fascinating portraits of two iconic characters of the age. George Pullman, who amassed a fortune by making train travel a pleasure, thought the model town that he built for his workers would erase urban squalor. Eugene Debs, founder of the nation’s first industrial union, was determined to wrench power away from the reigning plutocrats. The clash between the two men’s conflicting ideals pushed the country to what the U.S. Attorney General called “the ragged edge of anarchy.”
Many of the themes of The Edge of Anarchy could be taken from today’s headlines—upheaval in America’s industrial heartland, wage stagnation, breakneck technological change, and festering conflict over race, immigration, and inequality. With the country now in a New Gilded Age, this look back at the violent conflict of an earlier era offers illuminating perspectives along with a breathtaking story of a nation on the edge.
Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose by Jean Case, Simon & Schuster
Philanthropist, investor, and technology pioneer Jean Case brings to life the five Be Fearless principles common to the people and organizations that change the world.
This book is a call to action for those seeking to live extraordinary lives and bring about transformational change.
When National Geographic Chairman Jean Case set out to investigate the core qualities of great change makers, past and present, from inventors to revolutionaries, she found five surprising traits all had in common. They weren’t wealth, privilege, or even genius. It was that all of these exceptional men and women chose to make a “big bet,” take bold risks, learn from their failures, reach beyond their bubbles, and let urgency conquer fear.
Throughout Be Fearless, Jean vividly illustrates these principles through storytelling—from her own transformational life experiences, to Jane Goodall’s remarkable breakthroughs in understanding and protecting chimpanzees, to celebrity chef José Andrés’ decision to be a “first responder” and take his kitchen to the sites of devastating hurricanes to feed the hungry, to Bryan Stevenson’s ambitious efforts to end incarceration inequities, and more. She shares new insights to stories you might think you know—like AirBnB’s tale of starting from scratch to transform the hospitality industry, to John F. Kennedy’s history-making moonshot—and gems from changemakers you’ve never heard of.
Weaving together storytelling, practical tips and inspiration, Be Fearless will teach you how to put the five fearless principles to work so that they too can spark the sorts of remarkable breakthroughs that change the world.
Let Them See You: The Guide for Leveraging Your Diversity at Work by Porter Braswell, Lorena Jones Books
The guide to getting hired, being promoted, and thriving professionally for the 40 million people of color in the workplace.
Companies say they understand that a diverse workforce is good for business, but they don’t have enough candidates to diversify their ranks. The 40 million African-American, Latino, and Native American professionals in the US are ready to help solve that problem, but many need an entry point and guidance on thriving once they’re in. Let Them See You is the straight-talking, practical guide for entry- to mid-level professionals who know they have what it takes to succeed in the workplace—if only they knew how best to navigate it. Porter Braswell knows from personal experience, as one of the few young black professionals working on Wall Street and now as a technology entrepreneur and co-founder of Jopwell, the fast-growing employment hub for diverse talent. Let Them See You lays out all the lessons Braswell and his team at Jopwell have learned plus new ideas from the front lines of the fast-changing workplace, such as how to scale not-so-invisible obstacles, create perceived value, get recognized, be true to yourself, build your brand, harness fear of failure, and embrace uncomfortable conversations.
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff, PublicAffairs
The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.
Shoshanna Zuboff, named by the Financial Times as the "true prophet of the information age," asks and answers the era's most vital question: who is the master? Humans? Or the machines? Zuboff's interdisciplinary breadth and depth enable her to come to grips with the social, political, business, and technological meaning of the changes taking place in our time. We are at a critical juncture in the confrontation between the vast power of giant high-tech companies and government, the hidden economic logic of surveillance capitalism, and the propaganda of machine supremacy that threaten to shape and control human life. Will the brazen new methods of social engineering and behavior modification threaten individual autonomy and democratic rights and introduce extreme new forms of social inequality? Or will the promise of the digital age be one of individual empowerment and democratization?
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is neither a hand-wringing narrative of danger and decline nor a digital fairy tale. Rather, it offers a deeply reasoned and evocative examination of the contests over the next chapter of capitalism that will decide the meaning of information civilization in the twenty-first century. The stark issue at hand is whether we will be the masters of information and machines or its slaves.
The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty by Clayton M. Christensen, Efosa Ojomo, and Karen Dillon, Harper Business
Clayton M. Christensen, the author of such business classics as The Innovator’s Dilemma and the New York Times bestseller How Will You Measure Your Life, and co-authors Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon reveal why so many investments in economic development fail to generate sustainable prosperity, and offers a groundbreaking solution for true and lasting change.
Global poverty is one of the world’s most vexing problems. For decades, we’ve assumed smart, well-intentioned people will eventually be able to change the economic trajectory of poor countries. From education to healthcare, infrastructure to eradicating corruption, too many solutions rely on trial and error. Essentially, the plan is often to identify areas that need help, flood them with resources, and hope to see change over time.
But hope is not an effective strategy.
Clayton M. Christensen and his co-authors reveal a paradox at the heart of our approach to solving poverty. While noble, our current solutions are not producing consistent results, and in some cases, have exacerbated the problem. At least twenty countries that have received billions of dollars’ worth of aid are poorer now.
Applying the rigorous and theory-driven analysis he is known for, Christensen suggests a better way. The right kind of innovation not only builds companies—but also builds countries. The Prosperity Paradox identifies the limits of common economic development models, which tend to be top-down efforts, and offers a new framework for economic growth based on entrepreneurship and market-creating innovation. Christensen, Ojomo, and Dillon use successful examples from America’s own economic development, including Ford, Eastman Kodak, and Singer Sewing Machines, and shows how similar models have worked in other regions such as Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Rwanda, India, Argentina, and Mexico.
The ideas in this book will help companies desperate for real, long-term growth see actual, sustainable progress where they’ve failed before. But The Prosperity Paradox is more than a business book; it is a call to action for anyone who wants a fresh take for making the world a better and more prosperous place.
Creative Construction: The DNA of Sustained Innovation by Gary P. Pisano, PublicAffairs
This myth-busting book shows large companies can construct a strategy, system, and culture of innovation that creates sustained growth.
Every company wants to grow, and the most proven way is through innovation. The conventional wisdom is that only disruptive, nimble startups can innovate; once a business gets bigger and more complex, corporate arteriosclerosis sets in. Gary Pisano's remarkable research conducted over three decades, and his extraordinary on-the ground experience with big companies and fast-growing ones that have moved beyond the start-up stage, provides new thinking about how the scale of bigger companies can be leveraged for advantage in innovation.
He begins with the simply reality that bigger companies are, well, different. Demanding that they "be like Uber" is no more realistic than commanding your dog to speak French. Bigger companies are complex. They need to sustain revenue streams from existing businesses, and deal with Wall Street's demands. These organizations require a different set of management practices and approaches—a discipline focused on the strategies, systems and culture for taking their companies to the next level. Big can be beautiful, but it requires creative construction by leaders to avoid the creative destruction that is all-too-often the fate of too many.
The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll by Ian S. Port, Simon & Schuster
A riveting saga in the history of rock ‘n’ roll: the decades-long rivalry between the two men who innovated the electric guitar’s amplified sound—Leo Fender and Les Paul—and their intense competition to convince rock stars like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton to play the instruments they built.
In the years after World War II, music was evolving from big-band jazz into the primordial elements of rock ’n’ roll—and these louder styles demanded revolutionary instruments. When Leo Fender’s tiny firm marketed the first solid-body electric guitar, the Esquire, musicians immediately saw its appeal. Not to be out-maneuvered, Gibson, the largest guitar manufacturer, raced to build a competitive product. The company designed an “axe” that would make Fender’s Esquire look cheap and convinced Les Paul—whose endorsement Leo Fender had sought—to put his name on it. Thus was born the guitar world’s most heated rivalry: Gibson versus Fender, Les versus Leo.
While Fender was a quiet, half-blind, self-taught radio repairman from rural Orange County, Paul was a brilliant but egomaniacal pop star and guitarist who spent years toying with new musical technologies. Their contest turned into an arms race as the most inventive musicians of the 1950s and 1960s—including bluesman Muddy Waters, rocker Buddy Holly, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton—adopted one maker’s guitar or another. By the time Jimi Hendrix played “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969 on his Fender Stratocaster, it was clear that electric instruments—Fender or Gibson—had launched music into a radical new age, empowering artists with a vibrancy and volume never before attainable.
The Law of Small Things: Creating a Habit of Integrity in a Culture of Mistrust by Stuart H. Brody, Berrett-Koehler
We are living in a time when dishonesty and duplicity are common in our public institutions, our workplaces, and even in our personal relationships. But by recognizing and resisting the small, seemingly inconsequential ways we make moral compromises in our own lives, we can repair the tear in our social and moral fabric.
The Law of Small Things begins with an IQ (Integrity Quotient) test designed to reveal the casual way we regard our promises and the misconceptions we have about acting truthfully. The book shows how most people believe that integrity is something we “just have” and that we just do, like a Nike commercial. It depicts these and other deceptions we deploy to appear to act with integrity without actually doing so.
The Law of Small Things also exposes how our culture encourages breaches of integrity through an array of “permitted promise-breaking,” a language of clichés that equates self-interest with duty, and the “illusion of inconsequence” that excuses small breaches with the breezy confidence that we can fulfill integrity when it counts.
Brody challenges the prevailing notion that integrity is a possession you hold permanently. No one “has integrity” and no one is perfect in practicing it. What we have is the opportunity to uphold promises and fulfill duties in each situation that faces us, large and small. Integrity is a practice and a habit of keeping promises, the ones we make explicitly and the ones that are implied in all our relationships.
Ultimately, developing skill in the practice of integrity leads us to knowledge of who we are—not in the way the culture defines us, but in the way we truly know ourselves to be.
The Critical Few: Energize Your Company's Culture by Choosing What Really Matters by Jon Katzenbach, James Thomas, and Gretchen Anderson, Berrett-Koehler
Without a deep understanding of your company’s culture, any change effort you undertake will fail. Bestselling author Jon Katzenbach and his coauthors identify the three most critical cultural elements leaders need to focus on.
In a global survey by the Katzenbach Center, 80 percent of respondents believed that their organization must evolve to succeed. But a full quarter of them reported that a change effort at their organization had resulted in no visible results. Why?
The fate of any change effort depends on whether and how leaders engage their culture: the self-sustaining patterns of behaving, feeling, thinking, and believing that determine how things are done in an organization. Culture is implicit rather than explicit, emotional rather than rational—that’s what makes it so hard to work with, but that’s also what makes it so powerful.
For the first time, this book lays out the Katzenbach Center’s proven methodology for identifying your culture’s three most critical elements: traits, characteristics that are at the heart of people’s emotional connection to what they do; keystone behaviors, actions that would lead your company to succeed if they were replicated at a greater scale; and authentic informal leaders, people who have a high degree of “emotional intuition” or social connectedness.
By leveraging these critical few elements, you can tap into a source of catalytic change within your organization. People will make an emotional, not just a rational, commitment to new initiatives. You will elicit enthusiasm and creativity and build the kind of powerful company that people recognize for its innate value and effectiveness.
The Time Has Come: Why Men Must Join the Gender Equality Revolution by Michael Kaufman, Counterpoint
How a patriarchal culture that has given power to men comes at a huge cost to women, children, and, surprisingly, to men as well.
The Time Has Come details how very achievable changes in our workplaces, in the ways we raise boys to be men, and in the movement to end men’s violence will bring significant rewards to communities all around the world.
Michael Kaufman is the cofounder of the White Ribbon Campaign—the largest international network of men working to end violence against women—and for decades has been an advisor on gender equality to the United Nations, governments, NGOs, schools, and workplaces around the world. With honest storytelling, compassion, and hard-hitting analysis, The Time Has Come is a compelling look at why men must take a stand in the fight for general equality.
Out of the Gobi: My Story of China and America by Weijian Shan, Wiley
Weijian Shan's Out of the Gobi is a powerful memoir and commentary that will be one of the most important books on China of our time, one with the potential to re-shape how Americans view China, and how the Chinese view life in America.
Shan, a former hard laborer who is now one of Asia's best-known financiers, is thoughtful, observant, eloquent, and brutally honest, making him well-positioned to tell the story of a life that is a microcosm of modern China, and of how, improbably, that life became intertwined with America. Out of the Gobi draws a vivid picture of the raw human energy and the will to succeed against all odds.
Shan only finished elementary school when Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution tore his country apart. He was a witness to the brutality and absurdity of Mao’s policies during one of the most tumultuous eras in China’s history. Exiled to the Gobi Desert at age 15 and denied schooling for 10 years, he endured untold hardships without ever giving up his dream for an education. Shan’s improbable journey, from the Gobi to the “People’s Republic of Berkeley” and far beyond, is a uniquely American success story—told with a splash of humor, deep insight and rich and engaging detail.
This powerful and personal perspective on China and America will inform Americans' view of China, humanizing the country, while providing a rare view of America from the prism of a keen foreign observer who lived the American dream.
Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff, W.W. Norton & Company
“A provocative, exciting, and important rallying cry to reassert our human spirit of community and teamwork.”—Walter Isaacson
Team Human is a manifesto—a fiery distillation of preeminent digital theorist Douglas Rushkoff’s most urgent thoughts on civilization and human nature. In one hundred lean and incisive statements, he argues that we are essentially social creatures, and that we achieve our greatest aspirations when we work together—not as individuals. Yet today society is threatened by a vast antihuman infrastructure that undermines our ability to connect. Money, once a means of exchange, is now a means of exploitation; education, conceived as way to elevate the working class, has become another assembly line; and the internet has only further divided us into increasingly atomized and radicalized groups.
Team Human delivers a call to arms. If we are to resist and survive these destructive forces, we must recognize that being human is a team sport. In Rushkoff’s own words: “Being social may be the whole point.” Harnessing wide-ranging research on human evolution, biology, and psychology, Rushkoff shows that when we work together we realize greater happiness, productivity, and peace. If we can find the others who understand this fundamental truth and reassert our humanity—together—we can make the world a better place to be human.
Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
What if the real key to a richer and more fulfilling career was not to create and scale a new start-up, but rather, to be able to work for yourself, determine your own hours, and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one? Suppose the better—and smarter—solution is simply to remain small? This book explains how to do just that.
Company of One is a refreshingly new approach centered on staying small and avoiding growth, for any size business. Not as a freelancer who only gets paid on a per piece basis, and not as an entrepreneurial start-up that wants to scale as soon as possible, but as a small business that is deliberately committed to staying that way. By staying small, one can have freedom to pursue more meaningful pleasures in life, and avoid the headaches that result from dealing with employees, long meetings, or worrying about expansion. Company of One introduces this unique business strategy and explains how to make it work for you, including how to generate cash flow on an ongoing basis.
Paul Jarvis left the corporate world when he realized that working in a high-pressure, high profile world was not his idea of success. Instead, he now works for himself out of his home on a small, lush island off of Vancouver, and lives a much more rewarding and productive life. He no longer has to contend with an environment that constantly demands more productivity, more output, and more growth.
In Company of One, Jarvis explains how you can find the right pathway to do the same, including planning how to set up your shop, determining your desired revenues, dealing with unexpected crises, keeping your key clients happy, and of course, doing all of this on your own.
Downhill from Here: Retirement Insecurity in the Age of Inequality by Katherine S. Newman, Metropolitan Books
A sharp examination of the looming financial catastrophe of retirement in America.
As millions of Baby Boomers reach their golden years, the state of retirement in America is little short of a disaster. Nearly half the households with people aged 55 and older have no retirement savings at all. The real estate crash wiped out much of the home equity that millions were counting on to support their retirement. And the typical Social Security check covers less than 40% of pre-retirement wages—a number projected to drop to under 28% within two decades. Old-age poverty, a problem we thought was solved by the New Deal, is poised for a resurgence.
With dramatic statistics and vivid portraits, acclaimed sociologist Katherine Newman shows that the American retirement crisis touches us all, cutting across class lines and generational divides. White-collar managers have seen retirement benefits vanish; Teamsters have had their pensions cut in half; bankrupt cities like Detroit have walked away from their commitments to municipal workers. And for Generation X, the prospects are even worse: a fifth of them expect to never be able to retire. Only the vaunted “one percent” can face retirement without fear.
Other countries are confronting similar demographic challenges, yet they have not abandoned their social contract with seniors. Downhill from Here makes it clear that America, too, can—and must—do better.
The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone's Well-Being by Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett, Penguin Press
A groundbreaking investigation of how inequality infects our minds and gets under our skin.
Why are people more relaxed and at ease with each other in some countries than others? Why do we worry so much about what others think of us and often feel social life is a stressful performance? Why is mental illness three times as common in the USA as in Germany? Why is the American dream more of a reality in Denmark than the USA? What makes child well-being so much worse in some countries than others? As this groundbreaking study demonstrates, the answer to all these is inequality.
In The Spirit Level Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett put inequality at the center of public debate by showing conclusively that less equal societies fare worse than more equal ones across everything from education to life expectancy. The Inner Level now explains how inequality affects us individually, altering how we think, feel and behave. It sets out the overwhelming evidence that material inequities have powerful psychological effects: when the gap between rich and poor increases, so does the tendency to define and value ourselves and others in terms of superiority and inferiority. A deep well of data and analysis is drawn upon to empirically show, for example, that low social status leads to elevated levels of stress hormones, and how rates of anxiety, depression, and addictions are intimately related to the inequality which makes that status paramount.
Wilkinson and Pickett describe how these responses to hierarchies evolved, and why the impacts of inequality on us are so severe. In doing so, they challenge the conception that humans are inescapably competitive and self-interested. They undermine, too, the idea that inequality is the product of “natural” differences in individual ability. This book draws together many of the most urgent problems facing societies today, but it is not just an index of our ills. It demonstrates that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity generate much higher levels of well-being, and lays out the path towards them.
From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America by Howard Schultz, Random House
The founder of Starbucks shares his dramatic, untold personal story—from his childhood in Brooklyn’s housing projects to his rise as a business icon—and lays out his vision for how companies can improve their social impact.
Howard Schultz was born and raised in the Canarsie Housing Projects in Brooklyn, New York, the child of a fractured family—his father a bitter truck driver put out of work by an injury, his mother an optimist with dark secrets. Howard hid in the concrete stairwells at night, while his parents turned their apartment into a den of illegal activity, serving the local population of gambler and drinkers. By day he learned the hard lessons of the project playgrounds, as well as the consolations of a working-class community’s spirit. He also learned what it meant to be on the wrong side of the American dream—and his own dream was to create a company that would take care of workers like his father, instead of discarding them, and bring people together instead of profiting from their isolation. But soon his ambitions grew even beyond that.
This is the story of how Schultz did it, from the business trip to Milan as a young salesman that set him on fire with the idea of creating an American “third place,” to the struggles and reversals that marked the early, uncertain days of Starbucks, to Howard’s encounters with baristas, managers, and customers around the country that transformed his sense of what Starbucks needed to become.
He also tells the dramatic stories of a succession of major Starbucks initiatives that arose from this vision: the company’s early, controversial expansion of benefits to same-sex couples; their push to create a fund to support small, local entrepreneurs during the depths of the recession; hiring programs for veterans and refugees; support for workers with undocumented relatives; initiatives around race and police violence; programs to raise starting wages, offer benefits to part-time employees, and provide free college to all staff.
Throughout these compelling stories is a manifesto about the ethical obligations of powerful businesses in a time of radical inequality and dysfunctional government—and the responsibility we all have to prioritize our shared humanity over the destructive, mindless, and heartless incentives of capitalism.
The Wise Advocate: The Inner Voice of Strategic Leadership by Art Kleiner, Josie Thomson, and Jeffrey Schwartz, Columbia University Press
This book gives a transformative explanation of how cutting-edge neuroscience can help business leaders set a course toward better management. Strategic leaders, it shows, play the role of wise advocates: able to go beyond day-to-day transactional behavior to a longer-term, broader perspective that articulates their organization’s deeper purpose.
Leadership is the habit of making good choices. Even in difficult and uncertain circumstances, the most effective leaders focus their attention and overcome entrenched patterns of behavior to push an organization to new heights of success. This capability is no fluke: the latest research on the brain shows that we can pinpoint the mental activity associated with it—and cultivate it for our benefit.
In this book, Art Kleiner, a strategy expert; Jeffrey Schwartz, a research psychiatrist; and Josie Thomson, an executive coach, give a transformative explanation of how cutting-edge neuroscience can help business leaders set a course toward better management. Mapping the functions of a manager onto established patterns of mental activity, they identify crucial brain circuits and their parallels in organizational culture. Strategic leaders, they show, play the role of wise advocates: able to go beyond day-to-day transactional behavior to a longer-term, broader perspective that articulates their organization’s deeper purpose. True leaders can play this influencer role in an organization because they have cultivated similar self-reflective habits in their own minds. Providing a powerful guide to decision strategies and their consequences, The Wise Advocate helps managers find their own inner voice and then make that voice ring out loud and clear, with a four-step program for practice and catalytic implications for management strategy, executive education, and business results.