Gabor Holch's articles

Lost in Translation

Culture clashes between global headquarters and China branches.

Read in EUROBiz Online.

Corss-Cultural Leadership Skills are Not What You Think

Engage your teams through individual strengths to create trust, community and results rather than emphasizing cultural differences.

Read in Chief Learning Officer Magazine.

People Development: Stop Spending, Start Thinking

Acknowledinging the battle between our modern urge to consume and the instictive need to grow is essential for productive people development.

Read in Chief Learning Officer Magazine.

Leading millennials: The disruptive return of a million-year dillemma

Research on millennials makes fascinating reading. Never before have we dedicated so much time and effort to understanding the talents, needs and tastes of next-generation workers. But results don't come easily.

Read in EUROBiz Online.

Books by experts and academics at the cutting edge of leadership are a major source of this blog and my consulting solutions. I read (and re-read) each book in this carefully selected list, and some of the authors have supported my work in person. They represent the latest & greatest in decision-making, neuroscience, intercultural management and much more, and I do believe that reading them with the right attention can be a life-changing experience. 

The Culture Map
The Culture Map cover.png

One of the best intercultural business books I have ever read, whose Amazon introduction does a perfect job: " Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously together." The book manages to stay away from cultural clichés, doesn't shy away from how emotional we get when our cultural concepts are challenged (also pointing out that discussing cultures are like discussing mothers), and leaves the reader with practical suggestions. (Click the cover for details.)

The Age of Pluralism
The Age of Pluralism David Clive Price c

True to the changing nature of business and global leadership, David's book combines seemingly contradictory approaches to working across cultures: the personal, the professional and the poetic. This makes it an enjoyable read, while it also offers an insight into two powerful methodologies that would otherwise take many more hours of reading time. One is the Bamboo Strong method from his previous book from that title. Another is the Global DISC personality assessment method, which is used by leading multinationals to align their management teams' personal strengths with the requirements of international leadership jobs. (Click the cover for details.)

The Power of Habit

Perhaps the most-quoted book in my blog, in The Power of Habit Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into narratives, Duhigg brings to life a new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. (Click the cover for details.)

Give and Take

For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return. Using his pioneering research, Adam Grant shows that these styles have a surprising impact on success. Although some givers get exploited and burn out, the rest achieve extraordinary results across a wide range of industries.  (Click the cover for details.)

The Leading Brain

The understanding of how our brains work has radically shifted, exploding long-held myths about our everyday cognitive performance and changing the way we engage and succeed in the workplace. Combining expertise in both neuropsychology and management consulting, neuropsychologist Friederike Fabritius and leadership expert Dr. Hans W. Hagemann (my colleague at the Munich Leadership Group) present powerful strategies for achieving top performance, cultivating trust and building strong teams. Based on global leadership programs, some of which I personally delivered, it has what you always wanted to know about the brain and leadership, but may have been afraid to ask. (Click the cover for details.)

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams. Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech's CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni's gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight. (Click the cover for details.)

Leadership and Self-Deception

Through a story everyone can relate to about a man facing challenges on the job and in his family, the authors expose the fascinating ways that we can blind ourselves to our true motivations and unwittingly sabotage the effectiveness of our own efforts to achieve success and increase happiness. In times of career transition, you will catch yourself going through the same stages and thoughts as the hero os this brilliant manual on overcoming leadership challenges. Sometimes you will experience the same conversations. Read and re-read it if you believe in changing yourself before you can change others. (Click the cover for details.)

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Books on Culture and Leadership