The Book: Bury My Heart at Conference Room B: The Unbeatable Impact of Truly Committed Managers by Stan Slap, Hardcover, August 2010.
In 2010, 800-CEO-READ moved to our newly remodeled "world headquarters" and with all this new space, we had walls that needed filling. Lots of pictures of me, of course, but I've got to keep my ego in check. What to put on the rest of the walls? As you can imagine, we get lots of books through our door, so there are plenty of sources of inspirations for quotes to put on those walls.
In Bury my Heart in Conference Room B, we found the following quote, which will soon adorn the wall of our new conference room: "The irreducible essence of leadership is that leaders are people who live their deepest personal values without compromise, and they use those values to make life better for others—this is why people become leaders and why people follow leaders."
In this one quote, I could tell that Stan Slap had penned one of the smartest and most compelling books on leadership I have been lucky enough to read. On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis has been my totem of the genre, though even in that excellent book, this amorphous subject remains slippery.
That is why this book is special: Slap uses his research with over 10,000 managers from seventy countries to point out dichotomies that encapsulate the problems the modern business manager faces. For example:
The personal values that an overwhelming number of managers in every position in every country reported as being most important to them:
The personal values that those same managers reported as being the most under pressure to compromise in order to do their jobs successfully:
Bury my Heart in Conference Room B will help managers become better leaders and, on the way, become committed managers. Slap's methodology is to help managers become committed first to themselves, to live their personal values at work which, as the quote in the first paragraph states, is why people become leaders in the first place, and why people follow them.
Reviewer Jack Covert is the founder of 800-CEO-READ, a leading bookseller to corporations and large organizations, based in Milwaukee.