Must-Read Picks: Best Business Books September 2023 for Aspiring Leaders3 min readReading Time: 3 minutesReading Time: 3 minutes
In the fast-paced world of business where change is the only constant, effective leadership and adaptability to failure are pivotal for survival and success. Two groundbreaking books released this August and September offer critical insights into these areas. The best business books of September 2023 are: “Leadership Team Alignment: From Conflict to Collaboration” by Jacques Neatby and Frédéric Godart, and “Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well” by Amy C. Edmondson, which are set to redefine the way we think about team management and organizational failure.
Right Kind of Wrong: A New Lens on Failure
Amy C. Edmondson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, is no stranger to the topic of teamwork and innovation. In her latest book which will be released on 5 September 2023, Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, Edmondson challenges conventional wisdom around failure.
Long considered an anathema, failure, as Edmondson shows, can actually be a powerful learning tool if we approach it with the right mindset. The book categorizes failure into three archetypes: basic, complex, and intelligent. This framework enables both individuals and organizations to understand the nuances between different types of failure, focusing on the lesson rather than the loss. Edmondson pushes us to replace blame and shame with a sense of curiosity and vulnerability, transforming the way we perceive setbacks.
This perspective is particularly essential for businesses operating in volatile and uncertain environments, where the stakes of each decision can be incredibly high. By internalizing Edmondson’s evidence-backed approach to handling failure, business leaders can make informed decisions about risk-taking and innovate more freely, without the paralyzing fear of failure.
Leadership Team Alignment: The Need for Harmony
Jacques Neatby, a formidable consultant with a background in law, organizational development, and executive advising, and Frédéric Godart, an INSEAD professor known for his work on organizational behavior, present a compelling treatise on leadership team alignment. The authors combine their wealth of experience to debunk commonly accepted myths surrounding leadership dysfunctionality.
Their book Leadership Team Alignment: The Need for Harmony which was released on 22 August 2023 serves as a strategic manual for building and managing top executive teams. Rooted in over eight hundred hours of direct observation with leadership teams across the globe, the authors provide targeted solutions to manage conflicts and address misalignments effectively. They address the complexities of dual roles in leadership, tackle power games, and present strategies for breaking down silo mentalities.
One of the standout features of the book is its practicality. Solutions are tailored according to the organization’s size and structure, making it a versatile toolkit for executives aiming to enhance organizational performance. Given the authors’ robust professional backgrounds, the advice comes with the weight of experience and the rigor of academic scrutiny. If aligning your leadership team has been a persistent challenge, this book provides a comprehensive set of tools to turn conflict into collaboration.
These two best business books of September 2023 offer invaluable insights but approach the challenges of business leadership from different angles. Neatby and Godart focus on the macro-level strategies to align executive teams and enhance organizational performance. Edmondson, on the other hand, delves into the micro-level psychological aspects that can hinder or help in the wake of failure.
When read in conjunction, these two works offer a well-rounded education in modern business leadership. They equip executives with the strategies to lead with harmony and the psychological tools to recover, learn, and grow from setbacks. In a world where the challenges faced by businesses are both internal and external, complex and nuanced, these books are not just timely—they are essential.