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The Top 4 Essential Business Books You Need To Read

girl computerReturn on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win

How is leadership character formed?  How does it creates value, and how does that value spread throughout the organization? Well researched, well documented, well written, convincing, credible, and saturated with trust that is admirable. Just the beginning is blunt and to the point, “Just seeing the words character and business leadership in the same sentence brings to mind a seemingly unending list of ineffective leaders who periodically sweep through the business world, draining organizations of all real value – self-involved, bottom-line-driven leaders rarely deliver the goods”. I’ve worked for a couple of those! Tell the truth, don’t lack integrity, be responsible, forgive and show some compassion.

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

One of the best books of 2013 by Amazon, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Fortune’s must-read business books, and the Washington Post’s books every leader should read. This is a superb book about being altruistic and finding happiness at work. Decide if you are a Giver, Taker or Matcher. Givers are help others instinctively, frequently at cost to themselves but their open-handed generosity makes the world better. Takers take for themselves and put their own interest above that of everyone else. Matchers try to balance giving and taking and expect direct reciprocity  A new business benchmark of a book, that drives effectiveness at every level of an organization and holds the key to a more fulfilled and productive workplace, superior customer relationships, and greater profits.

Opposable Mind: Winning Through Integrative Thinking

Integrative thinking comes in four parts: salience, causality, architecture, and resolution. The great leaders whom Martin discusses (e.g. Martha Graham, George F. Kennan, Isadore Sharp, A.G. Lafley, Lee-Chin, and Bob Young) did not merely accept contradictory points of view, they encourage them. They generate a creative resolution in the form of a new idea that contains elements of the opposing ideas, but are exceptionally innovative and far superior to each. Brilliant examples of integrated thinking throughout the entire book.

The CIO Paradox: Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership

A personal favorite of mine since I am an IT consultant. Some executives are completely blind that bad technology can bring a business to its knees. So many “aha!” moments in this book including capturing Enterprise IT as a game changer. Keep it simple but build a culture of innovation, use IT in your strategic long term plan, find the right talent, and as a CIO, have a view of business, technology, customers, markets, and human behavior that is beyond the scope of any other executive. A book that’s hitting the right topic at the right time.

Terry Vermeylen is hell bent on rapidly transforming your business into a World Class Operation by major transformation or by eliminating one bad habit at a time.

Terry Vermeylen brings 30+ years of experience in SAP and Business Supply Chain Process improvement. He has consulted the US Navy and some of the world’s largest and most successful manufacturing companies focusing primarily on the Aerospace and Pharmaceutical industries.

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