Interesting Reads
summarized by Ian Bullock

Rude Awakenings
Overcoming the Civility Crisis in the Workplace
by Giovinella Gonthier with Kevin Morrissey
Dearborn Trade Publishing, Chicago

According to USA Today, rudeness is poisoning the workplace.

An increasingly serious workplace issue, incivility encompasses abuse by coworkers and includes bullying, badgering, slander, sabotage, ostracism, and other rude behaviors. Yet despite the pervasiveness of the problem, it isn't illegal and therefore is more difficult to correct.

Written by accomplished public speaker and civility expert Giovinella Gonthier, Rude Awakenings shows that simply teaching table and phone manners is inadequate. The incivility permeating the workplace is a severe problem that affects everyone, regardless of job or rank. Articulating a sustainable workplace civility program, Gonthier defines incivility for the corporate environment, offers replacement behaviors, and shows managers and human resources professionals how to teach and build a culture of civility. Providing tips and checklists for readers, Gonthier addresses:

  • How rudeness has evolved in our time.
  • Civility and technology - from teleconferencing to cell phones and e-mail.
  • How to handle 'cubicle warfare'.
  • Building and interacting effectively with a diverse workforce.
  • Violence prevention.
  • Appearances and dress code issues and how they affect morale and productivity.

Making Sense of Strategy
by Tony Manning

From the dustjacket:

Strategy is not rocket science, and frankly you should be spending a lot less time reading about it and more time enjoying the profits that smart decisions bring. Tony Manning doesn't mess around when it comes to strategy. He's not going to take up your time with a lot of guru babble about 'thought leadership' and 'best practices'.

What Manning will give you are the 10 principles every business needs in order to excel. No fluffy pseudo-philosophy here - these sequential principles build on each other logically to ensure maximum contribution and communication from employees, customers, and shareholders.

The author will also give you the 20 questions you've got to ask and answer - right now and every day - in order to succeed. Questions like: Who do we need to talk to? What are the high-impact issues we need to devote our resources to? And what is non-negotiable?

In between he'll tell you why strategy is ultimately a conversation, an ongoing dialogue that identifies the actions crucial to delivering the value your customers want and the profits your shareholders demand.

Tony Manning has been an independent consultant since 1987, specializing in change management, competitive strategy, and corporate turnarounds. He was previously the Chairman and CEO of McCann-Erickson in South Africa and a senior marketing executive with Coca Cola. Elected Chairman of the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa in 1999, he is the author of six previous management books.


True Leaders
How Exceptional CEOs and Presidents Make a Difference by Building People and Profits
by Bette Price & George Ritscheske
Dearborn Financial Publishing, Chicago

Excerpted from the dustjacket:

True leaders operate from a set of core values that allow them to recognize that while financial performance is expected, profit alone is not enough. They put profit into a long-term perspective rather than focusing on the short-term financial kill. They place an intrinsic value on their employees and believe people are their greatest asset. They know that without valuing their employees, their positions of power are limited.

Drawing on interviews with over 25 CEOs and presidents of winning companies, Bette Price and George Ritscheske outline ten leadership characteristics that anyone can adopt to build a company's people and profits. The true leaders profiled include:

  • Len Roberts of Radio Shack
  • Irv Hockaday of Hallmark Cards
  • James Copeland of Deloitte & Touche
  • Linda Huett of Weight Watchers

Through these interviews and analyses, True Leaders provides managers with a model for defining success as a leader, a gauge for assessing their own leadership development, and examples of how to simultaneously make a difference and boost the bottom line.

Bette Price is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant, and is president of The Price Group, an organization dedicated to assessing and developing strategic planning, leadership, and performance issues. She is certified in the science of how and why people perform in their business environments. Price is a former television and newspaper journalist, and she is an active member of the National Speakers Association and the Institute of Management Consultants.

George Ritscheske is president and CEO of CoachWorks Leadership Group and HR Partners, and specializes in leadership development and leadership team effectiveness. He earned a BA in Economics at Dartmouth College and an MBA in Organizational Development at the University of Michigan. He is an active member of the National Speakers Association and the International Coach Federation.

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