The Great Comeback: top 5 books on mindset

April 22, 2021

From the principles of agile management and leading through crisis, to remote leadership and finding meaning in both work and life, we have collated our Comeback Mindset reading recommendations.

Remember – the comeback is always better than the setback. Happy reading!

The age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done by Stephen Denning

An unstoppable business revolution is under way–and it is Agile. Sparking dramatic improvements in quality, innovation, and speed-to-market, the Agile movement has helped companies both large and small learn to connect everyone and everything… all the time. With rapidly evolving consumer needs and technology that is that is being updated quicker than ever before, businesses are recognizing how vitally essential it is adapt. And adapt quickly. The Agile movement enables a team, unit, or enterprise to nimbly acclimate and upgrade products and services to meet these constantly changing needs.

Leadership U: Accelerating Through the Crisis Curve by Gary Burnison

Leadership is all about others—inspiring them to believe, then enabling that belief to become reality. That’s the essence of Leadership U: it starts with ‘U’ but it’s not about ‘U.’

Those timeless words are timelier than ever today, as leaders look to accelerate through the crisis curve. As author Gary Burnison observes, “There will likely be more change in the next two years than we have seen in the last twenty.”

Now, in Leadership U: Accelerating Through the Crisis Curve, Burnison lays out a framework—his “Six Degrees of Leadership”—to show leaders how to create change.

The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, 2021

To make leadership happen today we must rely more on technology and far less on face-to face communication. This can make the work of leaders and team members more isolating, frustrating and stressful. This book is for motivated leaders who want to get a handle on their remote work and teams.

The book is built around the authors’ 3 O model: Ourselves, Others, and Outcomes. They explain how to cultivate the mindset and attitude needed to lead oneself effectively at a distance; how to engage others when you’re not physically present; and what processes and tools to use to make sure dispersed teams achieve the desired outcomes. In some ways the job of a leader has changed less than we think. Leadership is leadership and people are people. But (and it is a pretty big but) how we do it needs to evolve if we want the results and outcomes our organizations demand, leaders need, and their team members deserve.

Rethinking Success: Eight Essential Practices for Finding Meaning in Work and Life by J. Douglas Holladay

Success does not come with an instruction manual. Too often “successful” people end up feeling empty, isolated, and depressed because they have lost focus on what is most important in their lives. Rethinking Success can help anyone, no matter their field, maintain the practices and values that keep them in tune with their most cherished beliefs throughout their careers. Drawn from the insights of his network of famous friends as well as his experiences as an investment banker, White House advisor, diplomat, longtime business professor, and non-profit consultant, the advice in Rethinking Success is centered around eight essential questions we must ask ourselves regularly to stay focused, connected, and joyful throughout our working lives.

Filled with essential wisdom, Rethinking Success is a powerful guide that allows us to do well while staying in tune with the values and beliefs that are most important to us.

Lead and Disrupt: How to Solve the Innovator’s Dilemma by Charles A. O’Reilly III and Michael L. Tushman

In the past few years, a number of well-known firms have failed; think of Blockbuster, Kodak, or RadioShack. When we read about their demise, it often seems inevitable—a natural part of “creative destruction.” But closer examination reveals a disturbing truth: Companies large and small are shuttering more quickly than ever. What does it take to buck this trend?

The simple answer is: ambidexterity. Firms must remain competitive in their core markets, while also winning in new domains.

Drawing on a vast research program and over a decade of helping companies to innovate, the authors present a set of practices to guide firms as they adopt ambidexterity. Top-down and bottom-up leaders are key to this process—a fact too often overlooked in the heated debate about innovation. But not in this case. Readers will come away with a new understanding of how to improve their existing businesses through efficiency, control, and incremental change, while also seizing new markets where flexibility, autonomy, and experimentation rule the day