Jerry Porras co-wrote the bestselling book Built to Last, changing how millions of entrepreneurs view business success. In Success Built to Last (Wharton School Publishing, $22.99), he joins human potential guru Stewart Emery and executive coach Mark Thompson to tackle personal success. Based on interviews with more than 200 people, from Steve Jobs to Sir Richard Branson, they conclude that achieving maximum long-term personal success has less to do with having the best idea, organization or business model than with discovering what matters to the individual pursuing it.
Some of their assertions seem a trifle thin, such as the dismissal of life balance as an unachievable and irrelevant goal. Other observations--like the warning against pursuing being loved rather than doing what we love--ring truer. Porras works in Built to Last icons like Big Hairy Audacious Goals with idiosyncratic observations and startling quotes from all sorts of people, concluding that it's not just preferable to do what you love for a living, it's actually dangerous to do anything else.
Lead the Way
Has Ken Blanchard got anything new to say? Should you pay to hear it? Leading at a Higher Level (Financial Times Prentice Hall, $24.99) answers both questions positively as Blanchard and colleagues engagingly tackle the overanalyzed subject of leadership. Even retreads on customer service and situational leadership come alive thanks to his insight and easy-to-digest style. Newer material, such as the on-target recommendation that would-be leaders begin by working on self-leadership, make this a worthy successor to The One-Minute Manager.
Mark Henricks is Entrepreneur's "Staff Smarts" columnist.