Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Advantage

The Advantage

Citation for Book:  Lencioni P.  The Advantage:  Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business.  Jossey-Bass; 2012

Recommended by:  Todd Sorensen,

Star Rating (1-5): 5

Review:  If you are a fan of Patrick Lencioni’s previous work (Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Death by Meeting), you’ll appreciate the way Lencioni weaves concepts from multiple books into a focused discussion on what creates healthy organizations.  If you’ve not read any of Lencioni’s previous works, you’ll appreciate the opportunity to gather some of his most important insights from years as a business consultant in one book.

The strength of The Advantage is how Lencioni takes the critical concept of “organizational health,” which has not been covered with this specificity or depth in his previous books, and creates an effective narrative via a combination of familiar concepts with new insights and effective stories from the field.  Lencioni states that organizational health is about “an organization being whole, consistent and complete.”  That it is “healthy” when its management, operations, strategy and culture fit together and make sense.  Unfortunately over his many years consulting with both large and small organizations, Lencioni has observed that achieving organizational health is illusive.  And in his experience, achieving organizational health by integrating these dimensions provides the foundation that establishes a key competitive advantage in the market sector of that organization.

While The Advantage does bring into its narrative several familiar Lencioni concepts, its notable for those who will have read prior books that The Advantage does not feel like a retread of that material.  It doesn’t seem redundant.  The focus is on collating key concepts in a way that provides guidance to a reader to address larger organizational issues than what had been the focus of those individual works previously.  It adds additional meaning and applicability to the concepts of team development, vision and organizational communication, allowing The Advantage to stand on its own with a distinctive message.

One thing that will quickly become clear to those who’ve read other books by Lencioni – The Advantage does not employ the fictional story narrative style.  This book is written in the first person from Lencioni’s perspective.  While the fictional story style was effective in illustrating key concepts and strategies, it doesn’t feel like it would be an effective writing strategy for the diversity of material presented here.


Leave a comment

Filed under Instructor Resources, Organizational Change/Excellence, Uncategorized

5 Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead


Citation for Book: Kubicek, J and Cockram, S.  5 Voices:  How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone you Lead.  Hoboken, NJ:  Wiley, 2016.

Recommended by:  Alan Spies,

Star Rating (1-5): 5

Review: Leadership is relational.  This book is a simple, powerful tool for improving the quality of relationships.  There are many books that promise to “change your life” or “maximize your capacity” but this book delivers because of its powerful simplicity. The reader can easily apply these proven principles in home and workplace. Jeremie and Steve (the authors) have masterfully created a resource that should be a mandatory read for every person who wishes to communicate and lead more effectively. I know it has humbly changed the way I view my own communication style. Before I read this book, I minimized and often resented the other four voices. Now, I actually seek voices that differ from mine. That is true transformation! If I could give this book 6 stars, I would do it.

1 Comment

Filed under Personal Development, Pharmacy Students-All, Uncategorized

Power through partnership: How women lead better together


Citation for Book: Polk, B. & Chotas, M.E. (2014). Power through partnership: How women lead better together. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Recommended by:  Kerry FIerke, Ed.D., University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy

Star Rating (1-5): 3 (liked it)


The book Power through partnership: How women lead better together, Polk and Chotas describe the differences between men and women as partners.  More importantly, there aren’t many women business partner role models to show the way.  The authors describe several benefits of healthy female partnerships — flexibility, confidence, freedom, steady support, mutual accountability and happiness.   There are stories of other women who have navigated the partnership realm.

According to Polk and Chotas “the intense give- and take of partnership is a natural fit for the interpersonal, collaborative leadership skills women so often possess and tend to undervalue rather than appreciating them for the meaningful tools they are” (34).  When looking for partners, there are three qualities 1) complementary skills, talents, and interests; 2) shared values; and 3) compatibility.  These were the most consistent qualities found in the partners interviewed for the research.

The book also covers areas of decision making, risk taking, and leveraging conflict amongst partners.  It explains how women can find their own creativity outside of the partnership (known as the rubber band theory).  The authors share ways that one can take advantage of having a partner “freedom to be yourself, the incredible support, the confidence, the equity and power that can result through it, and the ability to operationalize big goals, knowing there are at least two accountable partners to keep track and do the work.”

Power through partnership shares perspectives on partnerships through real-life examples.  Stories from women who have navigated the partnership realm as artists, musicians, business owners, non profit, and other various examples.  These stories highlight the positive experiences and challenges that can take place with today’s demands on women, including ways to conduct them. The book provides a start of a foundation on how to begin the process of partnerships, an example of women working together.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized