Following the Leader
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The day before an important presentation, the employee responsible for it says he can't do it because he has to go Halloween trick-or-treating with his kids. No one else, including you, knows the material well enough to do the presentation. What do you do? Read "The Law of Personal Commitment," one of 50 principles in The Feiner Points of Leadership (Warner Books, $25) by Michael Feiner, a longtime PepsiCo. executive and now a professor at Columbia Graduate School of Business in New York City.
When this happened at PepsiCo., Feiner gave the employee time off and crammed enough to deliver the presentation himself, teaching the employee that he was as committed to the employee as he expected the employee to be to the company. The employee took the lesson to heart, Feiner writes, and over the next 11 years demonstrated "incredible" loyalty and commitment to his boss and his company.
Other laws include "The Law of Building a Cathedral," which advises leaders to show people the big picture-that they are building a cathedral instead of just cutting stone-and "The Law of Winning Championships," which warns leaders to know team members' agendas. All are well-explained and many appear to be exceptionally useful. Feiner has written an important addition to the library of practical leadership.
Thought-provoking insights from glittering luminaries fill MBA in a Box: Practical Ideas From the Best Brains in Business (Crown Business, $34.95), a carefully assembled collection by former Harvard Business Review editor Joel Kurtzman.
You get Segway scooter creator Dean Kamen explaining the difference between innovation and invention (innovations fill needs and are bought and used, while inventions are ideas nobody needs), as well as Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter on strategy and Michael Milken on finance, among others. Interspersed are Kurtzman's own introductions and commentaries. The result is a muscular business reference that's worth keeping handy.
Mark Henricks is Entrepreneur's "Smart Moves" columnist.