The first thing that strikes the reader about this book is the impressive array of reviewers providing laudatory comments – from Dan Pink, to Brene Brown and Dave Ulrich – which left me wondering: who is this guy?! Well, the author is an Australian living in Toronto who studied in Oxford, England. His writing betrays a supreme confidence in his grasp of the subject-matter (which is reassuring) and he writes with brevity in a colloquial and accessible style. It is not written in an academic form, although it has plenty of academic references and uses the author’s business resources (Lindsay, his researcher-colleague) to support the key messages.
The premise of this book is that the role of leaders is to inspire those around them, engage employees and raise levels of consciousness beyond simply turning up to work. I believe it achieves this: it is a graphic, technical and – at times – challenging body of work, but one which also maintains interest through humour, a good choice of anecdotes and some self-deprecation (this last topic is a kind of theme throughout).
Uh-oh: another book written by a sportsperson (in this case, Ben Hunt-Davis, an Olympic champion in rowing’s coxed 8’s in the Sydney Olympics of 2000) about defeating the odds after a career of almost-winning. Surely this can add nothing to the already-saturated world of the published bon-mots and tired homilies that follow major sporting events?
Well, actually: this is a really good read! Not just because Hunt-Davis has a story that deserves to be heard (especially since most people probably do not remember him in the shadow of a number of better-known British rowers); but also because Harriet Beveridge (management consultant, coach and stand-up comic) adds real value by interpreting and summarising the lessons learned from the rower’s story. Laid out chronologically in the run-up to the Sydney games, the first chapter looks at the importance of setting goals. What I like about this is the idea of ‘layered goals’ – from the ideal to the bite-sized everyday goals. It talks to the concept of being purposeful: everything comes back to purpose.
Subtitled “10 behaviors that define great global leaders”, this book takes the reader on an expansive journey into organisational insights, personal experiences and anecdotes. Based on a number of in-depth interviews with mid-to-senior managers with experience of roles in foreign subsidiaries, it is a book of two halves: the first looks at the competencies and behaviours identified from the detailed research. The second considers the challenge of training for the desired behaviours, looks at coaching for skills-enhancement and reflects on the challenges faced by and in teams with a global profile. The book ends with a chapter about the future of global leadership, which provides some useful pointers about identifying and developing the leaders of the future.
The authors have set out to provide the definitive marketing communications resource and this 6th edition brings together traditional marketing tenets and the perceived wisdom of the digital age. They show convincingly that these complementarily support a deeper insight into customer behaviour and widen the possible marketing responses.