March 26, 2007

Book Short: Crazy Eights

Book Short:  Crazy Eights In honor of Return Path being in the midst of its eighth year, I recently read a pair of books with 8 in the title (ok, I would have read them anyway, but that made for a convenient criterion when selecting out of my very large “to read” pile). Ram Charan’s latest, Know-How:  The 8 Skills That Separate People People Who Perform From Those Who Don’t, was pretty good and classic Charan.  Quick, easy to skim and still get the main points.  The book lost a little credibility with me when Charan lionized Verizon (perhaps he uses a different carrier himself) and Bob Nardelli (the book was published before Nardelli’s high profile dismissal), but makes good points nonetheless.  Some of the 8 Skills he talks about are what you’d expect on the soft side of leadership — building the team, understanding the social system, judging people — but his best examples were particularly actionable around positioning, goal setting, and setting priorities.  The book reminded me much more of Execution and much less of Confronting Reality (which is a good thing). For years I’ve felt like the last person around to still not have read The 7 […]

November 28, 2006

Book Short: Another 8 Habits

Book Short:  Another 8 Habits Besides having a fantastic title, Richard St. John’s Stupid, Ugly, Unlucky, and Rich is a fun and quick read.  It’s a completely different style than Stephen Covey’s “habits” books (The 7, The 8th).  It’s a little cartoony and list-oriented, and it’s a much quicker read — and also easier to put down and pick up without feeling like you’re losing your place. The book’s foundation is interviews, mostly by the author, of successful people who span many different careers, from artists to actors and models to athletes to politicians to business leaders.  The organization is […]