Posts Tagged ‘Success’

Book Review: The Charisma Myth

Monday, June 18th, 2012

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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

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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 reviews: Reach The Next Level

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

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Three new books in the Ford Library collection are designed to power your career to the next level.

Pfeffer, Jeffrey. Power : why some people have it–and others don’t. HarperBusiness, 2010.

Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer shows that good performance on the job is not enough for career success. People who are more skilled politically are perceived to accomplish more on the job, and achieve more in their careers, than their less savvy coworkers. Pfeffer describes personal qualities that bring influence, such as confidence and empathy, and shows how to build personal networks. He discusses how to speak with power and to project confidence so that others will be inspired to follow.

Spaulding, Tommy. It’s not just who you know : transform your life (and your organization) by turning colleagues and contacts into lasting, genuine relationships. Broadway Books, 2010.

In this autobiographical self-help book, a popular kid with below-average grades and a learning disability grows up to become a CEO of a nonprofit and a leader in his community. He accomplishes this by cultivating his leadership potential. Spaulding argues that relationships based on trust and respect lead to influence, which he uses to help other people. (more…)

Book Reviews: Pink’s Picks

Friday, October 1st, 2010

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In his book, Drive, Daniel Pink names the following books as essential for anyone interested in living a life of autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Click the titles below for information on location and availability.

Book Review: Linchpin

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

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Godin, Seth. Linchpin : are you indispensible? Portfolio, 2010.

Best-selling author Seth Godin has written his latest book for employees in the new world of work. Employees have been trained to be a cog in the industrial machine, yet ultimately, the way to achieve success is to stand out and to become indispensable. Godin calls those people “linchpins,” and they cannot be replaced because their roles are just too valuable.

To become a linchpin, a worker must seek opportunities to do more than what is assigned. They must take the initiative to do what is necessary for the organization to succeed. Linchpins connect easily with other people and work collaboratively with coworkers and customers. They make positive things happen.

Godin encourages everyone to become an “artist” at work by being creative, making connections and finding joy in work. And he encourages everyone to put their heart and soul into all aspects of their lives.

Linchpin is Seth Godin’s twelfth book since 1999 and it reads as if it were written in a hurry. The style is choppy and terse. The ideas could have been presented in a much shorter and better organized format. I found this book a chore to read, but on, other readers rated it very highly, with the reviews averaging 4.5 stars, far better than most.

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

Book Review: CEO of Me

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

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Kossek, Ellen Ernst, and Brenda A. Lautsch. CEO of me : creating a life that works in the flexible job age. Wharton School Publishing, 2008.

As women boomers began graduating from college forty years ago, an emotional debate erupted about whether working women were harming their children, who were enrolled in daycare. As women continued in the workforce, there was a siren call for workplace flexibility and the discussion changed to the relationship between work and family life. And this discussion, an issue for both men and women, has continued for 30 years.

Fast forward to the new millennium and the workplace is flexible, thanks to cell phones and laptops, yet employees often mingle their work and personal lives in ways that create considerable stress. The goal of CEO of Me is to help workers understand how they are managing the relationship between work, personal and family time and to determine what can be done to create a better life

Using interviews from hundreds of professionals and managers, authors Kossek and Lautsch identify common patterns that people adopt as they try to manage the balance between work and family. After readers identify their own patterns, they can see the conscious or unconscious choices they are making that are barriers to a satisfying life. The book concludes by recommending practical steps for negotiating a new life.

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

Book Review: How The Mighty Fall

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

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Collins, James C. How the mighty fall : and why some companies never give in. Collins Business, 2009.

The author of longtime bestseller Good to Great and co-author of Built to Last, Jim Collins discusses why once-strong companies begin to decline and then die. Using research data from 60 corporations, Collins describes five stages of corporate decline and shows that even the most successful companies are not immune. Interestingly, decline begins long before it become obvious to anyone, even company insiders.

The 5 Stages of Corporate Decline

  • Hubris Born of Success. The first stage of decline begins when company leaders lose sight of the underlying factors that created success in the first place. Instead of creatively renewing the core business, they are distracted by other threats and opportunities.
  • Undisciplined Pursuit of More. In the second stage of decline, management loses discipline and makes leaps into other areas that undermine long-term value. The company grows at a rapid rate. Finding talent for key seats in the organization becomes difficult. The company chokes in pursuit of growth and expansion.
  • Denial of Risk and Peril. Internal warning signs begin to mount but management blames the difficulty on external factors or puts a positive spin on the data.
  • Grasping for Salvation. Decline becomes visible to all. Leadership responds by grasping for a visionary leader or a radical transformation.
  • Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death. In the last stage, management abandons hope of building a great future.

The good news is that companies can recover. Collins’ research indicates that organizational decline is largely self-inflicted and recovery is possible by returning to solid management disciplines.

Eleven companies are profiled, including Circuit City, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Merck, Motorola, Rubbermaid and Zenith, in this interesting and very readable book.

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

Book Review: Outliers

Friday, December 12th, 2008

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Outliers : the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell. Little, Brown and Co., 2008.

Best selling author of The Tipping Point and Blink, Malcolm Gladwell studied the lives of people whose achievements go far beyond normal expectations to discover what makes people successful. He concludes that success arises out of an accumulation of advantages, such as when and where you are born, or what your parents did for a living. People like Bill Gates or John Lennon were enormously successful, not due to extraordinary talent but because of their extraordinary opportunities. But while they were incredibly lucky, but they also had the strength and intelligence to make the most of their opportunities.

In the second part of the book, Gladwell discusses cultural traditions and attitudes that are inherited from forebears. He studied cultural traits such as persistence and expression of respect to determine how much they matter to an individual’s professional success. Not surprisingly, they matter a lot.

Gladwell concludes that “success is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky, but all critical to making them who they are.” Like Gladwell’s other books, Outliers is an interesting and easy read, sure to be a blockbuster best seller.

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

Book Review: Beyond Success

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

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Ottinger, Randall J. Beyond Success: Building a personal, financial and philanthropic legacy. McGraw-Hill, 2008.

When Tom Keller was Dean of the Fuqua School, he once noted that there were two phases of life: the acquisition phase and the divestiture phase.

MBA students are focused on the first phase, acquisition. After graduation, these young men and women work long hours, take risks and make sacrifices for rewards that will come later. Inevitably as years pass, these young men and women will be successful at this phase and will achieve financial independence. And just as inevitably, they will someday be middle aged and find themselves in the second phase, divestiture, and may be surprised that this phase presents them with a different challenge — how to make a positive impact with their time and assets, building a personal and philanthropic legacy.

For people starting to think about establishing their legacy, the book Beyond Success illustrates the issues involved in managing wealth, philanthropy and family. How much is enough? How should people structure their lives to do well and to benefit others? How should people structure their wealth to enable their children to fulfill their dreams without undermining their motivation? How do people manage to leave something of lasting value at the end of life?

After providing a framework for creating a new vision and develop a road map for success, this book offers number of success stories. One is Mario Morino, who sold his company, Legent Corp to Computer Associates, and later formed Venture Philanthropy Partners, and who is now involved in Fuqua’s CASE (Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship) program. Also mentioned in this book is John C. Whitehead, formerly CEO of Goldman Sachs, who is also involved in CASE.

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