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Book Giveaway: The 2018 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards Leadership & Strategy Book Giveaway


We will be dedicating the rest of this year's book giveaways to the books on the longlist for the 2018 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year.

We start out with the books on the Leadership & Strategy category, which are listed below along with the publishers' descriptions of the books. Our general manager Sally Haldorson curated the discussion on this category this year, and you can find her thoughts on the books in her post diving Inside the Longlist: Leadership & Strategy.

Each of this week's winners will receive all five books in the category.

Clarity First: How Smart Leaders and Organizations Achieve Outstanding Performance by Karen Martin | McGraw-Hill

Award-winning business performance improvement and Lean management expert Karen Martin shows today’s leaders how to eliminate ambiguity, and embrace transparency, truth, and tenacity to optimize performance at every level.

Throughout her global consulting work, popular book tours, keynote speeches, and work with thousands of leaders and improvement leaders, Karen has been hearing the same questions: How can we achieve our organization’s performance goals more easily? How can we align the organization around a single strategy? How can we, as leaders, provide better context and establish a clear call to action? The answer is Clarity First, a practical and powerful approach to operating a business in a way that eliminates the ambiguity and confusion that reduces productivity, harms the customer experience, and gets in the way of an organization’s success. (or that makes work more difficult than it needs to be, creates a poorer customer experience, and hurts the bottom line.

With simple but sharp-focused clarity, Martin shines a much-needed light on the most common business management and leadership problems that can hamper performance, offering specific solutions and field-tested strategies that can dramatically improve your operations and overall performance. Leaders will learn how to gain the clarity they need to make better decisions and lead more effectively, and how to be more direct, decisive, and purposeful when communicating so that their teams will be more clearly inspired to follow their lead. When it comes to achieving organizational excellence, every great leader needs Clarity First.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown | Random House

In her #1 NYT bestsellers, Brené Brown taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong, and brave the wilderness. Now, based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers, and culture shifters, she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead.

Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who holds themselves accountable for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential. When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work.

But daring leadership in a culture that’s defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and AI can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage to start.

Four-time #1 New York Times bestselling author and researcher Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying the emotions and experiences that give meaning to our lives, and the past seven years working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe. She found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies, all ask the same question: How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?

In this new book, Brown uses research, stories, and examples to answer these questions in the no-BS style that millions of readers have come to expect and love. Brené writes, “One of the most important findings of my career is that daring leadership is a collection of skills and practices that are 100% teachable. It’s learning and unlearning that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart. Easy? No. Because choosing courage over comfort is not always our default. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and our work. It’s why we’re here.”

Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most by Steven Johnson | Riverhead Books

The hardest choices are also the most consequential. So why do we know so little about how to get them right?

Big, life-altering decisions matter so much more than the decisions we make every day, and they’re also the most difficult: where to live, whom to marry, what to believe, whether to start a company, how to end a war. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for addressing these kinds of conundrums.

Steven Johnson’s classic Where Good Ideas Come From inspired creative people all over the world with new ways of thinking about innovation. In Farsighted, he uncovers powerful tools for honing the important skill of complex decision-making. While you can’t model a once-in-a-lifetime choice, you can model the deliberative tactics of expert decision-makers. These experts aren’t just the master strategists running major companies or negotiating high-level diplomacy. They’re the novelists who draw out the complexity of their characters’ inner lives, the city officials who secure long-term water supplies, and the scientists who reckon with future challenges most of us haven’t even imagined. The smartest decision-makers don’t go with their guts. Their success relies on having a future-oriented approach and the ability to consider all their options in a creative, productive way.

Through compelling stories that reveal surprising insights, Johnson explains how we can most effectively approach the choices that can chart the course of a life, an organization, or a civilization. Farsighted will help you imagine your possible futures and appreciate the subtle intelligence of the choices that shaped our broader social history.

Growth IQ: Get Smarter about the Choices That Will Make or Break Your Business by Tiffani Bova | Portfolio

Do you know the best way to drive your company’s growth? If not, it’s time to boost your Growth IQ.

Trying to find the one right move that will improve your business’s performance can feel overwhelming. But, as you’ll discover in Growth IQ, there are just ten simple—but easily misunderstood—paths to growth, and every successful growth strategy can be boiled down to picking the right combination and sequence of these paths for your current context.

Tiffani Bova travels around the world helping companies solve their most vexing problem: how to keep growing in the face of stiff competition and a fast-changing business environment. Whether she’s presenting to a Fortune 500 board of directors or brainstorming over coffee with a startup founder, Bova cuts through the clutter and confusion that surround growth.

Now, she draws on her decades of experience and more than thirty fascinating, in-depth business stories to demonstrate the opportunities—and pitfalls—of each of the ten growth paths, how they work together, and how they apply to business today. You’ll see how, for instance:

  • Red Bull broke Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s stranglehold on the soft drink market by taking the Customer Base Penetration path to establish a foothold with adventure sports junkies and expand into the mainstream.
  • Marvel transformed itself from a struggling comic book publisher into a global entertainment behemoth by using a Customer and Product Diversification strategy and shifting their focus from comic books to comic book characters in movies.
  • Starbucks suffered a brand crisis when they overwhelmed their customers with a Product Expansion strategy, and brought back CEO Howard Schultz to course-correct by returning to the Customer Experience path.

Through Bova’s insightful analyses of these and many other case studies, you’ll see why it can be a mistake to imitate strategies that worked for your competitors, or rely on strategies that worked for you in the past. To grow your company with confidence, you first need to grow your Growth IQ.

This Is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters by Drew Dudley | Hachette Books

Based on his TEDx talk "Everyday Leadership (the Lollipop Moment)"—voted one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time—This Is Day One is leadership expert Drew Dudley's guide to cultivating the behaviors that will help you to succeed and empower those around you.

If you're intimidated by the mystique surrounding leadership, this book is for you. Dudley simplifies leadership without denying its complexity, demonstrating that leadership in all its forms begins at the same clear and accessible place for everyone: what he calls "Day One."

Day One is when you discover, define, and start to consistently deliver on your foundational leadership values. Living that day over and over is what creates leaders, and Dudley provides the key tools necessary to craft and commit to your own personal Day One, including:

  • A step-by-step process designed to surface your core leadership values and embed them into your daily behavior.
  • A roadmap to behavioral changes proven to increase commitment, pride, productivity, and happiness.
  • Insights into key leadership values that drive performance and impact.

Sharing the process that led him through battles with alcohol, obesity, and personal tragedy, Dudley shows you how to develop a relentless commitment to the daily behaviors that will make you a better executive, coach, or teacher, and how you can inspire others to do the same.

Most of the leadership on the planet comes from people who don't see themselves as leaders. This Is Day One shows you how to start changing that. Through the insights of leaders of all types—CEOs, elite athletes, cab drivers, custodians, and everyone in between—Dudley helps you understand what your Day One needs to look like, reminds you why you're a leader, and makes clear what you can do about it—starting today, on Day One.

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