October 23, 2003
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Upward Bound
Michael Useem has written two books about leadership that I really liked. His son, a senior writer for Fortune, has joined him along with Paul Asel, a VC investor and an advisor to start-up businesses, in writing this new book. They have compiled nine fascinating and scary stories that relate mountain climbing, business leadership and management. It was surprising to me the number of business leaders who are climbers. For example, Arthur Sulzberger, Chairman and Publisher of the New York Times, describes himself as a rank amateur adventurist in the foreword. But I think Sulzberger explains very well why climbing and business can be looked at together. He states:
Dramas that may take months or years to play out in business can come to fruition in days, hours, or minutes, when you take on the planets greatest climbing challenges. Its in this very compactness of that time that essential leadership lessons most easily can be seen, dissected, debated, and understood by those of us who may never see the view from the top of K2, or even from its base.
Each of the nine writers discusses experiences they had and how those experiences relate to the business world. It really works because of what Sulzberger states above: Everything is so compacted and intense. It is about life and death and it relates perfectly to the business world. Also, I must say, that Jim Collins section is great, he is a fantastic storyteller. This guy has to write a novel. If you dont believe me, go into your local bookseller and start reading from page 38, and tell me you were bored reading his story. The other eight stories are also very much worth your time. Good stuff.
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.