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The most consistent source of high-quality business articles written for the business person is the Harvard Business Review. Some favorites follow:

Collins, Jim, "Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve," HBR, January 2001, 66–76.

Good to Great, the # 1 best selling business book of the last ten years busted the myth about leaders of great businesses. No, they are generally not charismatic larger-than-life heroes. They are humble, passionately-focused people.

Collis and Montgomery, "Creating Corporate Advantage," HBR, May/June 1998, 70–83.

How do you align your strategy, structure, control processes, and human resources to maximize your chances of success? Three different models are discussed based on Tyco, Sharp Electronics, and Newell Rubbermaid.

Couter, Diane L., "Sense and Reliability—A Conversation with Celebrated Psychologist Karl E. Werck," HBR, April 2003, 84–90.

Ed heard Karl Werck talk in February 2005 at one of my conferences about high reliability organizations, and in 30 minutes he added a whole new dimension to his thought process. Successful organizations not only reward values they cherish, they also focus on non-desired behaviors. This article discusses high reliability organizations like air traffic controller teams, fire fighters, and emergency room personnel.

Drucker, Peter F., "Managing Oneself," HBR, March/April 1999, 64–74.

A wonderful article about the toughest management job in the world—managing yourself. Most people do not spend the time to assess themselves and put themselves into position to play to their strengths. Drucker’s "mirror" test is a good one for any leader, parent, or partner.

Magretta, Joan, "Governing the Family-Owned Enterprise: An Interview with Finland’s Krister Ahlstrom," HBR, Jan-Feb 1998, 112–123.

A thought-provoking interview with the non-family CEO of a large multi-generational family business dealing with issues of governance, the different roles family members play, how to keep the family connected to the business, the roles of Family Councils, and a Family Values Statement.

Miller, Warren D., "Siblings and Succession in the Family Business," HBR Jan-Feb 1998, 22–36.

Three family members vying to be the successor CEO is the recipe for disaster. This Harvard case study is illustrative of the problems of having too many family members working in the business. Four outside experts present their advice. Some practical, some not.

Pearson, Andrall E., "Tough-Minded Ways to Get Innovative," HBR, August 2002, 117–124.

The former President of Pepsi Co. has more good advice in these seven pages than most books have. He demystifies innovation and growth.

Porter, Lorsch, Norhia, "Seven Surprises for New CEOs," HBR, October 2004, 62–72.

A good article for new CEOs of both public and private companies—and yes, family businesses. Generally, CEOs overestimate how fast and how much they can impact an organization. Lessons to be learned—do not think it is about you, and do not lose touch with the line employees and customers.

Rogers, Holland, and Haas, "Value Acceleration: Lessons from Private Equity Masters," HBR, June 2002, 94–101.

Private equity firms have an expertise in buying firms, operating them for a few years, and either doing an IPO or selling the business at a very good return. Why can these financial engineers run businesses better than management? The authors of the consulting firm, Bain & Company, studied 2,000 private equity transactions and came away with four key managerial principles that can apply to your business, too.

Slywotzky, Adrian J., and Richard Wise, "The Growth Crisis and How to Escape It," HBR, July 2002, 72–83.

In the decade of the 1990s, less than 10% of the public companies grew their revenues 10% or more in eight or more years. Consistent top-line growth is hard. What works? Geographical expansion, acquisitions, price increases, innovation? Their answer lies in your existing customer relationships.

Special Issue: "Inside the Mind of the Leader," HBR, January 2004.

Buy this whole journal. It contains good articles by Warren Bennis (Geeks and Geezers), Daniel Goleman (Primal Leadership), Colleen Barrett of Southwest Airlines, and David Gergen.


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