10 books like Execution

By Ram Charan, Larry Bossidy,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Execution. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Good Strategy Bad Strategy

By Richard Rumelt,

Book cover of Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters

I have known Richard Rumelt for decades and served for seven years with him on the faculty at UCLA. He is the deepest thinker about strategy I know. Dick took over 30 years to write his first book for practitioners rather than academics, but it was certainly worth the wait. He explains how a good strategy is a specific and coherent response to, and approach for, overcoming the obstacles to progress. A good strategy works by harnessing and applying power where it has the greatest effect. A bad strategy uses vague values, buzzwords, slogans, and unlikely goals. A good strategy has to be crafted and is not produced by adherence to some simple template. The book also puts the reader in the room with Rumelt in his interactions with top executives.

Good Strategy Bad Strategy

By Richard Rumelt,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Good Strategy Bad Strategy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Richard Rumelt's Good Strategy/Bad Strategy was published in 2011, it immediately struck a chord, calling out as bad strategy the mish-mash of pop culture, motivational slogans and business buzz speak so often and misleadingly masquerading as the real thing.

Since then, his original and pragmatic ideas have won fans around the world and continue to help readers to recognise and avoid the elements of bad strategy and adopt good, action-oriented strategies that honestly acknowledge the challenges being faced and offer straightforward approaches to overcoming them. Strategy should not be equated with ambition, leadership, vision or planning; rather, it is…


What Got You Here Won't Get You There

By Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter,

Book cover of What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Marshall Goldsmith is a renowned executive leadership coach. In this book, he lays out the secrets to getting promoted and moving up in an organization. While not a traditional book about leadership, it’s an essential text for figuring out what you need to do to be successful as you climb the corporate ladder. Goldsmith writes about the need to figure out what knowledge and skills to let go of at your current level as you move up to the next level, where different tasks and responsibilities await you (e.g., being a star as an individual contributor does not mean you’ll be great as a manager). This is one of the best books ever written about what it takes to be a successful leader at different levels of an organization.

What Got You Here Won't Get You There

By Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What Got You Here Won't Get You There as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Your hard work is paying off. You are doing well in your field. But there is something standing between you and the next level of achievement. That something may just be one of your own annoying habits.Perhaps one small flaw - a behaviour you barely even recognise - is the only thing that's keeping you from where you want to be. It may be that the very characteristic that you believe got you where you are - like the drive to win at all costs - is what's holding you back. As this book explains, people often do well in…


It's Your Ship

By Michael Abrashoff,

Book cover of It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy

This is my favorite leadership book. The author, Mike Abrashoff, was just 36 when he was selected to be Commander of the USS Benfold, becoming the most junior commanding officer in the Pacific fleet. The challenges of this underachieving destroyer were staggering, with low morale and the highest turnover rate in the Navy. Yet 12 months later it was ranked #1 in performance -- using the same crew. How did Mike do it? By replacing command and control leadership with commitment and cohesion. By caring about his crew, yet holding a high bar or excellence. You’ll feel like part of Mike’s crew while reading this book, which is full of common-sense leadership lessons that any manager can apply immediately.

It's Your Ship

By Michael Abrashoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It's Your Ship as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and his command of USS Benfold has become legendary inside and outside the Navy. Now Abrashoff offers this fascinating tale of top-down change for anyone trying to navigate today's uncertain business seas. When Captain Abrashoff took over as commander of USS Benfold, a ship armed with every cutting-edge system available, it was like a business that had all the latest technology but only some of the productivity. Knowing that responsibility for improving performance rested with him, he realized he had to improve his own leadership skills before he could improve his ship. Within…


Leadership Is an Art

By Max DePree,

Book cover of Leadership Is an Art

This classic by Max De Pree (the former CEO of Herman Miller) looks at leadership as a kind of stewardship, stressing the importance of building relationships, initiating ideas, and creating a lasting value system within an organization. Rather than focusing on the “how” of corporate life, he stresses that leaders need to explain the “why.” He writes that the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality and the last is to say thank you. De Pree offers dozens of memorable leadership anecdotes that will have you wishing you’d worked for him at some point in your career! A wonderful gem of a book, it’s lessons will resonate with any leader who is trying to build a winning culture. 

Leadership Is an Art

By Max DePree,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leadership Is an Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In what has become a bible for the business world, the successful former CEO of Herman Miller, Inc., explores how executives and managers can learn the leadership skills that build a better, more profitable organization.

Leadership Is an Art has long been a must-read not only within the business community but also in professions ranging from academia to medical practices, to the political arena. First published in 1989, the book has sold more than 800,000 copies in hardcover and paperback. This revised edition brings Max De Pree’s timeless words and practical philosophy to a new generation of readers.

De Pree…


The Extraordinary Leader.

By Joseph Folkman, John Zenger,

Book cover of The Extraordinary Leader.:Turning Good Managers Into Great Leaders

The Extraordinary Leader is a remarkable combination of expert insight and extensive research. The authors analyzed more than 200,000 assessments describing 20,000 managers—by far the most expansive research ever conducted for a leadership book. This book will take you inside the process of becoming a successful leader, as the authors detail the various skills needed to earn the respect of the people you lead. This is a must read for aspiring and experienced leaders alike and is one of my go-to manuals on how to develop leaders. One of the few books I’ve read cover-to-cover more than once, I’m confident you’ll come away with data-driven insights that you can begin to implement in your leadership role.

The Extraordinary Leader.

By Joseph Folkman, John Zenger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Extraordinary Leader. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

People can learn how to lead. This was the position John H. Zenger and Joseph R.Folkman took when they wrote their now-classicleadership book The Extraordinary Leader-and it'sa fact they reinforce in this new, completely updatededition of their bestseller.

When it was first published, The ExtraordinaryLeader immediately attracted a wide audience ofaspiring leaders drawn to its unique feature: theextensive use of scientific studies and hard data,which served to demystify the concept of leadershipand get readers thinking about the subject ina pragmatic way.

Now, Zenger and Folkman revisit the subject to addressleaders' most pressing concerns today. Theresult is an up-to-date, essential leadership…


The Mind Of The Strategist

By Kenichi Ohmae,

Book cover of The Mind Of The Strategist: The Art of Japanese Business

Written in 1982 as one of the earliest books on strategy and still very relevant today. Ohmae was head of McKinsey Japan at the time of Japan's dominance in global business and contributed to the success of many Japanese companies. I had the great honor of meeting Ken Ohmae once and persuading him a few years later to provide an endorsement for my own book. Ohmae’s book explores the ways in which the strategist must think, the key principles and thought patterns that real-world strategists have used to move their companies forward in Japan and throughout the world. A timeless classic that is not just about Japan.

The Mind Of The Strategist

By Kenichi Ohmae,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mind Of The Strategist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Masterful Analysis of Company, Customer, and Competition Kenichi Ohmae - voted by The Economist as "one of the world's top five management gurus" - changed the landscape of management strategy in "The Mind of the Strategist". In this compelling account of global business domination, Ohmae reveals the vital thinking processes and planning techniques of prominent companies, showing why they work, and how any company can benefit from them. Filled with case studies of strategic thinking in action, Ohmae's classic work inspires today's managers to excel to new heights of bold, imaginative thinking and solutions. "In many ways, Ohmae can…


The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire

By Edward N. Luttwak,

Book cover of The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century CE to the Third

Of the many books explaining the success of the Roman Empire, this is by far the best in that it shows how Rome continually adapted its strategy in building and sustaining its empire. Rome's strategy was not ceaseless fighting but comprehensive strategies that unified force, diplomacy, and an immense infrastructure. Initially relying on client states to buffer attacks, Rome moved to permanent frontier defense. Finally, as barbarians began to penetrate the empire, Rome fielded large armies in a strategy of defense-in-depth. This book's lesson for business strategy is that companies need to constantly adapt their strategies as their circumstances change. The book also has powerful implications for modern geopolitical strategy—be flexible in both means and ends.

The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire

By Edward N. Luttwak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the height of its power, the Roman Empire encompassed the entire Mediterranean basin, extending much beyond it from Britain to Mesopotamia, from the Rhine to the Black Sea. Rome prospered for centuries while successfully resisting attack, fending off everything from overnight robbery raids to full-scale invasion attempts by entire nations on the move. How were troops able to defend the Empire's vast territories from constant attacks? And how did they do so at such moderate cost that their treasury could pay for an immensity of highways, aqueducts, amphitheaters, city baths, and magnificent temples? In The Grand Strategy of the…


Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army

By Donald W. Engels,

Book cover of Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army

At the other end of the scale from Luttwak’s view of grand strategy is this book, which focuses on how supply logistics relative to conditions on the ground was the basis of Alexander's strategy and tactics. For example, Engels calculates how the carrying capacity of camels limited the distance that the Macedonian army could march. Indeed, the further the army went into territory without local food and water, the higher the proportion of the camels' load was devoted to just its own feed. The author’s brilliant use of statistics in detailed calculations totally blew me away when I came across this book in the late 1970s. It provides a truly rare combination of concept and detail.

Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army

By Donald W. Engels,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The most important work on Alexander the Great to appear in a long time. Neither scholarship nor semi-fictional biography will ever be the same again...Engels at last uses all the archaeological work done in Asia in the past generation and makes it accessible...Careful analyses of terrain, climate, and supply requirements are throughout combined in a masterly fashion to help account for Alexander's strategic decision in the light of the options open to him...The chief merit of this splendid book is perhaps the way in which it brings an ancient army to life, as it really was and moved: the hours…


Peak

By Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool,

Book cover of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

There are three legs to the creativity stool: craft, timing, and distribution. When I started researching creativity, I assumed that craft was heavily reliant on natural born talent. K. Anders Ericsson is the leading academic in the field of talent development. This book makes clear a surprising, but important point: natural-born talent is probably at best grossly overstated, and probably non-existent. We can learn world-class levels of talent if we have the right access to time, resources, and motivation.

Peak

By Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Peak as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Selected as a Book of the Year by New Statesman

Mozart wasn't born with perfect pitch.

Most athletes are not born with any natural advantage.

Three world-class chess players were sisters, whose success was planned by their parents before they were even born.

Anders Ericsson has spent thirty years studying The Special Ones, the geniuses, sports stars and musical prodigies. And his remarkable finding, revealed in Peak, is that their special abilities are acquired through training. The innate 'gift' of talent is a myth. Exceptional individuals are born with just one unique ability, shared by us all - the ability…


The Whatifs

By Emily Kilgore, Zoe Persico (illustrator),

Book cover of The Whatifs

Cora has a bad case of the whatifs, whimiscal bug-like creatures that follow her everywhere. They fill her head with worries like “what if the dog runs away?” or “what if I forget my homework?” The whatifs become almost unbearable as Cora prepares for her big piano recital. What if no one comes? What if she makes a mistake? But through the help of her friend, Cora learns there are also happy whatifs. A good introduction to replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. 

The Whatifs

By Emily Kilgore, Zoe Persico (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Whatifs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Persico's atmospheric illustrations aptly reflect Cora's shifting emotions, and Kilgore successfully balances the whimsical with a tale grounded in reality." -Publishers Weekly

"Cora and her Whatifs have a charming appeal beyond their focus on tackling anxious thoughts, making an enjoyable read-aloud for wide audiences. . . . A thoroughly welcome addition to growing collections of socio-emotional development materials." -Kirkus Reviews

Cora is struggling with her Whatif questions ahead of a big piano recital in this timely picture book about overcoming anxiety.

What if my dog runs away?
What if I forget my homework?
What if the sun stops shining?
What…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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