A debut guide for executives explores genuine leadership.
In this business book, Scott shares lessons learned in the course of a successful career running his own consulting firm. The work’s central thesis is executives must understand the difference between being a boss—an authority figure issuing orders and overseeing predetermined outcomes—and a leader (“Exponentially more powerful than authority because it involves choice”), a collaborative process resulting in maximum performance for all involved. The author writes about his own leadership failures as much as his triumphs, and does a good job of using them as teaching moments, providing a detailed portrait of how readers can learn from his mistakes. The manual’s advice includes tips for implementing active listening, creating effective communication, and enhancing leadership skills through journaling. The volume makes a compelling case for those practices to readers who might be inclined to dismiss them as too touchy-feely. (Scott is a high school dropout who served in the Navy before moving into the corporate world, and his personality is evident in an anecdote about his motorcycle and the occasional well-placed profanity.) His enthusiasm for meetings (“Meetings are where we lead!”) shows how frequent, face-to-face communication can be a valuable decision-making tool rather than a waste of time. The chapter on running meetings as a leader is particularly well done. The book’s pithy exhortations (“Define your snooze-button moment”; “Encouraging everyone on the team to be a leader is good for the team”) provide the audience with simple and concrete lessons throughout the text. Scott acknowledges in the opening pages that his view of leadership will not click with all readers (“Here’s what I want you to do: right now, leave this book on a bus or a train for someone that understands business is about people”). But for those who appreciate his tone, the work is a useful and thought-provoking guide to developing leaders at all levels of an organization.
A concise and engaging business manual for readers looking to improve leadership skills.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)