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Flashback To Best New Leadership Book Of 2016


Originally published in December 2016:

After reading nearly 30 new books about leadership this past year, my pick for 2016's best new leadership book is, Mastering the Challenges of Leading Change, by H. James Dallas. Technically, the book came out in the fall of 2015, but gained its popularity and momentum in 2016, hence my selection as my 2016 pick.


Virtually every business is undergoing change. And, one of the most difficult things for a leader to do is to successfully lead a change initiative. And, change is what most employees fear most. That's why, says Brown that on average nearly 75 percent of change initiatives fail. What's more...

When the rate of external change exceeds the rate of internal change, the end is in sight.

Fortunately, Brown has written what I consider to be one of the most straight-forward, practical and timely books on how to lead a transition through change effectively.

H. James Dallas

More specifically, Brown covers much more than tasks, timing and technologies. He also covers the all-important four cornerstones of priorities, politics, people and perseverance.

You'll learn how to:
  • Set a course for change
  • Create a core team to prioritize tasks and move forward quickly
  • Set expectations 
  • Communicate effectively 
  • Craft a message that motivates and avoids certain words
  • Read minds and other methods for assessing progress
  • Understand and effectively work group dynamics to overcome resistance
  • Master the humble art of building trust
  • Put out fires and fix what breaks along the way
  • Institutionalize and leverage change
  • Develop talent as a sponsor 
Brown shares that the four things in particular you should share to ease employees' anxiety about change are:
  1. The process that will be used to determine exactly what will change and how.
  2. The people who will be involved in the process. (Make sure that at some point that includes them, even if it's just in the form of a feedback meeting).
  3. The timing of the process.
  4. When the next update will be.
I selected, Mastering the Challenges of Leading Change, as the best new leadership book for 2016 because it:
  • Provides "real-world" and practical everyday steps you can take.
  • Gives you specific techniques and tactics.
  • Capsulizes "Chapter Tweets" and "Coaching Moments" for you at the end of each chapter.
  • Is easy to read and absorb.


H. James Dallas has more than 30 years of experience bridging the gap between strategy and execution, using IT for competitive advantage, and developing leadership.

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