Managing your Career

Managing Your CareerAnother of the Lessons Learned series from Havard.

This one focuses on career progression, with (again) straight talking from the world’s top business leaders.

As with all of the series the book is just under 100 pages, and big print! This is a collection of 14 mini-articles by business leaders.

The best of the 14 are (in my opinion):

  • Richard Pascale – A Designed Life
    This is the most unusual of the pieces in the book, and it’s about creating the life (including work) that suits you – whatever that may be. Not just following the perceived route
  • Lynda Gratton – Make Time for the Unexpected
    This is really about taking the time / making the time to experience the other. The way of life you don’t do, what other industries do, how other people do things – so that you can then work out what might work for you / your business
  • Paul Anderson – Choose Your Words Carefully
    This is really about understanding that other people may remember something you say as an offhand remark as more than you meant it. And how the higher you get up a company the more important it is that you are careful of what you say.
  • Gill Rider – The Virtuous Circle of Competence and Confidence
    Put simply – being confident convinces you and others of your competence.
  • Jay Conger – Take Ownership of your own Development
    Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you – sort it out yourself.

Leading By Example

Leading by Example HBSPThis teeny tiny book (just 99 pages and pocket sized) is packed full of great advice. It’s part of the Harvard Business School Press’ “Lessons Learned” series which they describe as “Straight Talking from the World’s Top Business Leaders”.

And that’s just what it is.

There are 14 mini-articles in the book, each on a diverse topic of leading by example, and each by a different business leader. A real mix of backgrounds too – from banks, to technology, to high fashion.

My favourites in this book are:

  • Ken Freeman’s – Leadership 24/7
    Recounts an inspirational story of a chance meeting in an airport whilst on holiday with the family.
  • Sir David Michels’ – Use Emotion Sparingly
    The title says it all really – but it’s a powerful example
  • Howard Lester’s – If you’re going to lead, trust your judgement
    This one’s really about ignoring the hype, and trusting your gut.
  • Amelia Fawcett’s – Having the Courage of your Convictions
    The example Amelia runs through lasts over several years – but it’s equally applicable over just a few days or months. And fits really well with Howard Lester’s

I found this book rather inspiring, supportive and very easy to dip in and out of – must read more of the series!

Weathering the Storm – Harvard 50 Lessons Learned

The Harvard Business Review’s “Lessons Learned” Series is a collection of books full of advice on a specific subject. They’re great for a quick pick-me-up, or just to help you focus on what you should be doing.

Weathering the StormWeathering the Storm has some great advice to help you weather any number of business storms. Topics include PR Disasters, how you need to be as a leader to manage it all, financial disasters and much more.

In this economic climate this is certainly a little book worth having around.

My favourite piece of advice is that provided by Sir Michael Rake (Chairman of the BT Group) “The Self-Reliant Leader”. It very succinctly shows how you need to be able to rely on yourself and be confident in what you’re doing once you’re at the top.

Making the Sale – Harvard 50 Lessons Learned

This is another of the Harvard Business Review’s “Lessons Learned” series.

Not my favourite. It’s very focused on driving sales teams rather than advice for the small business owner. So I didn’t find it especially useful (in fact I’ve already passed it on to someone who may think better of it!).

But if you’re trying to build and structure a sales team I would think the advice and examples here would be useful.

Making the Sale