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Former CEO: Peter Straarup's Top Mgmt. Books

Former CEO: Peter Straarup's Top Mgmt. Books

imageby Peter Straarup

Peter Straarup is the former CEO of Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark and amongst the largest in the nordics. He worked at Danske Bank for over 40 years, and held a wide variety of positions, before ascending to the very top. He held the job as CEO for 14 years. He has always been an avid reader, and used management books throughout his career. This is a list of some of his favorites, with reflections from Peter himself: Management, tasks, responsibilities, practices | Peter Drucker Druc... Read more

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Jack: Straight from the Gut

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2001 | Jack Welch, John A. Byrne, Mike Barnicle

As CEO of General Electric for the past twenty years, he has built its market cap by over $500 billion and established himself as the most admired business leader in the world. His championing of initiatives like Six Sigma quality, globalization, and e-business have helped define the modern corporation. At the same time, he's a gutsy boss who has forged a unique philosophy and an operating system that relies on a "boundaryless" sharing of ideas, an intense focus on people, and an informal, give-and-take style that makes bureaucracy the enemy. In anecdotal detail and with self-effacing humor, Jack Welch gives us the people (most notably his Irish mother) who shaped his life and the big hits and the big misses that characterized his career. Starting at GE in 1960 as an engineer earning $10,500, Jack learned the need for "getting out of the pile" when his first raise was the same as everyone else's. He stayed out of the corporate bureaucracy while running a $2 billion collection of GE businesses-in a sweater and blue jeans-out of a Hilton in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. After avoiding GE's Fairfield, Connecticut headquarters for years, Jack was eventually summoned by then Chairman Reg Jones, who was planning his succession. There ensued one of the most painful parts of his career-Jack's dark-horse struggle, filled with political tension, to make it to the CEO's chair. A hug from Reg confirmed Jack was the new boss-and started the GE transformation. Welch walks us through the "Neutron Jack" years, when GE's employment rolls fell by more than 100,000 as part of a strategy to "fix, sell, or close" each business-and how he used the purchase of RCA to provide a foundation for the company's future earnings. There were mistakes, too-and Jack confronts them openly. In "Too Full of Myself," he describes one of the biggest blunders: the purchase of Kidder Peabody, which ran counter to GE's culture. The riveting story of his last year-the elaborate process of selecting a successor and the attempt to buy Honeywell-is also told in compelling detail. This book is laced with refreshing interludes, such as "A Short Reflection on Golf," that capture Jack's competitiveness and the importance of friendship in his life. JACK: STRAIGHT FROM THE GUT is destined to become both a business classic and a deeply personal journey filled with passion and a sheer lust for life.

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Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

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1994 | James C. Collins, Jerry I. Porras

"This is not a book about charismatic visionary leaders. It is not about visionary product concepts or visionary products or visionary market insights. Nor is it about just having a corporate vision. This is a book about something far more important, enduring, and substantial. This is a book about visionary companies." So write Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in this groundbreaking book that shatters myths, provides new insights, and gives practical guidance to those who would like to build landmark companies that stand the test of time. Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Collins and Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies -- they have an average age of nearly one hundred years and have outperformed the general stock market by a factor of fifteen since 1926 -- and studied each company in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day -- as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: "What makes the truly exceptional companies different from other companies?" What separates General Electric, 3M, Merck, Wal-Mart, Hewlett-Packard, Walt Disney, and Philip Morris from their rivals? How, for example, did Procter & Gamble, which began life substantially behind rival Colgate, eventually prevail as the premier institution in its industry? How was Motorola able to move from a humble battery repair business into integrated circuits and cellular communications, while Zenith never became dominant in anything other than TVs? How did Boeing unseat McDonnell Douglas as the world's best commercial aircraft company -- what did Boeing have that McDonnell Douglas lacked? By answering such questions, Collins and Porras go beyond the incessant barrage of management buzzwords and fads of the day to discover timeless qualities that have consistently distinguished out-standing companies. They also provide inspiration to all executives and entrepreneurs by destroying the false but widely accepted idea that only charismatic visionary leaders can build visionary companies. Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the twenty-first century and beyond.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

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1989 | Stephen R. Covey, Jim Collins

When Stephen Covey first released The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the book became an instant rage because people suddenly got up and took notice that their lives were headed off in the wrong direction; and more than that, they realized that there were so many simple things they could do in order to navigate their life correctly. This book was wonderful education for people, education in how to live life effectively and get closer to the ideal of being a ‘success’ in life. But not everyone understands Stephen Covey’s model fully well, or maybe there are some people who haven’t read it yet. This is definitely true because we still see so much failure all around us. Now, I am not saying that by using Covey’s model, or anyone else’s model for that matter, you can become a sure-shot success, but at least we should have seen many more successes around us already judging by the number of copies the book has sold! So, where is the shortcoming? There are two main problems here, and we are talking only about the people who have read the book already. The first problem is that most people are too lazy to implement the ideals of Stephen Covey in their lives. They consider his masterpiece of a book as a mere coffee-table book or a book that you use for light reading when you are traveling and then forget all about it. They do not realize that this book contains life-changing information. Or, they take the information and do not make the effort to actually utilize it so that it becomes knowledge for them. The second problem is that a lot of people have a myopic view of Covey’s ideals. These are people who are impressed by the book already. If you ask them what the seven habits are, they can rattle them off end to end, but then they miss the larger picture. They do not understand that Covey was trying to tell more than he wrote in words. There are hidden implications in this book, yes, and a lot of people have just failed to see through them. That is what we are trying to do. We are trying to show you how Covey’s book, or rather, his model, was a complete model in itself. There was nothing amiss about it. If you implement it, there should be no aspect of your life that should go untouched. The only thing is that you have to understand these ideals and try to implement them in your life. But, before we barge into that area, it is extremely important to understand what these ideals are. What was the model that was propounded by Stephen Covey in his mega-famous book? We shall begin by trying to understand his model first, and then interpret it in such a way that it pertains to every aspect of our life

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HR Transformation: Building Human Resources from the Outside in

2009 | Dave Ulrich,Wayne Brockbank,Jon Younger,Mark Nyman,Justin Allen

Named as BusinessWeek's #1 Management Educator, expert Dave Ulrich and his team of authors bring human resources a whole new way of thinking and practicing--moving the focus from internal issues to actively helping to set business strategies. Businesses of the future need "all hands on deck" when implementing new ways to stimulate grown and cost efficiency, and this includes human resources. In HR Transformation, the team presents a four-phase model of transformation that shows you step-by-step how to make meaningful progress in contributing to the performance of your company by redesigning HR to work as a strategic partnership. From the "#1 Management Educator & Guru"-BusinessWeek "The authors have presented us with an accessible, readable, and practical illustration of a clear path for successful strategy execution in a complex environment." -Majed Al Romaithi, Executive Director, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority "HR can only transform organizations if it transforms HR. This book shows us how. HR Transformation would have been important in the past-it is critical now! We are entering a new world. HR Transformation can help our organizations thrive in the midst of uncertainty." -Marshall Goldsmith, author of the Wall Street Journal bestsellers What Got You Here Won't Get You There and Succession: Are You Ready? "Ulrich and his colleagues talk tough and provide a detailed blueprint for how those of us in the field can use our own tools to do a "720-degree" evaluation of ourselves. We cannot contribute to the success of our organizations until we upgrade ourselves." -Linda A. Hill, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School "Based on groundbreaking research with hundreds of companies and thousands of executives, HR Transformation provides compelling theory and practical tools to create alignment between strategy, systems, and people. This important book should be read carefully by leadership teams everywhere." -Mark Huselid, Professor of HR Strategy, Rutgers University, Co-author of The HR Scorecard, The Workforce Scorecard, and The Differentiated Workforce Turn to the front matter for more than thirty rousing endorsements of HR Transformation. INCLUDES CASE STUDIES FROM Intel, Pfizer, Takeda, Flextronics

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