Chris Lauer and Soundview Editorial Team (2008). The Management Gurus,
With a a subtitle 'Lessons from the best management books of all time' I
approached this review with caution. Whilst the books summarized are indeed good
(and I already have several on the shelf), I would be put off in a bookshop by
such a bold claim and with which I disagree.
However, Soundview Executive Book Summaries are a well-established company
who have, for many years, published paper and audio summaries of top books for
busy business executives. And so I read on, and was glad that I did.
Summarizing is an art and a technique that, in my schooldays, was taught in
the 'precis' form. The goal is to find the needles in the haystack of words and
then present them in a coherent and readable form. And this set of summaries
does this admirably well, with an initial overview and structured subsequent
The value of this tome is in the ideas presented and, as you might hope from
a collection of good books, they come thick and fast. Concepts are presented
clearly and in a way that it is easy to adopt and adapt these for practical use.
The books summarized in this book include many famous names and reach across
a range of important topics:
Winning with People
John C Maxwell
Five questions and 25 principles for a motivated workforce.
Bradford D Smart
Hiring, using and keeping A-players, and so building a company
Jack Welch and the 4Es of Leadership
Jeffrey A Krames
Four keys to great leadership: Personal Energy, Energizing others,
having 'Edge' and Execution.
The Leadership Challenge
Jams M Kouzes and Barry Z Posner
Five practices of exemplary leadership: modeling, visioning,
challenging, enabling, encouraging.
Gods of Management
Trust, bureacracy, problem-solving and individualism, and how to
manage the mix.
Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron
McMillan and Al Switzler
Personal, social and structural methods of changing motivation and
Bill George with Peter Sims
Finding your 'authentic leadership' style in values, motivations and
self-awareness with a sound support team and an integrated life.
What Got You Here Won't Get You There
Be increasingly successful by eliminating bad habits and
building effective ones.
Noel M Tichy and Warren G Bennis
Develop good learning and decision ability around people, strategy and
Why and how companies choose to be great instead of big.
Dealing With Darwin
Geoffrey A Moore
Innovation for survival, growth and product lifecycle extension.
Don Tapscott and Anthony D Williams
When people collaborate they create new and very different economic
dynamics, both within and between organisations.
Managing Crises Before They Happen
Ian I Mitroff with Gus Anagnos
Building a proactive crisis management system to cover economic,
information, physical, people, reputation, psychopathic and natural
The Leader of the Future
Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith and Richard
Condensed advice on leadership from many gurus, from Drucker onwards.
The Next Global Stage
Strategic challenges in the cybercontinent, competition, platforms and
Overall, then, this is a splendid collection of extremely readable summaries
of some excellent management books, and it would be hard not to recommend it
wholeheartedly. I would, however, recommend reading only one summary at a time
and spend a while digesting the nuggets presented before moving on to the next.
You can also of course read only about those books which cover your current
I can see Soundview producing an ongoing series of books like this, perhaps
one per year with what might be more reasonably claimed as the best books of the
year. I, for one, would be a willing subscriber!
Chris Lauer, 2008, The Management Gurus, Penguin Books
to read 15 great management books in one go. A very readable collection of classic and
recent books, from Handy's Gods of Management to Tapscott and