August 13, 2010

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Bury My Heart at Conference Room B

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:01 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Bury My Heart at Conference Room B: The Unbeatable Impact of Truly Committed Managers by Stan Slap, 272 pages, $25.95, Hardcover, August 2010, ISBN 9781591843245

In 2010, 800-CEO-READ moved to our newly remodeled “world headquarters” and with all this new space, we had walls that needed filling. Lots of pictures of me, of course, but I’ve got to keep my ego in check. What to put on the rest of the walls? As you can imagine, we get lots of books through our door, so there are plenty of sources of inspirations for quotes to put on those walls.

In Bury my Heart in Conference Room B, we found the following quote, which will soon adorn the wall of our new conference room: “The irreducible essence of leadership is that leaders are people who live their deepest personal values without compromise, and they use those values to make life better for others—this is why people become leaders and why people follow leaders.”

In this one quote, I could tell that Stan Slap had penned one of the smartest and most compelling books on leadership I have been lucky enough to read. On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis has been my totem of the genre, though even in that excellent book, this amorphous subject remains slippery.

That is why this book is special: Slap uses his research with over 10,000 managers from seventy countries to point out dichotomies that encapsulate the problems the modern business manager faces. For example:
The personal values that an overwhelming number of managers in every position in every country reported as being most important to them:

1. Family
2. Integrity.

The personal values that those same managers reported as being the most under pressure to compromise in order to do their jobs successfully:

1. Family
2. Integrity

Bury my Heart in Conference Room B will help managers become better leaders and, on the way, become committed managers. Slap’s methodology is to help managers become committed first to themselves, to live their personal values at work which, as the quote in the first paragraph states, is why people become leaders in the first place, and why people follow them.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.