Bakes Takes Volume 1, Issue 4

by | Jul 1, 2024

ARTICLE | July 01, 2024

July 2024, Volume 1, Issue 4

Bake’s Takes: Recommended Reads by Jonny Baker, Strategic Consulting Partner.
Hot Take: "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it" -Oscar Wilde
As a leader you need exposure to varying perspectives, insights, and ideas. 

This month’s Top 3:

  1. Reinventing your Leadership Team, Leinwand, Mani, Sheppard
    • Great article about what a leadership team should look like.
    • Provides six paradoxical expectations of leaders and has data relating.
    • Another popout on whether your team is really leading or not included.
    • Favorite line: “You also need to establish that when the executive team gathers, it is not to approve or reject proposals but to create value together”.
  2. Teaching Smart People How to Learn, Argyris
    • The premise of this article is the smartest people are the worst learners. Captured by pinnacle performance, accolades, and success, the ability to see what can be done differently is hampered.
    • Argyris argues that single loop learning, or problem solving, is where managers spend their time. He pushes readers to get to double loop learning, or reflecting on the way you think.
    • Favorite line: “Until senior managers become aware of the ways they reason defensively, any change activity is likely to be just a fad.”
  3. One More Time, Herzberg
    • This article creates thought provocation around the misnomer that the opposite of job dissatisfaction is job satisfaction. It draws clear lines between hygiene factors which allow for organizations to not have job dissatisfaction, and motivating factors which actually drive employees to move.
    • It provides practical ways and examples to implement what is referred to as vertical job loading to create an environment where employees are highly motivated.
    • Favorite line 1: “The supervisor without checking duties to perform may then be left with little to do. After successful experiment, however, the supervisors usually discover the supervisory and managerial functions they have neglected, or which were never theirs because all their time was given over to checking the work of their subordinates.”
    • Favorite line 2: “What has been called an employee-centered style of supervision will come about not through education of supervisors, but by changing the jobs that they do.”
    • Employee engagement leads to motivated employees. According to HBR here, the 35% most effective leaders account for 100% of the engaged employees (those over 50% engagement profile). To fix employee engagement, we must fix the managers. To fix the managers we must fix the jobs that people do.

Why Bake’s Takes: I have been accused by friends, colleagues, and clients of pelting people with articles and book recommendations. Some of my mentees have stacks of books they will never get through (some of my mentors too). As such, I have decided to curate a monthly summary that holds what I deem to be the 3 best articles or reads of the month (when I read them, not published that month). I do love Harvard Business Review and you will see much of it as my work is focused on equipping leaders for the tough tasks ahead of creating vision, alignment, and execution. I have yet to find a better resource for equipping that work well.

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