Book Recommendations, Part Two: Strategy & Execution

Strategy is probably the most confusing word in the business vocabulary, primarily because if you ask ten people what it means you will get ten different answers. I think of it as establishing a direction for an organization to move in. Also, we can’t determine if we are being effective in our execution unless we understand the direction we want to be heading in. Having said that, here are eleven excellent books on strategy and execution.

Understanding Michael Porter by Joan Magretta

Elevate and Deep Dive by Rich Horwath

Management by Peter Drucker

Good to Great and Beyond Entrepreneurship by Jim Collins

Blue Ocean Strategy by Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

The Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema

Only the Paranoid Survive by Andy Grove

Profit from the Core by Chris Zook

Top Management Strategy by Ben Tregoe and John Zimmerman




Book Recommendations: Part One, Leadership & Teamwork

(Note from Dan: Over the next three entries I will recommend a variety of books. I’m going to focus on three concentrated areas: leadership and teamwork, strategy and execution, and innovation and branding.)

Leadership and Teamwork

I admit this is the section I have invested most of my reading in over the course of my lifetime. As a kid I read hundreds of biographies of famous people before I started high school. They inspired me in so many ways. Mainly, I wanted to know how these people made their impact on the world. After college I’ve read another 500 books or so, mostly on leadership, teamwork, and human dynamics. So here are some of what I consider to be the best of the best:

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Clayborne Carson

On Leadership by John Gardner

My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas Gandhi

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Walt Disney by Neal Gabler

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Leadership & Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute

Leading With The Heart by Mike Krzyzewski

Gifted Hands by Ben Carson

Churchill: The Power of Words by Martin Gilbert

Organizing Genius by Warren Bennis

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson

Russell’s Rules by Bill Russell