accel5 | January 06, 2020
To ring in the new year, EBSCO has compiled a list of Accel5’s top ten most read business book summaries of 2019. These exclusive summaries cover a wide range of topics, including communication, personal development, agility, management and more. Get a jump on your New Year’s resolutions with the top book summaries of 2019.
Professional competence and commitment to an organization’s mission are both critical components of successful managers. Truly exceptional managers, however, have also mastered the skill of communication, as they know that when employees cannot rely on their manager for clear communication, roles are confused, responsibilities are misunderstood, and trust and authority are undermined. In The Communication Problem Solver, Nannette Rundle Carroll provides a framework for building work relationships that are productive and collaborative.
Strategic thinking is an essential skill for managers at all levels. All projects and work should align with an organization’s broader strategic objectives; however, many leaders are unsure how to cultivate their strategic thinking skills. The HBR Guide to Thinking Strategically from Harvard Business Review Press offers a series of brief articles that illustrate how to incorporate strategic thinking into everyday work, the management of others, and decision making.
In How to Tell Anyone Anything, experienced corporate trainer Richard Gallagher presents a new and quite different approach to conducting difficult conversations in the workplace — one that gets people to listen, negotiate, and ultimately make positive changes in their behavior. This approach, which he calls CANDID, is easy to learn and put into practice, but there is a catch: it requires changing the way people view and respond to others, and sometimes to say things that are the opposite of what they might have said in the past.
It is Clampitt's premise that because communication is at the core of managerial effectiveness, managers must have a clear view of their abilities to communicate and the challenges involved in the process, however, this is not an easy task. In Communicating for Managerial Effectiveness, Clampitt explains that new perspectives continuously emerge whose implications are not yet fully known, and because everyone communicates, people tend to believe that no special expertise is necessarily required to speak on the subject. As a result, most training does not even begin to address the many challenges organizations must face, thus, their communication systems continue to break down often with tragic results.
This updated and expanded version of what has been dubbed the “onboarding bible” offers guidance for adopting a successful leadership transition plan. In The First 90 Days, published by Harvard Business School Publishing, Michael D. Watkins explains how to diagnose various types of transitions, match a strategy to a situation, and reach a break-even point faster by securing early wins, negotiating success, and building supportive coalitions.
Communicating effectively is a key skill in business, but one that many people lack. In The Language of Success, Tom Sant presents useful structures and tricks of the trade for writing successful documents to get groups of employees to act a certain way or customers to buy new products. A smartly written e-mail can persuade others to take action or learn something important — but that cannot happen unless the reader understands the writer’s intentions. Good writing is a reflection of the writer — someone who can write clearly will be viewed as someone who is competent and credible. However, it is a skill that needs to be practiced and refined over time.
According to Kasia and Patryk Wezowski, your ability to successfully read body language can determine your professional success and general happiness. In Without Saying a Word, the authors explain how to choose the gestures that will improve your daily conversations, sales pitches, interviews, negotiations, and other interactions. By understanding what your body language is saying to others and analyzing what others are conveying through their own movements, you can effectively spot negative feelings, match your body language to your messages, project self-confidence, and spread your influence.
In Service Innovation, innovation strategist Lance A. Bettencourt shows marketers what they need to do to ensure that customers’ service needs are met. Based on the author’s nearly 20 years of experience helping major corporations in the insurance, financial services, information services, professional services, and other service industries innovate, the book provides concrete, practical advice on crafting strategies that will help companies develop the innovative services they need to remain or become competitive. Learn how you can adopt outcome-driven innovation, which focuses on what the customer wants to achieve.
In order to accomplish common goals, today’s business people are required to form partnerships with both colleagues and competitors. According to Gordon Curtis, identifying and engaging the right people — those who possess key information or capital — is far more effective than amassing hundreds of contacts in a virtual network. In Well Connected, Curtis provides the Right Person-Right Approach method to help networkers determine clear objectives, identify the crucial individuals who can assist in accomplishing them, and gain their support using progressive reciprocity. Networkers who apply the Right Person-Right Approach method benefit from a framework for fulfilling their business and career goals while also gaining clarity in articulating their objectives, control over their individual processes, and the confidence they needed to attain success.
In Winning with Accountability, Henry J. Evans defines accountability as a positive force that is necessary for company success, rather than a punitive action that occurs after things have gone wrong. He presents four steps for fostering a dialog of accountability within an organization: establishing clear expectations, setting specific dates and times for deadlines, having clear task ownership, and sharing goals with others. When individuals at all levels, including company leaders, examine their own actions and model the behaviors they wish to see in others, a culture of accountability is created.
EBSCO’s microlearning tool, Accel5 features thousands of book summaries, videos, and articles covering dozens of critical soft skills topics from top business leaders. Each lesson only takes a few minutes a day to complete — perfect for your busy schedule.
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