Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Book Reviews: Personal Leadership

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Three entertaining new books about business leaders and their companies explore leadership on a personal level, with observations and anecdotes from close associates.

the steve jobs way The Steve Jobs way : iLeadership for a new generation by Jay Elliot.
Former Senior VP of Apple provides a personal portrayal of Steve Jobs, his career, his challenges and triumphs at Apple, and his management style and leadership principles. Also available as an audiobook.
the new tycoons The new tycoons by Jason Kelly.
Reporter for Bloomberg News tells the stories of top private equity firms and their managers, showing how this complex industry influences both Wall Street and Main Street. Also available as a single-user e-book.
the corner office The corner office : indispensable and unexpected lessons from CEOs on how to lead and succeed by Adam Bryant.
New York Times editor interviews 75 CEO’s and offers insights about their personal stories, successes and failures, and how they manage their time, their people and the corporate culture. Also available as an audiobook.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Reviews: Conscious Capitalism & Change

Monday, February 11th, 2013

UPDATED 2-18-13: This review has been updated with links to a recent speech and interview with Walter Robb, Co-CEO of Whole Foods.

At last Tuesday’s Distinguished Speaker event in Geneen Auditorium here at the Fuqua School, I sat next to a 20-something woman who runs her own vegan soup business in Durham, Short Winter Soups.  She has more customers than she can handle and there is a wait list to become her client.  Prior to her current success, this entrepreneur had tried other ventures.  Her courage is both admirable and inspiring.

Courage was one of the attributes discussed by Tuesday’s invited speaker, Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market.  He encouraged students to discover what is meaningful to them and to follow their passion.  He described business as the greatest change agent in the world and the capitalist system as the best environment to foster prosperity.  He also encouraged students to see beyond profits and to consider stakeholders beyond shareholders, such as employees (team members), when creating strategy and policy.  During his presentation, he referenced several new books:

Conscious capitalism: liberating the heroic spirit of business by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia.
Robb’s CEO partner John Mackey and his co-author Raj Sisoda make similar points about higher purpose and conscious leadership in their new book, Conscious Capitalism. Mackey and Sisoda discuss how business and capitalism can be a force for good, by creating value for the customer and prosperity for humanity. They show how business conducted consciously benefits all stakeholders, not only investors, but also employees, customers, society and the environment. The authors describe how to cultivate a business culture that is more conscious of all stakeholders. Watch a “Real Conversations With Real Leaders interview with Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb.
The Financial crisis and the free market cure: why pure capitalism is the world economy’s only hope by John A. Allison.
John Allison (Fuqua MBA ‘74) was CEO of BB&T in Charlotte for 20 years, 1989-2008. His new book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure, provides an insider’s perspective on the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession. Allison explains that government policies created the conditions that made the Great Recession possible and that the government’s policy decisions and banking reforms are preventing the recovery. He outlines his prescriptions for free market capitalism to ensure future economic success, including principled action that considers clients, employees and communities and their effect on shareholder value.
The Omnivore’s dilemma: a natural history of four meals by Michael Pollan.
As Walter Robb noted at the Distinguished Speaker event on Tuesday, Whole Foods Market was criticized in Pollan’s landmark book, the Omnivore’s Dilemma. Robb noted that the company took the charges seriously and changed their policies about providing locally grown foods. Pollan devoted an entire chapter on “big organic,” which tried to reconcile the back-to-nature growers from the 60’s who spawned the organic food movement with today’s industrialization of the organic food industry. Also available as an audiobook.

All three books are recommended.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: The Charisma Myth

Monday, June 18th, 2012

cover image courtesy

Cabane, Olivia Fox. The charisma myth : how anyone can master the art and science of personal magnetism. Portfolio/Penguin, 2012.

Years ago, I attended a 3-day retreat with 35 members of Fuqua’s administrative staff.  One attendee was a charismatic man, a young faculty member who had achieved a key position as Associate Dean at an early age.  He was influential and inspiring, powerful but approachable.  Midway through the retreat, I noticed that other administrative staff had picked up his manner of speech and his habit of touching his shirt when making a controversial point.

The Associate Dean probably developed charisma at an early age.  By adulthood, his behavior was instinctual.   But in The Charisma Myth, executive coach Olivia Fox Cabane explains that the techniques of personal magnetism can be learned by adults.  She outlines a simple set of qualities that underlie personal magnetism and she provides exercises and tools to guide readers into developing their own charisma.

Cabane breaks down charismatic behavior into three core elements: presence, power and warmth.  Since people express themselves both verbally and in body language, these attributes can be learned and communicated, but only through much practice and patience.   Cabane provides techniques and tools for readers to practice, including exercises to remove obstacles to presence, power and warmth, such as anxiety and self-doubt.  She then shows how to create the right mental state to emanate warmth and power, using visualization.

The Charisma Myth includes examples of people with different charismatic styles, such as Bill Clinton and Steve Jobs.  Throughout the book are stories of anonymous people who learned to fully express their personalities to enhance their work performance.  This practical book is an easy read and is recommended for anyone wanting to improve his/her communication style.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: I’d Rather Be In Charge

Monday, April 9th, 2012

image courtesy

Beers, Charlotte. I’d rather be in charge : a legendary business leader’s roadmap for achieving pride, power and joy at work. Vanguard Press, 2012.

Charlotte Beers, former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather and Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from 2001 to 2003, talks about women, leadership, and advertising on Tuesday, April 10, at the Perkins Library’s Gothic Reading Room, open reception at 5 PM, followed by presentation at 6 PM.

In I’d Rather Be in Charge, Charlotte Beers chronicles her successes and missteps in her trailblazing career in the advertising industry, as she advises women who face their own workplace challenges in achieving positions of leadership.

Beers explains that women and men have different leadership styles and while women work hard, they are rarely included in the tight circle of decision makers at the very top of their organizations, a world still dominated by men.   Women need to change the way they see themselves and the way they communicate to highlight their own potential.  Women also need to choose to be bolder and braver to make their leadership skills obvious to decision makers.

Believing that self-knowledge is critical for true leadership, Beers advises women to keep a journal and to consider how family history influences behavior.  She also describes ways to identify one’s own inner drives.  Beers explains that self-assessment enhances emotional intelligence and magnifies work performance.

The latter part of the book is about navigating the world of work, including topics such as, developing and maintaining work relationships, making presentations, and assuming the lead.  Written in a conversational tone, this book is engaging and thought provoking to the end.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: A first rate madness

Monday, February 20th, 2012

image courtesy

Ghaemi, S. Nassir. A first-rate madness : uncovering the links between leadership and mental illness. Penguin Press, 2011.

There is a legend on the internet about Ted Turner’s speech at Duke University commencement.   As the students, parents and relatives eagerly waited, Turner approached the podium and said, “Get out there and work your butts off,” and then returned to his seat. In response to the university president’s plea for him to return to the podium and say more, Turner said, ”Nope, that’s it.”

Like many stories found on the internet, this is not true.  However, in 1999 Ted Turner spoke to the 322 graduating daytime students at Fuqua.  In his speech, he passed along the advice he received from his father: “‘Set your life’s goal so high that you can’t possibly achieve it, because you don’t want to achieve your goal, you want to be constantly striving for it,'” he said. “I took his advice and went ahead saying that life is a journey, and I’m going to go as far as I can as fast as I can.”

This advice comes from Turner’s personal experience. In the book A First-Rate Madness, psychiatrist Nassir Ghaemi, MD reports that Turner’s father achieved his goal of building a successful billboard advertising company in Atlanta.  After he sold his company, he had no other ambitions and committed suicide in 1962, when Ted was 21.  Ted bought back the company, kept the billboard enterprise going and expanded it to radio and television.  Eventually, he launched CNN and Headline News.  Author Nassir Ghaemi proposes that Turner’s difficult childhood, his inherited mood swings, and his nervous energy gave him the creativity and resilience needed to become a powerful entrepreneur, achieving great things in his life.

Author Ghaemi examines the lives of eight key leaders from the past, studying the relationship between mental illness and leadership.  He concludes that in a strong economy or in time of peace, the ideal leader is someone with good mental health who meets the expectations of the community.  Yet when the economy or the world is in crisis, the best leaders are either mentally ill or mentally abnormal. The personal qualities that are present in people with depression or bipolar disorder, such as realism, empathy, resilience and creativity, are the very qualities that make effective leaders in times of crisis.  This controversial idea is well supported by numerous examples in this thought-provoking book.

This title is also available as an audiobook.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: Superclass, the Global Power Elite

Monday, February 16th, 2009

images courtesy

Rothkopf, David. Superclass : the global power elite and the world they are making. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.

The superclass is comprised of the 6000 most influential people worldwide. Included in the group are top government leaders, military generals, key executives and shareholders from giant corporations, Arab sheikhs, influential artists and scientists, and leaders of the world’s religions.
Membership in the superclass is transitory and lasts only as long as someone has the power to influence millions of people internationally. Overrepresented are people who trace their cultural roots to Europe, who attended an elite university in the US, and who are men who work in business and finance. People from Africa and women are seriously underrepresented.

The superclass redirects massive assets among markets; creates, dislocates or eliminates jobs around the globe; determines the viability of governments; and plays a vital role in shaping the global era. As a group the superclass helps define the tenor of our times and decides what our priorities are. The superclass possesses a disproportionate amount of power in the world.

Author Rothkopf discusses relationships among these global leaders and their implications. He addresses the nature of inequality of wealth and power and questions whether national borders are still relevant. He discusses trends in global power and makes some predictions about the future.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

Kiss, Bow, Or Shake Hands: Now a Database!

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

kiss, bow, shake covers images

Ford Library presents a new database based on the widely popular series Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands: The Bestselling Guide to Doing Business in More Than Sixty Countries.

This new database also includes Dun & Bradstreet’s Guide to Doing Business Around the World and articles written for publications like Industry Week and American Way Magazine, as well as the 2008 World Holiday and Time Zone Guide for over 100 countries.

Connect to Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands

E-books on Culture, Business Etiquette, and Global Business Practices: (These e-books are available through the Duke online catalog via NetLibrary.)

  • Managing Complexity in Global Organizations (IMD Executive Development Series): Drawing together insights from across the expert faculty, Managing Complexity in the Global Organization presents IMD’s framework on how to understand complexity and its four key drivers (diversity; interdependence; ambiguity and flux), along with solutions on specific issues in a variety of functions, industries and markets. The focus is on providing practical solutions based on real-life examples.
  • (more…)

Book Review: Followership

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

image courtesy

Followership : how followers are creating change and changing leaders by Barbara Kellerman. Harvard Business School Press, 2008.

As a follow-up to the book Bad Leadership, author Barbara Kellerman writes about the complex relationship between those who have power, authority and influence and those who do not. Most organizations have systems and structures in which superiors control their subordinates. Yet sometimes the line that separates leaders from followers is blurred. In addition, leaders may find themselves following and followers end up with more power and influence than their leaders. And most managers are both superior and subordinate at the same time.

The most interesting part of the book is the discussion about different followership styles in Part II. Author Kellerman outlines five types of followers: Isolates, Bystanders, Participants, Activists and Diehards. These followers range from those who are completely withdrawn to those who are fully engaged, either in support of or in opposition to their leaders.

This book contains vivid examples of leadership issues. Most interesting are the chapters about Merck’s marketing of its miracle drug, Vioxx; and about Cardinal Law and the Voice of the Faithful in Boston.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

Leadership in the Movies

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

This month we’re highlighting some of our movies that show characters in strong leadership roles. Check back for more movie selections on teamwork and ethics. You can find these titles in our DVD collection.

  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World—Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Jack Aubrey leads the crew of the HMS Surprise against the French warship Acheron after the Acheron launches a surprise attack. Creative intelligence and clever subterfuge by Aubrey and his men undermine a foe superior in strength and speed.
  • Elizabeth—In early Renaissance England the young queen, beset by scheming advisers and determined enemies, must navigate political minefields and assassination attempts. It’s a fascinating portrait of Elizabeth’s early years and the great personal sacrifices she made during her rise to power.
  • Shackleton—Ernest Shackleton’s undertaking to cross the Antarctic continent turned from an ambitious enterprise to a perilous fight for survival. His ship becomes trapped in the ice of the Weddell Sea during the winter of 1915. After the ice crushes and sinks the ship, the explorer must lead his men over 800 miles of barren tundra and frigid ocean to safety.

Summer Reading at Ford

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008


Even during summer break Ford Library keeps adding new books to our collection. Come check out our New Book and New Audiobook sections for even more great choices. (Click on any of the titles below to check availability or to place a hold.)

Fun Summer Reading:

Happiness, Health, and Work: