Recommended Resource – The Leader Phrase Book

The Leader Phrase Book: 3000+ Powerful Phrases That Put You In Command

by Patrick Alain

About the Reference

The Leader Phrase Book by Patrick Alain provides professionals with the ‘right thing to say’ across a multitude of situations and spectrum of approaches. These phrases can help anyone prepare for interactions of all kinds with seniors, peers, and subordinates. A small sample of the situations covered include:

  • General Conversation – How to Agree, How to Disagree
  • At Work – How to Ask for a Raise, How to Ask for Time Off
  • Conflicts and Anger – How to Diffuse a Tense Situation, How to Stop a Conflict Between Other People
  • Diplomacy – How to Open Up a Topic for Debate, How to Wrap Up a Debate
  • Negotiation – How to Ask a Question, How to Stall
  • Problem Solving – How to Address/Acknowledge a Problem, How to Ask Someone for Help
  • Courtesy – How to Offer Your Help, When Someone Asks You for Help
  • Machiavellian Techniques – How to Destabilize Someone, How to Threaten Someone

Benefits of Using this Reference

StrategyDriven Contributors like The Leader Phrase Book because of its broad situational applicability and immediately implementable recommendations. This book helps new and experienced professionals build out their communications toolkit with approaches that will help them gracefully navigate difficult situations. Whether one desires to be formal or casual, courteous or rude, The Leader Phrase Book can be used to prepare for difficult conversations and, with practice, its phrases will become second nature; enabling the professional to adapt ‘on-the-fly’ when challenging circumstances arise. For its quality and actionable insights, The Leader Phrase Book is a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Recommended Resource – Creative Thinkering

Creative Thinkering: Putting Your Imagination to Work
by Michael Michalko

About the Reference

Creative Thinkering by Michael Michalko provides readers with actionable methods to tap into and broaden their natural creativity. Aimed at those who question their imaginative abilities, Michael reveals a systematic approach to generating new ideas through the association of two or more dissimilar subjects; resulting in the generation of entirely new products, services, and methods.

Throughout Creative Thinkering, Michael provides detail rich examples of his method’s application as well as challenging the reader to develop his or her own capabilities through numerous thought experiments. These elements transform this book from one that simply provides a method into one that is a teaching manual; helping even the most rigid of thinkers expand their creative horizons.

Benefits of Using this Reference

StrategyDriven Contributors like Creative Thinkering because of its immediately implementable methods for expanding one’s creative output. Michael clearly illustrates that anyone can be highly creative and through his plentiful thought experiments convinces even the most rigid thinkers that they too can be the source of highly original ideas. In a fast moving world that requires continuous adaptation, Creative Thinkering can help arm any professional with a crucial skill needed to remain competitive.

StrategyDriven Contributors have long benefited from Michael’s insights on creativity. We thoroughly enjoyed his earlier book, Thinkertoys and have applied the methods he prescribes therein to our work almost every day. If we had one criticism of Creative Thinkering it would be that Michael’s new book is not as ‘fun’ as his last – but it is by all accounts just as valuable.

Overcoming ones creative doubts is a key ingredient to taking the actions necessary to remain competitive in our highly innovative and rapidly changing world. Michael’s book provides those with such doubts a clear method for dealing with their rigidness and conceiving the truly unique; making Creative Thinkering a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Recommended Resource – The Black Swan

StrategyDriven Book ReviewThe Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Black swan events are by definition unpredictable, catastrophic, and retrospectively believed to have been fully predictable and by extension less impactful.

About the Reference

In his book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb illustrates the truly unpredictable nature of black swan events. He shows how the limits of human imagination and available information hide the possibility of these events from us regardless of the retrospective assertions made by ‘the experts.’ Dr. Taleb goes on to reveal micro-level black swans that influence the day-to-day success and failure of companies and individual employees.

Benefits of Using this Reference

The Black Swan brings to the forefront the reality of unpredictable events. Through his proof of their existence, Dr. Taleb creates a mandate for executives and managers to examine and prepare their organization to deal with black swan events at the corporate and employee level.

The one shortcoming of Dr. Taleb’s book is the absence of a set of guiding protocols or principles for effectively dealing with black swan events once they occur. This remains as an outstanding research and development project for the reader with no initial direction provided.

StrategyDriven likes The Black Swan for its exposure of unpredictable events and the inferred call to action to prepare one’s organization to deal with these catastrophes commensurate with the organization’s overall risk profile; making The Black Swan a StrategyDriven recommended read.


“LinedIn’s simple philosophy: Relationships Matter”


About the Resource

LinkedIn is a free online networking service connecting 24 million experienced professionals worldwide. Members create biographies viewable by the internet community that include as many of the following attributes as desired:

  • background summary and photo
  • current and past employment experience including company, position, and job description
  • education including school, degree conferred, years attended, special activities, and recognition
  • membership in professional groups and associations
  • honors and awards received
  • industry affiliation
  • personal, professional, or business website links

LinkedIn allows members to build their networks by connecting with other members they know through current or past business, school, or personal relationships. Members can further expand their networks by joining one or more corporate, alumni, and/or professional LinkedIn groups and by getting introduced to other members through people they know. LinkedIn also offers paid subscriptions that give premium members tools for finding and reaching people outside of their network.

Benefits of Using this Resource

Networks are an increasingly important part of every professional’s career. LinkedIn helps members build and maintain their network as well as affording them the opportunity to:

  • find potential clients, service providers, subject matter experts, and partners
  • post and distribute job listings
  • find high-quality passive candidates
  • be found for business opportunities
  • search for employment opportunities
  • leverage inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals

The quality of these opportunities is further validated by the recommendations members provide for others with whom they have a relationship.

Final Thought…

Relationships, not business card networks, are a cornerstone of every successful professional career. LinkedIn is a premier tool for helping experienced professionals stay connected with those in their network, however, it cannot create or maintain relationships. Professionals must personally develop and nurture the relationships within their network. It is through active relationships and quality interactions with others that the full measure of LinkedIn’s benefits can be realized.

Recommended Resource – The Welch Way

The Welch Way
a weekly BusinessWeek column and podcast
by Jack and Suzy Welch

About the Reference

The Welch Way is a weekly BusinessWeek column and podcast authored by former GE CEO Jack Welch and his wife, the former editor of the Harvard Business Review, Suzy Welch. These articles cover a wide range of business and career topics offering readers the insights of one of America’s most respected Chief Executives.

Benefits of Using this Reference

Mr. and Mrs. Welch have both achieved unparalleled personal and business success and share their life’s lessons in an actionable way each week within their column. StrategyDriven contributors find great value in The Welch Way not only because it contains step-by-step methods to deal with today’s business and career challenges but because the topics addressed often focus on those areas important to organization’s aspiring to become more strategy driven.

Many of the best practice recommendations found on the StrategyDriven website compliment the actions prescribed in The Welch Way, making this column a StrategyDriven recommended read.