We Read These 5 New Leadership Books So You Don’t Have To

There’s a lot to be said for reading a good page-turner on the beach during the summer. Then again, there’s also a lot to be said for dedicating at least some leisure time to honing leadership skills, staying on top of current business trends, and learning lessons from thought-leaders who have been there and done that.

With that in mind, here are five business books published this year that might give the latest John Grisham thriller a run for its money.

When Machines Become Customers (Harvard Business Press). CEOs believe that by 2030, up to 20 percent of their companies’ revenue will come from intelligent software and hardware machines acting as customers. Authors Don Scheibenreif and Mark Raskino help the readers navigate this new world, where marketing and selling will be data-science-oriented—and machine customers represent a multitrillion dollar opportunity.

10x Is Easier Than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less (Penguin Random House). Co-written by Dan Sullivan, the world’s leading coach for successful entrepreneurs, and Dr. Benjamin Hardy, 10x is Easier Than 2x explains how and why reaching for more is exponentially easier than reaching for less. Time, money, relationships, and purpose are the four most important freedoms; expand these, the authors say, and your personal and professional lives will become more meaningful and impactful.

How Big Things Get Done: The Surprising Factors That Determine the Fate of Every Project (Penguin Random House). This book by professor emeritus of program management at Oxford University Bent Flyvbjerg and journalist Dan Gardner lays out lessons in planning from megaprojects across the globe. By surveying the budgets and schedules for massive development projects, the authors offer guidelines on better planning for projects of any size. Bad examples include Hong Kong’s high-speed rail project in the early 2010s, which appeared bungled due to unrealistic projections; good examples include the Empire State Building, which was completed 17 percent under budget.

Good Power: Leading Positive Change in Our Lives, Work, and World (Harvard Business Review). Former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty recounts her path from a challenging childhood to the C-Suite. The result is a combination of memoir, leadership lessons, and big ideas on driving meaningful change. As Rometty writes, “When moments of reinvention arrive, innovating the ‘how’ can be overlooked in favor of focusing on the ‘what.’ Indeed it is not enough to just tell people to deliver a different outcome. We have to cocreate a new way of working, give people permission to change, and create an environment that encourages and rewards new behaviors and skills—all at scale.”

Book cover showing author Ginni Rometty against a green backdrop

Real-Time Leadership: Find Your Winning Moves When the Stakes Are High (Harvard Business Review). According to David Noble and Carol Kauffman, the hardest part of leadership is mastering the inevitable high-risk, high-stakes challenges you will face. In Real-Time Leadership, the leadership coaching legends equip readers with the tactics needed to master the moment, generate response options, and quickly evaluate options before acting.

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