Recommended Books

Built to Last by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras
From Library Journal
What makes a visionary company? This book, written by a team from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, compares what the authors have identified as “visionary” companies with selected companies in the same industry. The authors juxtapose Disney and Columbia Pictures, Ford and General Motors, Motorola and Zenith, and Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments, to name a few. The visionary companies, the authors found out, had a number of common characteristics; for instance, almost all had some type of core ideology that guided the company in times of upheaval and served as a constant bench mark. Not all the visionary companies were founded by visionary leaders, however. On the whole, this is an intriguing book that occasionally provides rare and interesting glimpses into the inner workings and philosophical foundations of successful businesses. Recommended for all libraries.
Randy L. Abbott, Univ. of Evansville Lib., Ind.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey
From Publishers Weekly
Trust is so integral to our relationships that we often take it for granted, yet in an era marked by business scandals and a desire for accountability this book by leadership expert Covey is a welcome guide to nurturing trust in our professional and personal lives. Drawing on anecdotes and business cases from his years as CEO of the Covey Leadership Center (which was worth $160 million when he orchestrated its 1997 merger with Franklin Quest to form Franklin Covey), the author effectively reminds us that there’s plenty of room for improvement on this virtue.

Following a touching foreword by father Stephen R. Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and related books), the junior Covey outlines 13 behaviors of trust-inspiring leaders, such as demonstrating respect, creating transparency, righting wrongs, delivering results and practicing accountability. Covey’s down-to-earth approach and disarming personal stories go a long way to establish rapport with his reader, though the book’s length and occasional lack of focus sometimes obscure its good advice. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Trust in the Balance: Building Successful Organizations on Results, Integrity and Concern by Robert Bruce Shaw
Robert Shaw’s Trust In The Balance: Building Successful Organizations On Results, Integrity, And Concern presents a blueprint for building communities of trust within business settings. Shaw argues persuasively that the task of building trust in business settings in becoming increasingly complicated in an era of such high-tech telecommunications as email and video-conferencing. With companies becoming larger and more global the problems of trust building are further complicated. Shaw proposes a number of simple steps to foster trust in the new business atmosphere. He emphasis that trust is a key element of competitive success and explains that, in order to survive in today’s complex economy, companies must communicate well both internally and externally, and must weather the changes and reorganizations required for increased efficiency. Trust In The Balance is “must” reading for anyone charged with the responsibility for succeeding in today’s competitive business environment. — Midwest Book Review

Leaders on Leadership by George Barna
Amazons Product Description
How does a Christian lead? By following today’s secular business models, or by simply studying the life of Christ and pursuing a servant-based style? In this insightful, practical book, George Barna has pulled together some of today’s top Christian leaders to talk about the subject of Christian leadership. Articles include: The Tasks of a Leader by Ken Gangel, The Character of a Leader by Jack Hayford, Prayer in Leading People by Peter Wagner, and much more. See what today’s leaders have to say about leadership, and learn what it takes to serve the Church as a Christ-centered change agent.

Good to Great by Jim Collins
From Publishers Weekly
In what Collins terms a prequel to the bestseller Built to Last he wrote with Jerry Porras, this worthwhile effort explores the way good organizations can be turned into ones that produce great, sustained results. To find the keys to greatness, Collins’s 21-person research team (at his management research firm) read and coded 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project. That Collins is able to distill the findings into a cogent, well-argued and instructive guide is a testament to his writing skills. After establishing a definition of a good-to-great transition that involves a 10-year fallow period followed by 15 years of increased profits, Collins’s crew combed through every company that has made the Fortune 500 (approximately 1,400) and found 11 that met their criteria, including Walgreens, Kimberly Clark and Circuit City.

At the heart of the findings about these companies’ stellar successes is what Collins calls the Hedgehog Concept, a product or service that leads a company to outshine all worldwide competitors, that drives a company’s economic engine and that a company is passionate about. While the companies that achieved greatness were all in different industries, each engaged in versions of Collins’s strategies. While some of the overall findings are counterintuitive (e.g., the most effective leaders are humble and strong-willed rather than outgoing), many of Collins’s perspectives on running a business are amazingly simple and commonsense. This is not to suggest, however, that executives at all levels wouldn’t benefit from reading this book; after all, only 11 companies managed to figure out how to change their B grade to an A on their own.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information