From Tom Peters, to Sheryl Sandberg, to John Kotter, 17 Years of April Selections for the First Friday Book Synopsis

Here’s a short journey down memory lane.

This Friday, April 4, 2014, we will begin our 17th year of the First Friday Book Synopsis.  Every month (with only a couple of weather related exceptions), Karl Krayer and I have hosted this monthly learning/networking/eating event. Each month, Karl and I each present a 15 minute (or so) synopsis of a useful, usually best-selling, business book.

Can I be just a little self-congratulatory? There have been a lot of events come and go, but ours has continued for 16 full years –and, we are still going strong.

Why?  Because there is always a new, valuable, useful business book to read and present.  Because the people who come want to learn.  And because the conversations they share with one another are rich and meaningful.  (And, because the breakfast at the Park City Club really is just…wonderful!  We started at the University Club, now closed.  The move to the Park City Club was a “lucky break…”).

Since we started in April, 1998, I thought I would go back and look at my April selections for each of the years.  (Confession:  there is a slight possibility that a selection I list from the earliest years was actually presented by Karl, not me.  My memory is a little hazy about a few of these earliest selections).

I realize that the April selection list is arbitrary — I presented books each month of each year. But, just this arbitrary list holds some real gems!  Like: The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp, one of my all-time favorite books to present; The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, a genuinely important book; Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, back at #1 in this month’s New York Times Best Sellers list.  But each and every selection has valuable insight for any business thinker…

And, maybe there is some kind of cosmic message in the fact that I began with a Tom Peters book.  If you do not follow Tom on Twitter, you are definitely missing out.

So, here’s my list of my April selections, from 1998, through next week’s XLR8 by Jon Kotter.   (And, of course, Karl Krayer has also presented one book each April since April, 1998…).

(If you are in the DFW area next Friday, come join us.  To register, click here.)

April, 1998
The Circle of Innovation by Tom Peters (Alfred A. Knopf, 1997)The-Circle-of-Innovation-9780375401572

April, 1999
On Competition by Michael Porter (Harvard Business School Press, 1998)

April, 2000
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M Christensen (Harvard Business School Press, 2000)

April, 2001
The Customer Revolution (Let Your Customers Transform Your Business) by Patricia B. Seybold with contributors Ronni T. Marshak and Jeffrey M. Lewis (Crown Publishing: 2001)

April, 2002
Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Annie McKee, Richard E. Boyatzis (Harvard Business School Press, 2002)

April, 2003
Geeks and Geezers: How Era, Values, and Defining Moments Drive Growth by Warren G. Bennis, Robert J. Thomas (Harvard Business School Pr., 2002)

April, 2004
The Creative Habit:  Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp Simon & Schuster (2003)TheCreativeHabit

April, 2005
Overpromise and Overdeliver: The Secrets of Unshakable Customer Loyalty by Rick Barrera  (Portfolio Hardcover, 2004)

April, 2006
Executive Intelligence : What All Great Leaders Have by Justin Menkes (Collins , 2005)

April, 2007
How She Does It: How Women Entrepreneurs Are Changing the Rules of Business Success by Margaret Heffernan. (Viking Adult, 2007).

April, 2008
The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking by Roger L. Martin.  (Harvard Business School Press, 2007).

April, 2009
Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity by Michael Lewis (Editor). (W.W. Norton & Co., 2008).

April, 2010
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande. (Metropolitan Books, 2009).

April, 2011
Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself by William C. Taylor. (William Morrow, 2011).

April, 2012
What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation by Gary Hamel.  (Jossey-Bass, 2012).

April, 2013
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg (Knopf, 2013).Lean In

April, 2014
(XLR8) Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving Worldby John P. Kotter.  (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014).


15minadFor the past few years, we recorded our presentations.  Most of these are available to purchase from our companion site,  Each synopsis comes with a comprehensive, multi-page handout, plus the audio recording of our presentations.


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