By JEFF HADEN
Want to know some of the great business books you should read before the summer ends?
Some have already been published; others will be released in the next couple of months.
Emotional intelligence — the ability to understand and manage emotions, both your own and those of others — has for years been a hot topic.
If you’re hoping to become a better leader — or parent, or friend, or shoot, just a better person — you could read the thousands of articles on the subject. Or take one of the many courses offered.
Or you could just read Justin’s book, EQ Applied. No fluff, no long theoretical discussions… just real-world advice on how to control your emotional reactions, break bad habits and escape “emotional hijacks,” and learn how you can protect yourself from people who use their powers of emotional intelligence for evil, not good.
Countless book blurbs claim a particular book is a “page-turner,” that you “won’t be able to put it down,” that it is “non-fiction that reads like thriller”. Usually those words are all sizzle and no steak. hype.
But not where Bad Blood is concerned, the story of how Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, was the darling of Silicon Valley and the entrepreneurial press… until she wasn’t.
I read it in one day. And I wish it had been twice as long.
Ideas are great, but execution is everything. The same is true with strategy: Strategy matters, but tactics — what you actually do — are what help companies grow.
Bova identifies ten paths to growth — ten strategies, if you want to think of it that way — and then provides a nuts-and-bolts guide to putting those strategies into action. And she draws from dozens of real-world examples from companies like Sephora, Red Bull, Netflix, Marvel, and Shake Shack.
Pick any ten pages at random; I promise you’ll discover at least one thing to do to improve your business.
A truly hands-off business is extremely rare; I don’t know any successful entrepreneurs who can truly check out for long periods of time.
But I do know a few who have built companies where employees have the freedom to do their jobs with minimal supervision
And, in the process, have built extremely efficient, high-performance organizations.
My favorite part of the book? Pinpointing your business’s most important function. Every company has one function that is crucial. Maybe it’s sales. Maybe it’s quality. Maybe it’s service.
Whatever it is, focusing on that function — and making sure that every employee consistently focuses on that function — is what turns a good company into a great one.
And a bonus pick…
Technically not a business book, Slade’s account of the El Faro tragedy (the container ship cruised straight into the path of Hurricane Joaquin, resulting in the worst American shipping disaster in thirty-five years) is a cautionary tale for leaders who think they have all the answers, for employees who choose not to speak up… and for organizations that rely on systems and processes that don’t provide the information its people need to make the best decisions.
Plus, you’ll learn a lot about the life and work of modern mariners — all those unseen people who bring you a huge percentage of the goods you consume every day.
Can’t beat that.