Traditionally, leadership has been equated with vision. We look to leaders in business and government to have the genius to know the future and lead the rest of us to where that vision becomes a reality. We look for goals to beckon us and rely on strategic plans to guide us, all the while knowing how unreliable and unpredictable the future might be. Emerging realities (the financial crisis of 2008, the rise and fall of oil prices, the creative destruction of the Internet, for instance) often distort and destroy established maps. How do we plan when plans become irrelevant?
Through his celebrated career as a professor of business and a medicine man to companies big and small, Donald Sull has studied how best to reconcile this paradox. The essence of leadership, in the deep logic that underpins this book, relies on a leader's flexible tenacity to plot a course that can withstand and even be propelled by the complexity and dynamism that the modern business terrain contains.
Based on a decade of research, historical case studies, and intensive work with established enterprises and start-ups, this book lays out the fundamental logic of opportunity and provides a series of practical steps to translate insight into action.
Donald Sull is a global expert on strategy and execution in turbulent markets. He is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and was formerly a Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School, where he won three teaching awards. He earned his MBA and Ph.D. from Harvard Business School, where he won the George S. Dively Award for outstanding dissertation and was a finalist for the Levenson Teaching Prize. He has published five award-winning books, ten best-selling Harvard Business Review articles, and over 100 case studies, articles, and book chapters on strategy and execution in turbulent markets. Sull splits his time between Cambridge, Massachusetts and Cape Cod.
STAFF PICKS: In the Books - Off to the Printers XI
Posted January 6, 2011, 7:16 PM with category of The Company
After an always busy year-end of hosting our Author Pow-Wow, reading and judging books for our 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards, producing our annual review of business books, planning our Book Awards Party in New York City, trying to keep up with our more mundane and unsung daily tasks, and working on our secret, obviously unannounced plans of world-domination, we're beginning to see the light here in the New Year. One big recent step was sending our annual review off to the printers*, and in a tradition I started last year to wrap up the project, I'd like to share with you here some of what we have written in previous issues. (I've also put links to previous entries in this series at the end of this post.
NEWS: The 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards of 2009
Posted December 15, 2009, 3:00 PM with category of General Business
The 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year
Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—And Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Viking Books, 624 pages, $32. 95
Even though Too Big to Fail was written during the same year the financial collapse occurred, Andrew Ross Sorkin has written what we predict will be the definitive book on the subject. Sorkin not only tells a gripping “perfect storm” story—reporting the gory details as our 401k’s disappeared and our financial system became nationalized—but he humanizes the players as well, resulting in an imminently readable, albeit lengthy, book.