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Staff Picks Rss


We are known for our business book expertise, but most of our staff started working here because of our passion for books, not business. 800-CEO-READ is a company filled with voracious readers—talented, creative individuals who know books, and who excel at getting the right books into the hands of the right people. Whenever we can, we like to do that by telling you about the books we’ve been reading.




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True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business

By Sally Haldorson, published July 17, 2013, at 7:40 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

"Metastory is a story that is told through action. It is not a story that you say, it's a story that you do. Every individual has one.

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Brick by Brick, or How LEGO Was Awesome, Failed, and Then Became Awesome Again

By Michael, published July 15, 2013, at 11:15 AM – Filed under: Innovation & Creativity

We have reached a point in time when those of us who missed out on playing with LEGOs as kids have by now had the opportunity to buy the iconic toys for our own children. I am fortunate enough to have experienced the joy of LEGO both as a child and an adult, so my interest in David C. Robertson’s Brick by Brick is all but automatic.

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Reinventing You

By Michael, published May 20, 2013, at 4:39 PM – Filed under: Narrative & Biography, Personal Development & Human Behavior

“What do people think of you? What do they say when you leave the room? ” Maybe you don’t think you have a brand.

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Untapped Talent: Unleashing the Power of the Hidden Workforce

By Sally Haldorson, published April 26, 2013, at 3:04 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Kudos to the author and publisher for coming up with such an intriguing title. It's impossible not to wonder just who this "hidden workforce" is, and surprisingly, organizational development expert Dani Monroe reveals that an untapped source of talent is right under our noses: our current underutilized employees. Over the course of my career, I saw hundreds of extremely intelligent, well-credentialed men and women with master's degrees in business, degrees in engineering, math, technology, and liberal arts.

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Nice Companies Finish First

By Michael, published April 23, 2013, at 3:42 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

Bad management—chances are we have either worked under bad management or we know someone who has. The harmful effects of a bad manager often extend as far as the private lives of staff, but the more obvious effects can be seen inside the workplace. Sadly, bad bosses are not all that uncommon.

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How to Be Interesting

By 800-CEO-READ, published April 5, 2013, at 4:59 PM – Filed under: Personal Development & Human Behavior

This week, Dylan and I went to go see Jessica Hagy speak at the wonderful Lynden Sculpture Garden. Hagy, an ex-advertising copywriter who now creates doodles and charts with keen observations on people and the situations they find themselves in, presented a summary of her "10 Simple Steps" from her new book How to Be Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps). After enjoying her previous book Indexed, which consisted solely of pages of charts and minimal commentary, I was curious what her presentation might consist of.

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Global Dexterity

By Michael, published March 27, 2013, at 4:23 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

While reading Andy Molinsky's new book Global Dexterity, I was reminded of an experience I had shortly after starting my first job as a working professional. I had been on the job for about a month. A colleague in my department was turning 30, so we were celebrating in a vacant office with some grocery store cake.

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Why Managing Sucks (and How to Fix It)

By Michael, published March 7, 2013, at 6:35 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

In the world of professional work, there is a growing conversation about how work can be done and what is most important to a company and its staff. In 2010, we selected Rework as Business Book of the Year because if offered fresh thought on everyday business operations; it gave affirmation to the companies that were saying, "the old way is not the only way. " Pragmatic companies and their leadership teams have begun to tolerate and even embrace practices like telecommuting, choosing to focus on the results, rather than the process.

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Visual Leaders

By Michael, published February 26, 2013, at 6:22 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

Leadership on its own is hard work. Leaders require many skills, but one particularly important ability successful leaders must have is vision. Despite being clichés of success, companies like Amazon and Apple are time and again exemplary largely because their leaders have been able to visualize the future and steer their followers—employees and customers—toward this vision of the future.

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The Sketchnote Handbook

By Michael, published December 31, 2012, at 5:36 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

There are many ways to learn. Let's pretend, for the sake of this review, that there are two kinds of learners: those who take note and those who don't. That was fun.

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Startup Communities

By Michael, published November 29, 2012, at 12:30 PM – Filed under: Narrative & Biography

In the foreward to Brad Feld's most recent book, Startup Communities, Steve Case begins: During the past three decades, startups in the United States have created 40 million American jobs, all the net job creation in the country over that period. As we recover from a deep recession, our ability to innovate, build iconic companies, put people back to work, and inspire the world will once again be determined by whether entrepreneurs continue taking chances on a dream to start a business. This point demonstrates the importance of Startup Communities.

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The Outstanding Organization

By Michael, published November 5, 2012, at 12:30 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy, Management & Workplace Culture, Management & Workplace Culture

A couple weeks ago I read and reviewed Bob Pozen's Extreme Productivity, which turned my attention to some excellent concepts and strategies for streamlining day-to-day operations. It's important to give attention to the more pragmatic side of operational improvement, an area in which Pozen has demonstrated excellence. I picked up this idea of improvement at a point where Extreme Productivity leaves off, with a consideration of something author and consultant Karen Martin discusses in her recent book, The Outstanding Organization.