Saturday, July 10, 2004

aligning your leadership with others and your organization's mission

When a book really captures my imagination, I like to outline it and possibly even write up a summary of it - sometimes pulling in material from other sources as well. The main reason I do this is as a heuristic exercise to help me wrap my brain more fully around the book. But a serendipity of this is that I then have something that I can give to someone who can benefit from the info without necessarily having to read the book entire. So, for example, a few years ago after I read Collins and Porras Built to Last, I put together just such a summary. Later, I so enjoyed having the chance to hear Peter Senge and to read his wonderful Fifth Discipline that I put together a piece called The Thinking of Peter Senge pulling these two experiences together. A few years later, Kouzes and Posner's marvelous book The Leadership Challenge so struck me that I put together an extensive outline that became the basis for my first article with Next-Wave. Reading Eric Verzuh's very practical The Fast Forward MBA on Project Management led to two outlines, one brief and one more expansive. Finally, after reading Francis McInerney and Sean White's FutureWealth, a very insightful investment book about the way the declining cost of information affects society, I put together a brief piece on how this impacts the newspaper industry for some of my fellow managers at USA TODAY.

The latest book to have this kind of effect on me was The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins.

Here's a teaser:

"A friend of mine, having just been promoted to a director’s position, recently strongly recommended Harvard’s Associate Professor of Business Administration’s new book that counsels the recently ascended leader in her first 90 days. When I called another friend who recently accepted a VP position with a cable company, she told me that the book had been her guide for the last few months. And some time after I recommended the book to another friend who had just accepted a national role with a fast growing company, he told me that the book had been a gift from God. "

read the whole summary here and the extensive outline for more details here.

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