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Posted April 9, 2007 8:30 a.m. by 800-ceo-read
In Publishing Industry - 800 CEO Read Blog
It's interesting how many inquiries we receive regarding "CEO" books. Not from customers, but from the media. There seems to be a fascination with the stories of heroic or villainous business gurus. Remember the sensation surrounding the release of Carly Fiorina's memoir? Conveniently released around the inquiries into HP's spying scandal.
As it turns out, the latest trends in business book sales are not toward the famous CEO biographies (though, of course, we have seen success with titles like Tough Choices and Andy Grove), but toward the books that help people find answers to questions and solutions to problems.
In today's Wall Street Journal, in the Marketplace section, the "In the Lead" column discusses the books that business people--even executives--are turning to, books that "promise to help managers to everything better--from building strong teams and winning customers to achieving robust profits."
This latest wave of business books also stresses "the importance of being able to continuously improve results. Now, more books emphasize innovation over execution--the principle and vision beyond the the plans."
A few titles mentioned in the article:
- True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership (which actually debunks "the myth of the superhero top executive)
- Know-How: The 8 Skills that Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don't
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
- The World is Flat
- The No Asshole Rule
Posted Jan. 2, 2007 9:56 a.m. by 800-ceo-read
In The Company - 800 CEO Read Blog
If you're in or near Milwaukee, or will be in Milwaukee, or need a reason to come to Milwaukee this spring, we've got one. Our LeaveSmarter series. Actually, it's three reasons. Made to Stick, Citizen Marketers, and Purpose. We're bringing five business book authors to three events. We hand-picked some of the brightest and smartest business thinkers out there, and we want to introduce them to you.
Last fall 800-CEO-READ brought Bill Taylor (Mavericks at Work) and Carly Fiorina (Tough Choices) to Milwaukee. Overwhelmingly positive feedback reinforced something we suspected about the business community in and around Milwaukee: people are hungry for refreshing, cutting-edge business thought.
LeaveSmarter (coined by the lovely Kate Mytty) is about creating an environment that encourages learning, discussion and creativity. We all know what the typical business event is like...and we all wish it were better. Well, that's what we're trying to do with this series. We want you to feel like you've left with something. We want you to leave smarter.
We'll share with you the Heath brothers, whose new book Made to Stick is full of ideas for making your message stick, work and last. Then, meet Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, authors of Citizen Marketers. They'll tell us about the new faces of marketing. Finally, join us to hear Nikos Mourkogiannis, author of Purpose, who has an important message about the centrality of purpose in any group.
Go here for more details: http://800ceoread.com/8cr/events/
Jack Covert Selects: Tough Choices: A Memoir
Posted Nov. 9, 2006 3:35 a.m. by jack
Tough Choices, A Memoir by Carly Fiorina, Portfolio Publishers, $24.95 Hardcover, 300 Pages, October 2006, ISBN 159184133X
There are people you meet who are special, more alive, more commanding, just different, from you and me. The first person I remember meeting like that was Thomas Tip ONeill, former Speaker of the House, whom I met at a book convention twenty years ago. Jack Welch is like that. Carly Fiorina is like that. Unless youve been living off the grid for the past decade, you know that Carly is the former CEO of Hewlett Packard. During her tenure, she also became a celebrity, and this book is her story.
Carly understands that readers will want to know what happened at HP, so she opens her story the day she was fired by the HP board. But this book is more than a chronicle of her years running and leaving that Fortune 20 company. She begins her second chapter with: How a story ends has much to do with how it begins and so I must begin with my mother and father. If this indicates to you that this book is her personal story, you are right, but she consistently drops in valuable paragraphs loaded with rewarding business insight.
Early on, as she writes that perhaps she became adaptable to change due to moving five times while in high school:
I experienced first-hand the power of high expectations; had less been demanded, less would have been achieved. I saw my parents fears and feelings of inadequacy compel them forward: their example convinced me never to allow my own fears and insecurities to stop me in my tracks. I learned that change can be both difficult and exciting: with each separation and loss came a great adventure. I discovered the impact of asking a question and listening to the answer: people everywhere have something to teach and are eager to share.
As you read about her years at school and at AT&T, you will remember those words, and understand better how she achieved such success in the face of enormous gender prejudice and organizational apathy. Each challenge helped her develop a theory of leadership that she would later apply to her job as CEO of HP. Let me give you an example. She writes:
Sometimes, if things arent working, people can see that there are problems but they cant identify the cause or, consequently, the solution. A leaders job is to find and address the cause, just as a doctors job is to try and cure the disease rather that simple treat the symptoms.
And one such symptom she identified at HP was:
[W]hen I arrived at the company they founded, I encountered a group of people who could not imagine their future beyond Bill and Dave and the strategy and practices theyd always followed. I saw a company that had no identity or sense of itself beyond the celebration of Bill and Daves legacy and the values they preached
I recommend Tough Choices for a variety of reasons. Carly does an excellent job of giving each organization a personality; she offers insight into her belief system and actions; she admits to mistakes and takes credit when credit is due; and she also names names, just as everyone wanted her to. But the true gift of the book is to get to know this exceptional person; you wont regret the time you spend in her company
60 Minutes and former HP Executives
Posted Oct. 9, 2006 5:41 a.m. by todd-sattersten
In History and Biographies - 800 CEO Read Blog
60 Minutes ran back to back interviews with Patricia Dunn and Carly Fiorina. Yahoo has clips from the interviews as well as pieces that did not air.
I think the most interesting part is that both of them point the finger at Tom Perkins and George Keyworth as the cause for the trouble at HP.
We are shipping Tough Choices.
Carly Fiorina and Tough Choices
Posted Oct. 5, 2006 4:18 a.m. by jack
In Leadership - 800 CEO Read Blog
Todays New York Times reports that they have gotten and read Carly Fiorinas new book called Tough Choices a little less than a week before it was to be released. The Times says that she had ordered an investigation into board leaks in January 2005.
She will be on 60 Minutes this Sunday.
She will be in Milwaukee on 10-27. Check out the event here