Book One: Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense
By Jules Goddard & Tony Eccles
The tag-line subtitle to this book is, ‘Why some organisations consistently outperform others’. – a title that no doubt will spark immediate interest in the casual passer-by. However it is Lynda Gratton’s cover endorsement that reveals more about this wonderful book and why it is a ‘must read’ for any leader. Gratton writes, ‘provocative, insightful, innovative and contrarian – with truths on every page’. And therein you have it! I loved this book. As it challenges so much assumed business and organisational ‘wisdom’. Let me leave you with this teaser from the book: ‘The concept of best practice is perhaps the single most value-destructive idea to have come out of business schools and management consultancies over the past 20 years’.
Book Two: Humble Inquiry
By Edgar H. Schein
Smart leaders understand they should do more ‘asking’ than ‘telling’. Smart leaders know that posing the right question, in the right way at the right time is perhaps the most important aspect of leading in today’s complex and connected world. Humble Inquiry is a profound book in exposing the importance and art of asking good questions. It explores the complex, but oft neglected, leadership attribute of humility. Schein, a cultural anthropologist by background, offers a wonderful balance between depth and practical advise. In a leader’s quest for greater emotional intelligence, Humble Inquiry is essential reading. It could change your entire leadership practice.