My weekly book post on s+b's blogs is up today:
Outing Gender Bias
I’ve never had any problems with women in the workplace. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, they can have the workplace. But, unfortunately, that says more about how I feel about working than how I feel about working with women. And with International Women’s Day approaching, I find myself compelled to admit that I’m as likely to exhibit gender bias as the next guy.
Here’s how I know: A while back, I attended an all-hands strategy+business editorial meeting during which we discussed our coverage of business books, among many other things. I had an idea about our book reviews, and as is my wont, I blurted it out. Everybody liked it. We decided to adopt it. I patted myself on the back (also my wont): Good thinking, Ted!
A day later, while considering what needed to done to implement the idea, it dawned on me that I had heard the idea before. Not once, but twice. In each of the previous two all-hands editorial meetings, female members of the team had suggested the exact same idea. I remembered that my reaction had been a distinct “meh” and that their suggestions hadn’t gone anywhere…except to the area of my mind reserved for stolen ideas. (My wife and writing partner believes that this particular area of my brain is extremely well developed.)
As it turns out, there was something more insidious going on than run-of-the-mill intellectual thievery. Joan C. Williams, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law, and the founder and director of its Center for WorkLife Law, and her daughter, Yale University School of Law student Rachel Dempsey, find that the “stolen idea” phenomena is related to a common type of gender bias that they call “prove it again!” In their book, What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know (NYU Press, 2014), they explain that the “prove it again!” pattern requires women to demonstrate their competence repeatedly, far more often than men, because “information about men’s competence has more staying power than equivalent information about women”...read the rest here
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
My weekly book post on s+b's blogs is up today:
Friday, February 28, 2014
On Wednesday, I interviewed Christine Bader. She's written a personal and wonderfully nuanced book that explores the challenges that people who have strong social missions face as they pursue corporate careers. It's titled The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil and it will be published by Bibliomotion in late March. Eventually, the Q&A will appear in strategy+business and I'll post it here.
Until then, I'd like to share a passage from the galley of the book that's off topic, but which caught my eye because I've written about the pleasures and perils of corporate naming in the past:
"When I first arrived in China, I was surprised to find that four years after the company officially changed its name from British Petroleum to BP, Chinese staff were still using the old name in conversation and written correspondence, and having their old business cards reprinted at local copy shops rather than ordering new ones from the company. I asked a few people why but got nothing more than giggles and shrugs in response, so I wrote it off to inertia.
"Finally, a friend outside of the company revealed that BP had fallen into an even worse trap than the apocryphal story about Chevrolet's Latin American launch of the Nova, which approximates Spanish for no-go, not a great name for a car. With the wrong combination of context and tone, B in Mandarin can sound like slang for 'vagina,' and P like 'fart.' In the dialect of Guangdong Province, it can also mean 'big pig.' No wonder the new corporate identity hadn't caught on."
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
My weekly book post on s+b's blog covers two books--one that bemoans the dearth of muckrakers and one by a muckraker
Muckraking Is Alive and Well
Investigative reporting is the pinnacle of journalism, and has been ever since the early 20th century when writers like Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, and Ray Stannard Baker exposed systemic corruption in the United States and changed the nation. They helped bring down business trusts, provided the impetus for much-needed regulation and oversight (in Steffen’s case, the establishment of the Federal Reserve System), and created political platforms for reformers, such as Teddy Roosevelt, who named them muckrakers. Is there a business reporter who doesn’t aspire to follow in their footsteps?
And yet, less and less investigative—or accountability—reporting is being published, according to Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) editor and fellow Dean Starkman. In his fascinating, if somewhat flawed book, The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, 2014), Starkman points to the subprime lending meltdown of 2007 as a primary example of his contention.
Although there has been no lack of high-profile investigative reporting since subprime lending imploded and caused a global recession, an examination of reporting on the subject in the years before the crisis tells another, rather curious, story. According to research that Starkman conducted at CSJ between 2004 and 2006—the period in which the worst lending excesses occurred—“mainstream accountability reporting [was] virtually dormant. The watchdog, powerful as it was, didn’t bark when it was most needed.”
But there’s more to the story... read it here
Monday, February 24, 2014
My Q&A with professor Zach Shore for strategy+business was published today:
Zachary Shore on How to Predict the Future
A historian’s approach to strategic empathy can help you anticipate your rivals’ next moves.
If Komatsu decides to cut prices in a bid to grow its market share, will Caterpillar match the cuts? If Amazon makes a full-out run at the grocery business, will Kroger compete online? If Google refuses to censor Internet searches, will China’s government deny its citizens access to the search engine? Predicting the actions and reactions of competitors—and other stakeholders—is often an essential element in executive decision making, and getting those predictions wrong can have costly consequences.
Historian Zachary Shore believes leaders in all spheres can reduce decision risks and improve the accuracy of their predictions by developing a skill that he calls strategic empathy. In his fourth and latest book, A Sense of the Enemy: The High Stakes History of Reading Your Rival’s Mind (Oxford University Press, 2014), the professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, a research university operated by the U.S. Navy in Monterey, Calif., offers a new perspective on predicting the behavior of others. Shore discussed his findings and their applications with strategy+business.
S+B: What is strategic empathy, and why does it matter?
SHORE: Strategic empathy is the ability to step out of our own heads and into the minds of others. It’s the ability to discern someone else’s underlying drivers and constraints—to understand what makes someone tick.
The idea behind strategic empathy has been around for a long time in the military and politics. Two thousand years ago, Sun Tzu wrote about the importance of thinking like the enemy. What we don’t have is a reliable way of doing it... read the rest here
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
My weekly book post on the s+b blogs wonders how Russia will benefit from hosting the Winter Olympics.
A Sucker’s Bet in Sochi
Truth be told, Olympic medal counts aren’t all that interesting anymore. Before the Cold War ended, medals were a leading indicator of global might: If one country’s hockey team beat another one’s hockey team, that meant the winner’s political and economic ideologies were righteous. But these days, it’s less about how many gold medals a nation wins and more about how many gold bars it spends. And hey, by that measure, Russia is back on top! The Winter Olympics in Sochi are the most expensive in history, reportedly costing US$51 billion—more than every other Winter Olympics Games combined.
That’s impressive, and so are some of the stories that have dug into the breathtaking scale of “waste and corruption” at Sochi, like Joshua Yaffa’s cover story in Businessweek. But countries and cities have been going on Olympic-sized spending sprees to land mega sporting events for a long time. The perennial question remains: Is it worth it? For the answer, I turned to the International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012), edited by professors Wolfgang Maennig (an Olympic rowing champion himself) and Andrew Zimbalist, and reissued in paperback in December 2013.
I can’t follow all the economic analysis in this book, mainly because the use of letters and other non-numeric symbols in the equations marks the border of my mathematical nether regions. But the conclusions of the impressively credentialed group of academicians and researchers who contributed to the thick—and rather daunting—collection are clear: “Most studies have found no statistically significant economic effect from hosting [the Olympics and other mega sporting events] and a few have found a negative effect”...read the rest here
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
My Q&A with Rita Gunther McGrath has been published in strategy+business:
The Thought Leader Interview: Rita Gunther McGrath
The Columbia Business School professor says the era of sustainable competitive advantage is being replaced an age of flexibility. Are you ready?
Rita Gunther McGrath thinks it’s time for most companies to give up their quest to attain strategy’s holy grail: sustainable competitive advantage. Neither theory nor practice of strategy has kept pace with the realities of today’s relatively boundaryless and barrier-free markets, says the associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. As a result, the traditional approach of building a business around a competitive advantage and then hunkering down to defend it and milk it for profits no longer makes sense.
In 1989, McGrath returned to school, first pursuing her Ph.D. in the Wharton School’s innovative social systems sciences department, which was founded by management iconoclast Russell Ackoff, and then joining Ian C. MacMillan at Wharton’s Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center. It was the beginning of an extended collaboration between the two that continued long after McGrath joined the faculty at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business in 1993. McGrath and MacMillan wrote three books together: The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Strategies for Continuously Creating Opportunity in an Age of Uncertainty (Harvard Business School Press, 2000), MarketBusters: 40 Strategic Moves That Drive Exceptional Business Growth (Harvard Business School Press, 2005), and Discovery-Driven Growth: A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity (Harvard Business Press, 2009).
Those books’ themes—entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth in fast-moving, uncertain markets—are also woven into The End of Competitive Advantage. “All these pieces of research that I’ve done over the years came together,” says McGrath. “Innovation used to be over there, and strategy was over here, but now they are inseparable. The idea of learning from failure, the notion of studying business portfolios, and the concept of building new capabilities are all linked when you consider the new competitive environment and how companies need to change in order to succeed within it.”
To buttress the core argument in The End of Competitive Advantage, McGrath identified every publicly traded company with a market capitalization of US$1 billion or more—there were 4,793—and eliminated any company that had been unable to grow its net income by at least 5 percent annually from 2000 to 2009 (about 1 percent more than the growth of global GDP during that time). That left just 10 companies, some well known, others less familiar: Atmos Energy, Cog-nizant Technology Solutions, and FactSet in the U.S.; HDFC Bank and Infosys in India; ACS and Indra Sistemas in Spain; Krka in Slovenia; Tsingtao Brewery in China; and Yahoo Japan.
McGrath then compared each company to its top three competitors. The major conclusion: The growth outliers were “pursuing strategies with a long-term perspective on where they wanted to go, but also with the recognition that whatever they were doing today wasn’t going to drive their future growth.” They are successful, McGrath wrote, because they are “exploiting temporary competitive advantages, not sustainable ones.”
McGrath spoke recently with strategy+business and described the ramifications of transient competitive advantage on corporate strategy and organizational structure...read the rest here
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
My weekly book post on s+b's blogs explains why consultant and author Tim Halloran thinks it’s time to inject some romance into brand marketing.
How’s Your Brand’s Love Life?
Cupid is coming this week. Stores have heart-shaped boxes of chocolates stacked to the ceilings and the price of roses has trebled. But here’s what I’m wondering: Will your brands be getting any love on Valentine’s Day?
This question came to mind after I read the new book by Brand Illumination president Tim Halloran, Romancing the Brand: How Brands Create Strong, Intimate Relationships with Consumers (Jossey-Bass, 2014). Halloran begins the book with a story from his time as a brand manager at Coca-Cola. He was watching a focus group through a two-way mirror when a member of the group, a woman in her late 20s, held up a can of soda.
“I drink eight of these a day,” she said. “It is always with me, no matter what happens. It was there when my boss gave me my promotion last week. It was at my side two months ago when my cat died. It got me through it. I start and end my day with it. It’s never let me down. I can always count on it. To sum it up, it’s my boyfriend…Diet Coke.”
Leaving the health considerations aside (my doctor’s head would explode if I told her I drank that much of any kind of soda), this consumer’s relationship with a brand is clearly based on more than a cost-benefit analysis. “This was preposterous, wasn’t it?” writes Halloran. “We can’t connect with products the same way we connect with people!”
But of course we can. Research by academics like Jennifer Aaker and Susan Fournier suggests that brands can have personalities, and consumers can have highly emotional relationships with them just like they might with a significant other. In Romancing the Brand, Halloran explains how marketers can create such a relationship using an eight-stage approach that starts with “know yourself” and ends with “breaking up and moving on.”
This sounds like it has some Svengali-esque potential to me. So, I asked the author whether his book could be used as a pickup manual by manipulative marketers... read his answer here.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
My weekly book post on s+b's blogs covers The Decoded Company, which argues that it’s time to know your employees better than your customers.
Employee Management in the “Big Data” Era
In December, I wrote about Dave Eggers’ novel, The Circle, and its creepily claustrophobic depiction of a Big Brother–like corporation that monitors, evaluates, and addresses its employees’ every action to supposedly drive productivity. This week, I’m writing about The Circle’s non-fiction doppelganger: a new business book titled The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Company (Portfolio, 2014), by Leerom Segal, Aaron Goldstein, Jay Goldman, and Rahaf Harfoush.
The main message of The Decoded Company is that companies are missing a major opportunity for growth and profit—by not applying the same technologies used to identify, track, and sell customers to improve employee performance. To remedy that, the authors say companies need to do three things: use technology as an employee trainer and coach, inform employees’ decision making with data, and create a culture that maximizes the ensuing benefits.
This all sounds very promising. If Joe Employee is struggling with some aspect of the task at hand, assistance can be delivered in real time. He doesn’t need to fail before he gets help, so his employer doesn’t need to bear the cost of that failure. Or before Jane Executive fires the manager of a project that has gone seriously over budget, she can consider a wealth of information regarding the manager’s performance and results over his entire tenure with the company.
Three of the book’s authors—Segal, Goldstein, and Goldman—are executives at Klick, a digital marketing agency serving global health clients. They say that they’ve integrated many of the tools needed to do these things into a system called Genome. Genome has helped Klick grow into a US$100 million company. It also helped them determine how many cups of coffee the company’s 400 employees drank in 2013. (The number was 61,392, in case you’re interested.)
But the underlying codicil is something of an iceberg...read the rest here
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
My weekly blog post on s+b explores improvisation as a sales tool, as described in a new book by Steve Yastrow:
I like sales pitches about as much as vampires like garlic. Steve Yastrow clearly feels the same way. In his new book, Ditch the Pitch: The Art of Improvised Persuasion (SelectBooks, 2014), the sales and
marketing consultant lists some reasons why sales pitches are so often ineffective: They’re all about the seller, they’re monologues, they don’t connect the buyer’s offering to customer’s needs, and so on.
This won’t come as news to most professional salespeople, especially those who sell large-scale, B2B solutions. They already know that delivering a pitch in a warm conference room, with low lighting and a few hundred PowerPoint slides, is more a cure for chronic insomnia than a prescription for sales success. The problem is knowing what to do instead.
Yastrow thinks that salespeople should learn to improvise. In Ditch the Pitch, he applies the principles of improvisational acting to sales conversations. This is a terrific idea: Like improvisation, selling requires being in the moment, listening to what’s being said by the other players, and responding in a collaborative manner to move the process forward.
Although improvisational skills can be a valuable addition to a sales professional’s toolbox, Ditch the Pitch should have come with a few warnings...read the rest here
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
My weekly book post on s+b's blog covers a book that suggests that business as usual wont be an option much longer:
Does Capitalism Have a Future? (Oxford University Press, 2013). It’s likely that the WEF attendees will end up in a place similar to the sociologists—with a general consensus that the global economy is facing huge challenges, conflicting views about their causes and consequences, and only speculative guesses about possible solutions.
Leading the batting order of solo essays (which are sandwiched between an introduction and conclusion written by the entire author team), Yale senior research scientist and former International Sociological Association president Immanuel Wallerstein asserts that capitalism is approaching a “structural crisis much bigger than the recent Great Recession.” This crisis, he says, will come from a profit squeeze caused by an inexorable rise in the prices of labor and raw materials, and tax rates, combined with political instability. Randall Collins, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, thinks that the primary driving force behind this instability will be the gutting of the middle class as up to two-thirds of the jobs that support it disappear... read the rest here
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
My weekly post on the s+b blogs is about former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski, who paid an unjustly high price for the crime of losing perspective according to a new book by Catherine S. Neal.
After eight years in prison, Dennis Kozlowski is scheduled to be released on January 17. You remember him: the former CEO of Tyco who Time magazine dubbed “Dennis the Menace” during the accounting scandals of 2001 and 2002 (which occurred before the lending scandals of 2008, which Taking Down the Lion: The Triumphant Rise and Tragic Fall of Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), it was a bum rap.
Neal, a business ethics and business law professor at the Haile/US Bank College of Business at Northern Kentucky University, became interested in Kozlowski after reading case studies of the Tyco scandal. She contacted him with questions and spent 30 months studying his case. Her conclusion: “The evidence in the case speaks for itself. I do not believe Dennis Kozlowski committed any crimes. I do not believe he ever intended to commit any crimes.”
So why did Kozlowski go to jail?... read the rest here
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Bill Gates (he's looking good, isn't he?) published a list of the seven best books he read in 2013. No fiction and heavy on the university presses. Here they are, with Gates' notes:
The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention (Random House, 2010), by William Rosen. A bit like The Box, except it’s about steam engines. Rosen weaves together the clever characters, incremental innovations, and historical context behind this invention. I’d wanted to know more about steam engines since the summer of 2009, when my son and I spent a lot of time hanging out at the Science Museum in London.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
My first weekly book post on s+b blogs for the new year covers two new books about thought leadership:
Having been a laborer in the business of thought leadership for a couple of decades, I’m always curious
Thinkers50—the high-profile brainchild of entrepreneurial U.K. journalists, and past s+b contributors Des Dearlove and Stuart Crainer—which produced a flurry of nomination solicitations from wannabes, and gracious, self-promoting thanks from the happy winners.
You’re probably familiar with most of the people on thought leader lists like the Thinkers50. These are folks—Clayton Christensen, Rita McGrath, Marshall Goldsmith, et al.—whose names pop up regularly in the business press, convention brochures, and business book bestseller lists. But how did they become thought leaders? And if you aspire to become more influential in your company, in your profession or industry, or in the marketplace, how can you follow in their footsteps?
There are a number of books on content marketing, but there is a surprising dearth of books that are aimed straight at would-be thought leaders. (Well, perhaps not so surprising: if you know how to become a successful thought leader, you’re probably too busy becoming one or working for someone else who wants to become one to write a book about it.) But in the last couple of months, I received two books that fill this specific gap on the bookshelf... read the rest here
Monday, December 23, 2013
The Price and Prize of Strategic Partnering
There’s no shortage of books on creating and managing strategic partnerships, but Luc Bardin’s new one caught my eye for its where-the-rubber-meets-the-road practicality. Bardin has been sales and marketing chief at BP since 2007, and he founded and leads the energy giant's strategic accounts organization. In Strategic Partnering: Remove Chance and Deliver Consistent Success (Kogan Page, 2014)—a handbook written with his sons, Raphaël and Guillaume—Bardin offers a model and methodology for building successful organizational alliances, based on his experiences and bolstered by the insights and advice of 30 noted executives and consultants.
These days, it seems like the ability to create and manage strategic partnerships is becoming a prerequisite of corporate success. Witness the current volume of announced corporate alliances (more than 10,000 annually, according to Bardin) and plans for future alliances (more than two-thirds of CEOs expect to partner more extensively in the near future, according to a 2012 IBM survey cited in the book).
More strategic partnerships do not necessarily translate into more profits, however. Bardin reports that more than 70 percent of business relationships fail over time, and less than 10 percent deliver on their original targets, so I asked him how a company can beat the odds...read his answer here
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
My weekly book post on s+b's blogs is about a new biography of Apple design chief Jony Ive, which offers valuable lessons to leaders seeking to develop strategic capabilities:
How Apple Built Its Design Capability
In the world of industrial design, 46-year-old Jony Ive is a star. He even received a knighthood for his services to “design and enterprise” in 2012. And he certainly deserves the accolades: As the design chief at Apple, he was instrumental in creating the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone.
That in itself is a good reason to read Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products (Portfolio, 2013), by Leander Kahney. But corporate leaders may find the back story more valuable than the designer’s life story. That’s because starting in chapter four, as Ive moves to California to work for Apple, the book’s backdrop becomes the development and evolution of what is arguably the company’s most valuable asset: its strategic capability for design...read the rest here
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
My weekly book post on the s+b blog is about a novel that does a better job of driving home the dangers of digitization than any nonfiction polemic to date:
How Creepy Is Your Company?
The Circle, Dave Eggers’s creepily engrossing novel—about a Google-like company with a user base and product portfolio so broad that it begins to transform the world into a techno-dystopia—got a lot
Using a model that is currently driving exuberant valuations for real-world social media companies like Snapchat (take the money if you still can, boys!), Eggers’s fictional company provides free services that offer convenience, security, and the warm embrace of society in return for the attention and personal data of their users. Want to know where your kid is? Implant the Circle’s ChildTrack chip at birth. Want to eliminate crime? Place the Circle’s SeeChange wireless micro-cameras all over your neighborhood. Want to ensure a tension-free first date? Use the Circle’s LuvLuv database to ferret out your date’s likes and dislikes in minute detail. There are, of course, a few minor downsides to these services: the death of privacy, dogged commercialism, and the velvet fist of a corporate Big Brother. But, in Eggers’s world, only an anti-social Luddite or a criminal would be so ungrateful as to complain... read the rest here
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
My weekly book post on s+b's blogs is about Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse's new book, in which she argues that putting all your muscle behind a few big gambles is a safer long-term strategy than making many small investments.
Pop quiz: You’re the CEO of a trade publishing house. Do you split your company’s acquisition
I lean toward the former strategy. I’d sign a lot of authors—limiting my downside on each and keeping my pipeline full of new product, while betting on my own ability to pick the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling out of the slush pile.
Unfortunately, however, I’d be wrong. Not just because I’m a snooty reader who would have chucked most of the mega-selling manuscripts of recent years into the trash can after reading a couple of pages, but also because Anita Elberse says so.
Elberse, the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, is the author of Blockbusters: Hit-Making, Risk-Taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment (Henry Holt, 2013). In it, she argues that the most successful media and entertainment companies are those that make big bets on big names and then concentrate all of their marketing might on selling them... read the rest here.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Check out the strategy+business slideshow featuring the seven "Top Shelf" selections -- the best of the year's best business books -- here.
And the top seven books are:
The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business
by Rita Gunther McGrath
(Harvard Business Review Press, 2013)
Story of My People
by Edoardo Nesi
(Other Press, 2013)
Rough Diamonds: The Four Traits of Successful Breakout Firms in BRIC Countries
by Seung Ho Park, Nan Zhou, and Gerardo R. Ungson
Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013)
Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity
by Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn
Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling
by Edgar H. Schein
(Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2013)
Everybody Ought to Be Rich: The Life and Times of John J. Raskob, Capitalist
by David Farber
(Oxford University Press, 2013)
Monday, December 2, 2013
This is the sixth year that I've edited strategy+business's review of the year’s best business books and as always, it was an honor and a pleasure to work with our team of expert reviewers. Here's my intro and a link to this year's essays:
Welcome to the 13th annual edition of strategy+business’s best business books. Every year we strive to assemble a reading list that will not only engross and entertain you, but also provide concepts, tools,
This year’s best business books section includes seven essays by expert guides. Walter Kiechel III, former Fortune managing editor, reviews books on strategy that reflect two realities: Competitive advantage is transient, and continuous innovation is an imperative. David Hurst, s+b contributing editor, selects books that tell company stories, each a chronicle of failure, but not always recovery. John Jullens, a Booz & Company partner working in China, presents books that explore the three waves of global competitors that are emerging from developing economies. Howard Rheingold, who’s been surfing the leading edge of digitization since the early 1980s, picks out books that examine three emerging digital phenomena—big data, socialstructing, and spreadable media. Catharine Taylor, a journalist who has been covering the sea change in marketing in the past decade, offers a set of books that eschew the hoopla of social media and instant ads for the essence of marketing: the customer experience. Sally Helgesen, an author and leadership consultant, takes on self-help books for managers. And James O’Toole, a senior fellow in business ethics at the University of Santa Clara’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, finds leadership lessons in the biographies and memoirs of auto industry executives who made the Motor City roll. You can read their essays here...