Recommended Reading

Communications

When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures
Richard D. Lewis
Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Richard Lewis's book provides an ever more global and practical guide not just to understanding but also managing in different business cultures. From India to Ireland, Belgium to Brazil, Mexico to Malaysia, the Czech Republic to Chile. Essential reading for leaders in the global marketplace.

Language in Thought and Action: Fifth Edition
S.I. Hayakawa
Mariner Books

Written by a U.S. Senator to explain how language changes thoughts, leading to misinterpretation and ineffectual actions. It is considered a contemporary classic, and remains provocative and challenging even after multiple readings.

The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why
Richard Nisbett
Free Press

Nisbett, a psychologist and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, used to believe that "all human groups perceive and reason in the same way." A series of events and studies led him gradually to quite another view, that Asians and Westerners "have maintained very different systems of thought for thousands of years." I have found Nisbett’s work instrumental in helping Asian and Western executives and teams be more productive.

Executive Coaching

What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful
Marshall Goldsmith
Hyperion

Marshall has written several great books, and in his latest he pinpoints 20 bad habits that stifle already successful careers as well as personal goals. His blend of humor and pragmatism makes this a must read for anyone who prides themselves on their great achievements but wonders why what’s worked before doesn’t seem to be working any more.

First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
Marcus Buckingham
Simon and Schuster

Buckingham and Coffman outline "four keys" to becoming an excellent manager: Finding the right fit for employees, focusing on strengths of employees, defining the right results, and selecting staff for talent--not just knowledge and skills. Arguing that performance management stresses improving weaknesses rather than leveraging strengths, it will change the way you look at both talent acquisition and leadership development.

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
Michael Watkins
Harvard Business School Press

This is, essentially, practical advice about undertaking new opportunities and understanding new vulnerabilities, quickly and without much upheaval. Different steps--sometimes simultaneously, sometimes sequential-- define success in the first three months, from promoting yourself (i.e., taking charge fast) to keeping your balance. The gold standard for senior level executive assimilation.