52 Books - Book 11

Have you heard anyone in business adapt a classic line from the movie The Godfather to sound something like this, “It business, not personal?”

That phrase is a one-line conversation stopper, that serves as a sign of rational thinking and a signal to end any questioning. In reality, a philosophy of ending conversation is the end of business growth in 2014. 

How: Why How We Do anything Means Everything is another book that aims to open up the conversation on behavior in business. Maybe someday the logic will catch up with reality and we will hear people say, “Behavior matters more than you think.”

An example of why "how" matters, comes from a story that author tells in one of his Forbes columns about Netflix.

When Netflix decided to raise its prices and announced it would split its company in two, 800,000 subscribers voted with their feet and left the service practically overnight. I had never seen such a mass exodus of consumers in such a short period of time.  For me, it was a turning point revealing the increased the power of the individual.

The example from Netflix and many others presented in the book, demonstrate the power of individuals who are connected through technology and expect a relationship with their service providers.  We are not willing to put up with behavior that doesn’t match our expectations. 

Do the lessons of this book sound familiar?  I thought they sounded a lot like the message presented in Bernadette Jiwa’s book Difference: The One-Page Method for Re-imagining Your Business and Reinventing your Marketing.

You and I can apply these lessons by building relationships with the people we are attempting to lead.  We can ask ourselves questions like:

  • What do they care about?
  • Is the conversation two-way? 

Do you catch yourself using any one-line conversation stoppers?  They do make us sound rational (therefore, smart) but that type of communication prevents you from connecting you with others.  

In relationship to the leadership process continuing to refine how you approach and interact with others is the stretch part of the process.  Because it is intense and never ending it helps to spend a little time re-thinking about your vision. What do you see as a possibility as you continue to take action?

Every week during 2014 I look forward to sharing books that I am reading.  The lens of the leadership process will be the filter for which I recommend books.  Books are powerful vehicles for providing us with inspiration and new ideas.