This week’s book review is The Second Machine Age by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson.
The authors take us through a great history of social development and chart the relentless and accelerating progress of technology. They do a great job of explaining how technology has impacted society, is impacting society, and will impact society moving forward. Besides the technology itself, they cover the impact that the second machine age will have on politics, economics, social upheaval, income inequity, and more.
My takeaway from this book is that our future will be very different that our current world and that the rate of change is accelerating. The best way for us and our businesses to stay ahead of this change is to:
This week’s book review is The Business Blockchain by William Mougayar.
Although this is not an easy read, Mougayar does an excellent job of explaining the blockchain and how it is positioned to fundamentally change the way we do business. These fundamental business changes will radically impact society. The blockchain is positioned to transform any transaction or interaction requiring any level of trust. This includes; financial transactions, contract verifications, private records storage and sharing, contractual work completed, identity verification, title ownership, etc..
My takeaway from this book is that the impact Blockchain will have on our world is unknown at this point. Trying to understand the impact it will have is like someone in 1990 trying to predict the impact that the Internet would make and how things would look in 2010.
My best guess is that the Blockchain technology will evolve (like the Internet and world wide web did) and it will look quite different in 10 years from what it looks now. However, business leaders must stay abreast of the technology changes and ensure that we are leveraging them so we are riding the technology wave and not crushed by it!
This week’s book summary is The Four by Scott Galloway.
Although I may not completely agree with Galloway’s perspective in this book, he provides a combination of solid research and cynical humor to paint a picture of how a few companies are reinventing the world as we know it. His detailed study of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google show how these massive companies were formed, the market spaces they created, and the incredible societal and business impacts they have made and are making.
My takeaway from this book is Galloway’s “T Algorithm” which is his definition of the factors needed for a business to rise up and compete against The Four. The eight factors are:
The effectiveness of your leadership determines your level of success in all of your endeavors. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, who your parents are, what your education is, or who you know. You will only go as far as your leadership ability is capable of taking you!
If you don’t believe this, just ask the litany of leaders who have failed publicly over the last number of years. People like Martin Shkreli (Turing Pharmaceuticals), Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos), Martin Winterkorn (VW), or Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini (FIFA).
Your Leadership Ability is the Lid on Your Success
Leadership ability is the lid on your success. If you increase your leadership ability, you effectively raise the level of your success!
Back in the late 1990’s when I started to actively lead large teams I realized that I needed as much leadership help as possible. Fortunately, I met many great leaders who actively mentored me as my career developed.
I also discovered other leaders like John C. Maxwell who provides amazing leadership resources like his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.”
Although I first read this book in the late 90’s, this collection of profound leadership wisdom continues to provide me great insight and guidance to this day! I have never met Mr. Maxwell but I consider him to be an important mentor who has made a huge impact on my life!
Following his 21 irrefutable leadership laws will profoundly impact your leadership abilities! I have outlined each of these laws below.
I was recently reminded of how easy it is for leaders to lose sight of how much change their organization is experiencing.
One leader I spoke with has experienced a lot of downsizing in the last year and is now experiencing some very positive growth. Even though the organization is now well positioned for this growth, they are still reeling from the downsizing actions.
Another leader I spoke with continues to go through a downsizing process. Not only that but they are converting many of their staff to on-demand contractors. This is a huge cultural shift that impacts all aspects of the organization!