Book Reviews

All Above Board: Great Governance for the Government Sector
by Julie Garland McLellan

ISBN: 978-0-98719-014-7, Publisher: Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australia, October 2011
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

Many directors of government-owned enterprises take up the role because they want to have an effect on the organisation and, through the organisation, on the society they live in and will bequeath to their children. Indeed, they are frequently appointed because the shareholder sees their passion for effecting change in that way and feels that it would add value to the board. Read more …

The Handbook of Board Governance - A Comprehensive Guide for Public, Private and Not-for-Profit Board Members
by Richard Leblanc

ISBN-13: 978-1118895504 ASIN: n/a Published: n/a
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

This is a great book; densely packed with current and cutting edge ideas delivered in a practical and action oriented format.

Richard Leblanc has become a well-established luminary in the occasionally occult and obscure field of governance. This book is his best work yet and draws on the confidence of a master practitioner by highlighting the expertise of other experts on the topic. The book is composed of eight parts each of which addresses an area of current interest in governance. Within each part there are chapters written by eminent specialists in that precise governance sub-topic. The result - a book that is authoritative and fresh with no weak spots. Read more …

The How-To Guide for Generations at Work
by Robby Slaughter

ISBN: n/a ASIN: B00JERVG2G Published: AccelaWork USA, 2013
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

"Each generation sees work differently. Your job is to help them see it from a new perspective - even if only for a moment."

This book is aimed at the hands-on manager. It hits the target right in the centre. Read more …

They Told Me Not to Take that Job - Tumult, Betrayal, Heroics, and the Transformation of Lincoln Center.
by Reynold Levy

ISBN: 978-1610393614 Published: USA, May 2015
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Everybody has a story of 'the thing they shouldn't have done, but did'. Unlike most this one turned out to be a success for both the company and person concerned.

Surely a man who has "dealt with Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, and their followers" would find chairing a not-for-profit in the arts sector more boring than daunting? Apparently not. Read more …

Eyes Wide Open - a first timer's guide to the real world of boards and company directorship.
by Robyn Weatherley

ISBN: 978-0-9942560-0-3 Published: Australia, June 2015
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Directorship is still a 'black art' in that few people who are not directors are able to state with any great confidence exactly what it is that directors do. Robyn has spent many years in and around boardrooms and is able to shed some light on the topic.

This book straddles the boundary between advising directors on how to evaluate a potential board seat and how to perform once they have accepted an offer. It does not go into any detail on how to find director opportunities or how to turn opportunities into offers to join boards. However, if you have been given an opportunity or are working towards being given one this book is a practical guide to the steps that a director should take pre and post appointment to gain a better than normal chance of success. Read more …

Board Appointments - Practical advice for finding and gaining a non executive director board appointment.
by David Schwartz

ISBN: n/a, Published: Australia, 2015
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

There have been a few publications promising advice and assistance for aspiring directors in recent years. This one has one of my favourite words in the subtitle: “Practical”. It promises, literally, practical advice in finding and gaining a board seat.

So – how does it live up to that promise? Reasonably well. Read more …

How not to Write - the essential misrules of grammar.
by William Safire

ISBN: 978-0393327236, Published: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint July 17, 2005
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

We have heard it said that to break rules with impunity you must know and understand them. William must be so intimately acquainted with grammar that, rather than merely avoiding penalty, he is rewarded. This book is so well written it is delicious!

It also breaks every one of the rules and does so with a bravado more common in bullrings than boardrooms (or publishing houses). If you want a straightforward guide to common rules of grammar just read the content list and refrain from turning a single page beyond that. If you are already confident in your writing ability then read on. You will find each rule carefully described and then cheerfully broken, smashed or pulverised. Read more …

The One Team Method - how sales and marketing collaboration can boost big business.
by Peter Strohkorb

ISBN: 9781 507834 701, Published: Australia, Februrary 2015
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

This book starts with depressing case studies of a problem most directors are painfully aware of: silos between departments that should collaborate. It provides a useful summary of symptoms which will assist in formulating questions at board level and developing KPIs for monitoring improvement strategies.

The most valuable knowledge contribution is the section on trends that are reshaping the sales world. I have read technical papers on e-commerce driven evolution of the ‘buyer’s journey’ but never one as clear as this. Read more …

Start-up Boards - Getting the Most out of Your Board of Directors.
by Brad Feld and Mahendra Ramsinghani

ISBN: 978-1118443668, Publisher: Wiley (2013)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

As a company grows a board becomes necessary. Good boards can launch a great company but bad boards can sink a venture faster than you can say 'Titanic'. This book attempts to show how founders can recruit a good board, how staff can relate to the board effectively and how directors can add value to the enterprise. It is a valiant attempt; serving the needs of different user groups in one book is as difficult as serving two masters, which we all know is something no man can do!

Against all odds this book succeeds in meeting its aims. Read more...

Boards That Lead
by Ram Charan, Dennis Carey and Michael Useem

ISBN: 1422144054 Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (November 19, 2013)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

This book came highly recommended by the chairman of one of the few proxy advisory firms that I greatly admire. When he recommends something I listen and act!

I loved the subtitle (When to Take Charge, When to Partner, and When to Stay Out of the Way) and, as always, was impressed by the vehement passion that suffuses Ram Charan's work. Read more...

Great Companies Deserve Great Boards - a CEO's Guide to the Boardroom.
by Beverley Behan

ISBN: 0230113656 Publisher: Palmgrave MacMillan (2011)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Why do so many boards just comply with all the rules, get on politely and keep a watchful eye on management without ever leading them anywhere?

Does your board fall into that category? Even sometimes …? Read More...

The New Breed of Corporate Directors - Personal glimpses and perspectives of the tone-at-the-bottom.
by Larry Taylor, Phd

ISBN: 978-1491272671 Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Directors aren't what they used to be and that is just as well!

Intriguingly subtitled 'personal glimpses and perspectives of the tone-at-the-bottom' this book appears to have a picture of a sewer on the front cover. The new breed of corporate director does, indeed, boldly go where no predecessor has ever been before. As expected, this book breaks into a terrain that is at once unmapped and yet familiar - the need for directors to play a vital strategic role and to go from setting 'tone at the top' to enforcing 'tone at the bottom'.  Read More...

Power Up Your Productivity - A practical Roadmap to Time Management Success.
by Michael Atlas

ASIN: B00DP8Z8T2 Publisher: Lightening Bolt Book Publishing, 2013
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

We have all sat at boardroom tables with directors who seem to have the uncanny knack of picking the important issues and focusing on the critical levers for success. Read More...

How to Present - The Ultimate Guide to Presenting Your Ideas and Influencing People Using Techniques That Actually Work.
by Michelle Bowden

ISBN: 978-1-118-47624-6 Publisher: Wiley (2013)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

Presenting ideas and influencing the board is an everyday occurrence for directors and senior executives. Doing it well is a rare one! Read More...

Executive Appointments and Disappointments
by John Colvin, Jusine Turnbull and Mark Blair

ISBN: 9781876604202 Publisher: Australian Institute of Company Directors (2013)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

There are few things that impact a company as profoundly as the appointment of a new CEO; it is without doubt the single most important decision a board makes. So why do so many boards get it wrong and end up in costly, distracting and embarrassing litigation with the person they believed was going to be their strongest ally? Read More...

The Start Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself and Transform your Career.
by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

ISBN: 9780 307 88890 7 Publisher: Crown Business (2012)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

You would expect the co-founder of LinkedIn to have a few insights into start-ups and a few more into how professionals launch and relaunch their careers in the internet age. This practical book gives some clear pointers for outpacing the competition even as it hots up. If you don't want to end up like the City of Detroit then this is a good place to start or re-start. Read More...

The Chairman's Red Book
by Brett Heading, Sophie Ward and Ben Wood

ISBN: not applicable Publisher: McCullough Robertson Lawyers (2012)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Every once in a while an author appears with an exquisite balance between the practical and artistic aspects of company directorship. This book gave me one of those of those happy moments. Although it is obviously self-published and is highly specific to one jurisdiction and one audience, chairmen of public companies based in Queensland, Australia, this book manages to provide guidance without patronising, legal insight without jargon and expertise without lecturing. It is, simply, a great addition to director's reading. Read More...

Business Model Generation - A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers.
by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

ISBN: 9780470876411 Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (2010)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

How does your company create value? Can you explain that convincingly to sceptical investors, inquisitive shareholders or crucial members of staff? Read More...

Vulture Cultures
by Leanne Faraday-Brash

ISBN: 978-1-922117-03-8 Publisher: Australian Academic Press (2012)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Vultures don't always wait for carrion to die before they strike; often they will target the most sensitive and delicate parts as these are the most succulent feed source. In corporate life, as in the wild, vultures survive by picking on the weak and unwary as well as feeding on the carcasses of those who have recently given up the struggle. Read More...

The Perfect Corporate Board
by Adam J. Epstein

ISBN: 978-0-07-179954-6 Publisher: Mac Graw Hill, November 2012
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Have you ever made a bad mistake that subsequently made your life far more difficult that it should have been? You are still alive (I hope) and may even have realised what that mistake was and vowed never to make it again. Read More...

Combined Assurance Case Studies on a Holistic Approach to Organizational Governance
by Gerrit Sarens, Loϊc Decaux and Rainer Lenz

ISBN: 978-0-89413-727-3, Publisher: IIA Research Foundation (2012)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Whilst much of this book is about the business of mining rather than corporate governance per se there is enough value in Part 1 (entitled 'In the Boardroom') to justify buying the entire book. Read More...

Strictly (Mining) Boardroom
by Allan Trench

ISBN: 9780987368225 Publisher: Major Street Publishing (2012)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Whilst much of this book is about the business of mining rather than corporate governance per se there is enough value in Part 1 (entitled 'In the Boardroom') to justify buying the entire book. Read More...

Directors at Work - a practical guide for boards.
by Geoff Kiel, Gavin Nicholson, Jennifer Anne Tunney and James Beck

ISBN: Publisher: Thomson Reuters (2012)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Some books are compelling. This is such a book. Although the book is long and could have done with a more severe edit there is useful advice on almost every page. Better yet, the advice is practical and actionable. Read More...

Engaging with Shareholders
by Jennifer Stafford

ISBN: 978-0987-065-605 Publisher: Australian Institute of Company Directors (2011)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

David Gonski AO, once remarked "An annual general meeting is not an engagement, it is more like a drunken one night stand with a room full of strangers'.

The Little Red Writing Book
by Mark Treddinick

ISBN: 0 86840 867 0 Publisher: University of New South Wales Press (2006)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Writing a board report is occasionally satisfying, delightful when it is done, and nerve-wracking when it is half complete (especially if the word count has already been exceeded) and nowhere near saying what you wanted it to say. Doing the exercises in this book are fun, delightful when half way through and when completed, and still satisfying days and months afterwards. So where is the connection between the two?

Financial Statements Demystified 4th Edition
by David Hey-Cunningham

ISBN: 978 1 74114 821 3 Publisher: Allen and Unwin (2006)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Figures don't lie - that is the cliché. However they can mystify the unwary director to the point where a journey through the accounts is akin to a trip through the looking glass complete with three impossible things before breakfast and always jam tomorrow!

by David Penglase

ISBN: 978-1742842004 Publisher: Bookpal (2012)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

If you could give your children, or any other loved ones, some simple advice what would you say?

This book started life as the outline for a speech on the 21st and 18th birthday celebrations of the author's sons. Luckily for us readers, it grew from there.

Where Good Ideas Come From
by Steven Johnson

ISBN: 978-1-59448-771-2 Publisher: Riverhead Books, 2010
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Where do good ideas come from? How can a board create the right environment for innovation to flourish?

These are difficult questions and this book does not claim to provide an easy solution. What it does is trace some of the elemental developments that have fostered innovative thinking Read More...

Duties and Responsibilities of Directors and Officers
by Professor Robert Baxt AO

ISBN: 9780987190154 Publisher: Australian Institute of Company Directors (2012)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

When a book gets issued in 20 editions and each one sells out there is a reasonable expectation of excellence in the mind of the buyer. In this instance buyers will find their expectations met or exceeded. Read More...

The Wise Fool's Guide to Leadership
by Peter Hawkins

ISBN: 978-1903816967 Publisher: Business Books (2005)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

This book is a hoot. Then you stop laughing and realise that you have gained an insight. Priceless! Read More...

Steve Jobs
by Walter Isaacson

ISBN: 978 1 4087 0374 8 Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2011)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Could your board cope with a stellar CEO who paid himself only one dollar a year but demanded they give him 'option mega grants' and an aeroplane? Read More...

Sell Your Thoughts How to Earn a Million Dollars a Year as a Thought Leader
by Matt Church, Peter Cook and Scott Stein

ISBN: 978-1-86950-966-8 Publisher: Harper Collins (2011)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

With almost every industry except mining in a downturn that appears to aspire to death-spiral status, it is almost inevitable that many people will be thinking about leaving their corporate positions, possibly even willingly, and working on their own. This book is written by three people who have all done that. They have done it well, made good money doing it, and have thought carefully about the processes and practices that gave them that success. Read More...

A Share Buyer's Guide to Investing in the Australian Mining Boom
by Dr Allan Trench

ISBN: 978-0-9807564-9-4 Publisher: Major Street Publishing, 2011
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Every Australian has heard the term 'two speed economy'. It refers to what appears to be a sad fact: If you work in mining you will be doing well and if you work anywhere else you should be deeply worried. Read more...

Where do Recyclable Materials Go?
by Sabbithry Persad

ISBN: 978-0-9812439-0-0 Publisher: EcoAdventures (2011)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

I wish I had read this book before accepting a board seat at Kimbriki Environmental Enterprises; it would have saved many explanations of terminology and acronyms! Read more...

You are not a Gadget; A Manifesto
by Jaron Lanier

ISBN:978-0307389978 Publisher: Vintage (2011)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

If you interact with a computer and the computer doesn't know that you are not another machine, have you lost an essential part of your humanness? Read more...

Recharge - Lessons to revitalise yourself, your team or your business in 60 minutes or less.
by Alan Hargreaves

ISBN:978-07303 7520 3 Publisher: Wright Books (a Wiley imprint), 2011
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Some people are just uncrushable. Some businesses have that same resilience. Some people just appear to effortlessly get things done or to rapidly decide what to do and then refuse to do anything else. They have great clarity and also the freedom to take action. This book explains where it comes from and how to get it. Read more...

How to Build Buzz For Your Biz - Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business.
by Wendy Nelson Kenney

ISBN:978-0-9844034-1-7, Publisher: 23 Kazoos LLC (2010)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

This is a basic marketing book for small businesses that extends classic theory into new media. It starts with a rapid assessment of who is the target customer, what they really want and how to add value to every transaction. The book then examines how to find your target customers and reach them with a compelling offer. Read more...

Julie Garland McLellan selected to judge entries in Global eBook Awards

eBooks are gaining popularity and now outsell physical books on The worldwide success of the eBook has been attributed to many factors: ease of publication, low cost, instant delivery worldwide, interactive content, and ease of updating are just a few of the more frequently mentioned benefits. Read more...

The Sixth Wave - How to succeed in a resource-limited world.
by James Bradfield Moody and Biance Nogrady

ISBN: 978-1-741-66889-6, Publisher: Vintage Books Australia (2010)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Many of us can see that resources won't be as freely available, or as easy to consume, in the future as they are now. For that prediction to be useful we also need to see how to position ourselves and our businesses to succeed in that new environment. This book makes the vision clearer and gives some thoughtful insights on creating opportunity, wealth and competitive advantage as the next 'sixth' wave of innovation comes crashing down. Read more...

Corporate Governance - a synthesis of theory, research and Practice.
by H. Kent Baker and Ronald Anderson, Editors

ISBN: 978-0-470-49913-9, Publisher: John Wily & Sons
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

This book is what multi-authorship promises but rarely delivers; wide ranging expertise and multiple perspectives that enlighten rather than confuse. Read more...

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
by Benjamin Franklin

ASIN: B000JMLMXI, Publisher: Public Domain Books (July 1, 1994)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

What could a book written in 1788 possibly have to offer that might improve governance by directors of modern day corporations? Read more...

Growth Whispering
by David Williams

ISBN:978-0646532127, Publisher: SLR Publications (April 2011)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

What is holding you back?

We all have the capacity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Most of us have done it more than once. Frequently, after we have picked ourselves up, we refocus on a different, and perhaps less ambitious, goal. Eventually this results in a life constrained by imagined boundaries of competence. Read more...

Field Guide to Developing, Operating and Restoring your Non-profit Board
by Carter McNamara

ISBN:978-1933719054, Publisher: Authenticity Consulting, LLC; 3rd edition (2008)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

I foolishly believed a field guide would fit comfortably in my pocket; this book is huge. It is also hugely useful and well worth the effort of picking up. There is a reason it is now in its third edition and I suspect that is because it gets sold out. Read more...

Mistakes Happen - make the most of them.
by Margaret Wright

ISBN:0-9775-599-1-2, Publisher: Moonstone Media, 2006
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

As the first female partner at one of Australia's "Big Four" accounting firms and a successful consultant she has made plenty of mistakes and they haven't hampered her career one bit. Margaret reckons that starting her business career as an auditor, essentially looking for other people's mistakes, gave her a big insight into identifying early warning signs and rectifying mistakes before they could spread. Read more...

Community Governance - A framework for building healthy non-profit organisations.
by David Bartlett and Paul Campey

ISBN:978-0-646-52579-2, Publisher: Resolve Publishing, 2010
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

This little book set itself the audacious task of proposing a new governance framework built around the core relationships within and around the organisation. Most governance models are based upon concepts of ownership and hierarchy rather than society and relationships. Read more...

Strategic Speed - Mobilize people, accelerate execution.
by Jocelyn R Davis, Henry M Frechette Jr. and Edwin H Boswell

ISBN: 978-1-4221-3152-7, Publisher: Harvard Business Press, 2010
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Boards are held accountable for strategy. Good boards are active in the development of strategy but they are rarely involved in the implementation of strategy; it is during implementation that most failures happen. Read more...

by Blake Beattie

ISBN: 1-74216-988-0, Publisher: Wrightbooks (Wiley), 2010
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

There are many good self-help books about goal setting. This one is different in that it approaches the topic starting with developing motivation and establishing a holistic set of goals. The book then sets practical exercises that can be undertaken to establish your own goals or adapted to establish corporate or board goals. Read more...

Selling to the C Suite
by Nicholas A. C. Read and Stephen J. Bistritz

ISBN: 978-0-07-162891-4, Publisher: McGraw Hill
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

There is a weight of evidence that salespeople are advised to sell "to the top" or to reach the highest possible level in a target organisation so as to have the greatest possible chance of closing the sale or making the sale bigger than it would otherwise have been. It has led many salespeople to dash foolishly into arenas that they are improperly prepared for and cannot survive in. Read more...

Talk Like a Winner
by Steve Nakamoto

ISBN: 978-0-0670893-5-5, Publisher: Java Books
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

This is a book about private speaking as opposed to public speaking. Few speaking arenas are as private or as important as the boardroom. The ability to communicate effectively separates the great directors from the merely good directors. It is one of the attributes that distinguish the 'winners'. Read more...

How to Tell What You Know
by Arthur Secord

ISBN: 978 1 933715 88 9, Publisher: Tremendous Life Books, 2009
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

It does not matter how clever you are, as a director, if you can't get your message understood, accepted and acted upon by the rest of the Board you are pretty much useless. Read more...

Named and Shamed
by Neryl East

ISBN: 978-0-9807212-0-1, Publisher: Jane Curry Publishing (2009)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

No-one in Australia can yet have forgotten the Wollongong scandal. Sex traded for planning permits, con men, bribes, death threats; it was a classic thriller set in a local council. For weeks it kept everyone riveted to TV screens and glued to newspapers. Read more...

101 Boardroom Problems and How to Solve Them
by Eli Mina

ISBN: 978-08144 1058 5, Publisher: Amacom, 2009
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Been there, done that, 101 times? This book will halt the vicious circle before it spins you around again. Read more...

Bad Ground
by Tony Wright

ISBN: 978 1 921208 87 4, Publisher: Pier 9, 2006
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Have you ever made a decision that resulted in someone else being harmed? Read more...

Corporate Governance
by Kenneth Kim, John Nosfinger and Derek Mohr

ISBN: 978 0 13 609 698 6, Publisher: Pearson Education Inc. 2010
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

This book is like the Starship Enterprise - it appears to go where no man has gone before. I was enchanted to follow. Read more...

Step Beyond Your Limitations
by Suzanne Mercier

ISBN: N/A (it is a CD Rom release), Publisher: Filmstretch, 2009
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

Have you ever heard a successful person attribute their success to luck or being in the right place at the right time? Have you ever felt uneasy with praise; as if you didn't really deserve it? Have you ever ignored positive feedback to focus almost entirely upon the one or two negative remarks? There is a possibility that these occurrences are evidence of the "imposter syndrome" Read more...

Write to Govern. How to write effective senior management reports and board papers
by Mary Morel

ISBN: 978-0-646-51744-5, Publisher: The M Factor, 2009
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

The trouble with most books about writing is that they are usually written by writers, for writers. This book is an exception. Written by a businesswoman, Mary Morel writes specifically for executives, consultants and salespeople who need to inform or influence the Board. Read more...

Peaks and Valleys
by Spencer Johnson, MD

ISBN: 978-1-4391-0325-8, Publisher: Atria Books, 2009
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

I rather liked 'Who Moved My Cheese?' and was happy to be presented with a copy of its sequel 'Peaks and Valleys' at a networking forum. My happiness evaporated as I read the book. Read more...

Don't Picture Me Naked
by Michelle Bowden

ISBN: 978-0-9804090-3-1, Publisher: McPherson's, 2009
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

This book caused me to revisit my presentations and rewrite my scripts. The result was noticeable and measurable: I got more liked. Read more...

Boards that Deliver
by Ram Charan

ISBN: 0-7879-7139-1, Publisher: Jossey-Bass, 2005
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

Every so often you meet someone who has the ability to state things with such clarity that they appear instantly obvious and simple. Ram Charan is one of those people. His lucid descriptions evoke real situations with all their rich complexity of detail but without any of the clutter that prevents directors from decisive value adding action. Read more...

Family Businesses: How Directors can Manage Key Issues in a Family Firm
A Directors Guide edited by Tom Nash for the Institute of Directors (IoD).

ISBN: 0-7494-2947-X, Publisher: Director Publishing, 1998
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

The difficulties inherent in balancing the goals and needs of a family with those of a business are myriad and diverse. This small book covers most of the key issues including culture, conflict resolution, shareholder agreements, finance, remuneration of family and staff, motivation, succession planning, finding roles for family members within the business and engaging family members who don't work in the business. Read more...

Waltzing with the Elephant: a comprehensive guide to directing and controlling information technology
by Mark Toomey

ISBN: 978-0-9806830-0-4, Publisher: Infonomics, 2009
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

From time to time every Board will have to make a decision on a topic that none of the individual directors knows much about. These decisions are stressful; no director likes to be totally reliant upon management or consultants. There is often insufficient time for a proper education process and, apart from getting alternative quotes and seeking information about how comparable companies are dealing with the issue, directors often take the line of least resistance and accept management's recommendation. Read more...

Learned Optimism
by Martin Seligman

ISBN: 978-1400078394, Publisher: Vintage
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

Some boards will be facing this crisis with an optimistic opportunism that is alert for every possible advantage; others will be facing the same circumstances with pessimism and a focus on minimising losses. The former will emerge poised for growth; the latter may survive. But what makes boards react in such different ways? Read more...

Billionaire in Training: Because Millionaire isn’t rich enough…
by Bradley J Sugars

ISBN: 0-9580932-0-2, Publisher: Action International Pty Ltd
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

Many aspiring company directors find the search for professional (paid) board seats so frustrating that they report it almost easier to found and grow your own business than to get a seat on the board as an independent director. This book may disabuse them of that notion. Read more...

The Art of Conversation

by Hugh Gyton with Tracey Ward

Publisher: Customer Centred Consulting, 2009
ISBN: 9780980408706, Publisher: Messenger Publishing, 2007

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

Boards reach decisions through conversation. I was therefore thrilled to find a book that explains how to make conversations more effective. Read more...

Bait and Switch

by Barbara Ehrenreich

ISBN: 1-86207-897-1, Publisher: Granta Books, 2006

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

This book recounts the highlights of a trawl through the murky world of ‘career transitions’. The author, a professional journalist with a deep dislike of corporations and their leaders, decided to attempt to gain employment by seeking paid help from various coaches, mentors, consultants and other programs. Read more...

Differencemakers; why doing good is great for business

by Ian Berry
Publisher:Customer Centred Consulting, 2009 Available from:

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

This book was designed to be read in less than 2 hours yet still leave the reader with actions they could confidently take to make a positive difference. Read more...

The Boardroom Entrepreneur

by Mike Southon and Chris West
ISBN: 1-8441-3818-6, Publisher: Random House

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

This book is a good read: full of simple clear advice for building an entrepreneurial spirit in even the largest of companies. It is for executives more than board members. Read more...

Presenting Phenomenally

by Derek Arden
ISBN-13:978-0954524586, Publisher: Tiptree House Publishing

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

A presentation that works? Why are some presenters credible and others not? Why do we want to do as some presenters suggest (or urge) but not as others do? I saw Derek present. His topic that day was `how to negotiate a higher fee'. Following the presentation I negotiated a fee that was double my previous highest fee. I have seen other negotiators attempt to teach their craft. Some taught me so well I could repeat all their key points. But none, until then, gave me the confidence to go out and apply that knowledge. Read more...

Boardrooms that Work: A guide to board dynamics

by Margot Cairnes
ISBN: 1-876604-25-5, Publisher: Australian Institute of Company Directors and Group of 100, 2003

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

This is a succinct little book that distils meaning from a variety of observations and references to create a clear and simple message that is delivered in under an hour. Read more...

Managing Whole People

by Mark F. Herbert
ISBN: 978-0-9799394-2-6, Publisher: Real House Press, San Diego, California 2008

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

This is an interesting little book, written entirely in the first person. The narrative traces the life and learnings of an HR practitioner; a sort of Pilgrim’s Progress for an HR believer. It is a great book for people who like autobiographies and hate textbooks. Read more...

The Humm Handbook; Lifting your level of emotional intelligence

by Christopher Golis
ISBN: 978 192 133 2029, Publisher: Wilkinson Publishing, 2007

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

This is a practical compendium of simple tools for improving management of diverse personality types. The engineer in me absolutely loved the logical development of the framework, starting from the historical context for character type assessment, building through the simple emotional preferences into stereotypes and then into tools for managing each stereotype effectively. Read more...

The Dip

by Seth Godin
ISBN: 978-0-7499-2830-8, Publisher: Piatkus Books, 2007

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

You will get better at anything you attempt if you put in the effort. After a while you will need to put in more and more effort for less and less gain. If you stick to your guns you will emerge as one of the few experts at whatever it is you chose to do. Read more...

Boards That Work

by Geoffrey Kiel and Gavin Nicholson
ISBN: 0-074071237-3, Publisher: McGraw-Hill Australia, 2003

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

This is one of the most well-read books I have; I refer to it all the time. What makes it so good? It is practical. Anyone reading this book can build a board charter and develop their own framework for analysing and improving the efficiency of their board. I should hate it! It could leave me unemployed! Read more...

Chairman of the Board; a Role in the Spotlight

Edited by Judith Madigan
ISBN: 978-1876604707, Publisher: Australian Institute of Company Directors, 2006

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

The most exciting thing about this book is the timing of its release. Shortly before the book was written OneTel Ltd (a publicly listed company) collapsed and there was intense media speculation about the role of the board and individual directors in the events leading up to the collapse. Read more...

The Way of the Superior Man

by David Deida
ISBN: 978-1-59179-257-4, Publisher: Sounds True Inc, 2004

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

Obviously, I am not the ideal target audience for this book. This book was recommended to me by a friend. I found it a confronting and difficult read. That said; it did seem to explain some of the unfortunate dynamics that I have witnessed between men and women in the boardroom. Read more...

Three Dimensional Ethics: Implementing Workplace Values

by Attracta Lagan and Brian Moran
ISBN: 0-9757422-3-X, Publisher: E Content Management, 2006

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

This book is deceptive! It looks small and lightweight and the tone is wonderfully clear and easy to assimilate but the content is deep and wide ranging. At the end of this book the reader will have covered ethical thinking from its earliest applications to the business environment right up to the present day. Read more...

The Board: Behind Closed Doors with the Directors of DFP, Inc.

by James R. Ukropina
ISBN: 1403382557, Publisher: Greenleaf Publishing, 2004

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

Boards are secretive. Although transparency and open disclosure are de rigueur for business activities, the boardroom is shrouded in a veil of confidentiality. Minutes are rarely a full transcript and, unless you are actually on the board, or in the room with them, you won't know how decisions were reached, who said what, to whom, how or why. Read more...

Corporate Social Opportunity! 7 steps to make corporate social responsibility work for your business

by David Grayson and Adrian Hodges
Publisher: Greenleaf Publishing, 2004

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

There is a tense stand off in our boardrooms between those who view corporate citizenship as essential for a valuable brand and future 'license to operate' and those who firmly espouse the view that 'the business of business is business'. Read more...

Inside the Boardroom: How Boards Really Work and the Coming Revolution in Corporate Governance

by Richard Leblanc and James Gillies
ISBN: 0-470-83520-6, Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.

Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan

It is fascinating to glimpse the habits and practises of others when they don't realise that they are being watched. In this remarkable book Richard Leblanc gives first hand accounts of his observations during a five-year study of real board meetings in 29 commercial companies, 6 not-for- profit organisations and 4 government owned enterprises. Read more...