The Executive Summary Challenge

“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice” – T.S. Eliot

One of the perks of working for a Fortune 100 company is that it typically comes with a wealth of training and knowledge at your fingertips. I’ve always enjoyed the video tutorials and online database of content via and Microsoft, but another equally impressive resource is Books 24×7 by Skillsoft. Introduced to me originally by Accenture, I was pleasantly surprised to see Big Red have this available to employees as well.

And with that introduces the Executive Summary Challenge. Books 24×7 sends me an email every couple weeks with new Executive Summary reports of popular business books. These ES reports are basically a shortened (5-10 pages) outline of the full text in a very easy to digest and understand level. I’ve always wanted to read the best business books on the market, but hated how these books completely contradict one of the concepts of business that I define as success: be direct, be succinct, and be brief. Unfortunately though, you can’t sell a book that is only 5-10 pages long, so most authors add hundreds of pages of fluff to fill the unnecessary void. Enter the beauty of the Executive Summaries – all the meat, sans pointless fluff. Its a fast-paced business leader’s dream come true.

This week, I received an email of the 10 most popular Executive Summaries available and will take on the challenge of reading and reviewing them all on my blog in 2014. I am graduated with my MBA in May, and no doubt will miss the fun-filled nights of reading boring business cases and texts, so this will be a nice way to maintain my educational learning. These will be short reviews in honor of the short summaries … because brevity deserves brevity! Below are the list of book summaries scheduled for this challenge, many of which you have probably read or heard of. Hopefully they prove to be a valuable addition to my learning and career aspirations.

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do what we Do in Life and Business
  • 52 Essential Habits for Success
  • Working with Emotional Intelligence
  • How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships that Really Work
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
  • Well Said! Presentations and Conversations that Get Results
  • Extreme Productivity: Boost your Results. Reduce Your Hours
  • True North (done, I read it for my leadership class last fall)
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (done, read for Management class last summer)

About Exec Summaries (from Skillsoft):
Quick insight into the thinking and best practices of today’s thought leaders and business gurus. ExecSummaries supports the multi-tasking lifestyle of busy professionals by providing concise content online, in downloadable text formats, and MP3 – all easily accessible from a PC or mobile device.

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