Great leadership books for your summer reading list by Tom Fox at The Washington Post on 23 May 2013.

Several books are recommended by the author:

  • “Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work” by Chip and Dan Heath
  • “The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking” by Mikael Krogerous and Roman Tschäppler
  • “Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works” by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin
  • “Simpler: The Future of Government” by Cass Sunstein “The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter” by Michael Watkins
  • “Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity” by Steven Snyder

Aside from all the books having colons in their title (note to self), I haven’t had a chance to read any of them since I’m focused on reading (and conveying to you) leadership articles.  I did read another book by Chip and Dan Heath…

“Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard” by Chip and Dan Heath

Here’s the review that I posted at

ISBN 978-0-307-35727-4

A very engaging read on change initiation and management.  There are three main focus areas:

  • “Direct the Rider” (the rational / intellectual aspect),
  • “Motivate the Elephant” (the emotional aspect), and
  • “Shape the Path” (making is easier to follow the desired change).

The book uses several examples of change, and highlights how each of these focus areas, when combined, lay the foundation for success.  These examples are drawn from government, business, non-profit, etc., allowing the reader to identify with the desired change environment.

There is a fair amount of repetition, but it is by design.  As the book develops, with a few words, the reader is made to recall previous situations. By the time that you get to the end of the book, a one-page summary on how to make a switch (“Rider”, “Elephant”, and “Path” with three bullet points each) vividly brings back the scenarios and all of the learning points (e.g., “Script the Critical Moves…1% milk”).

Consider getting this book if you are thinking of change, or are looking at ways to improve the efficiency of the change process.

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