34th Edition — September 29, 2019
You can achieve incredible progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal. This may seem basic, but it is amazing how often it is not done and how hard it is to get right.”
Bill Gates as quoted in the book Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
1. CFO Dive
Periodically, I’m asked what I read beyond books. This past week, I released an interview with one of the Managing Editors of Industry Dive which is the parent company of the new online publication CFO Dive. I go so far as stating that every financial leader should be signed up for this site’s daily newsletter. You can read the post here.
2. Regarding Book Recommendations
I rarely recommend books because our tastes vary so widely. Instead, I try to mention as many books that financial leaders might like which lessens the burden of figuring out what to read next.
A perfect example of this is reading about Jamie Cohen’s favorite book. Jamie is the youngest CFO in the country and told Business Insider last month that her favorite book was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Yet, when I read that book, I had a hard time finishing it. I just didn’t care for it a few years ago.
Accordingly, this slice of financial cognitive cyberspace will never tell you, “This is must-reading material.”
3. The Ride of a Lifetime
I like reading books by founders who not only started their companies but stayed the course for years as their CEO. But the books by CEOs who were never founders rarely hit best-seller lists.
Don’t be surprised if you see a book by Disney’s CEO popping up in your web surfing over the next few weeks across news sites. Random House just released this past Monday The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger. The Disney chief executive focuses on leadership qualities such as optimism, courage, decisiveness, and fairness.
4. Averageism vs. Individualism
Averageism versus individualism is how I’d describe The End of Average by Todd Rose. One of my key takeaways is the continuing impact of Taylorism (as in Frederick Winslow) which is still leaving and breathing in the hallways of even organizationally-healthy businesses.
As a business analyst who is usually the outsider looking in, I question whether chief executives realize the negative impact that scientific management can play on innovation, staff development, or even competitive differentiation. Parents, teachers, and research analysts may enjoy this book the most.
5. Relevant Links
- Is Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny the next great self-help book on money?
- A list of business books recommended by MBA students
- The Sidestepper, The Martyr, The Payback Artist, The Rookie, The Grifter – Your Expense Report is a Window Into Your Soul
- Lease Accounting Change Makes EBITDA and Even Muddier Metric
- The Rise of the Financial Data Scientist
Thank You For Reading
If you like the content above and the posts at CFO Bookshelf, may I ask a favor? Feel free to share this with other readers along with commenting on your favorite blog posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
Take care and have a great week. Always be learning.