The ten most popular LBSR articles of 2017

US President Donald Trump beat Brexit to the top of the agenda for LBSR readers in 2017


Articles on strategy, organisational behaviour, leadership, personal development and innovation all won a place but two of the top ten pieces feature the 45th ‘POTUS’.

Two ‘best books’ lists from LBS faculty, about negotiation and decision-making, point to a widespread enthusiasm for continuous learning.

Click on the titles or the images to read the articles in full.

1. Executing strategy: the four stages of success: Costas Markides

95% of CEOs think their people are committed to their strategy but a staggering 80% of senior executives don’t know what the strategy is. The worst thing about this? It’s probably your fault.

People don’t commit to a strategy because it’s pinned up on the notice board. To win the true emotional investment you need from your employees, use a formula that the most successful global companies have been using for decades. Steve Jobs did it with Apple: after generating a few victories against IBM, people bought into his vision.

Ask yourself what kind of behaviour you want from your people, model that yourself, and create an environment for success.

2. Eight ways to negotiate your job offer: Gillian Ku

You’ve just been offered the job of a lifetime. But this is only the first stage of the deal: now you need to negotiate the right package without making your prospective employer regret their decision.

Gillian Ku has eight pieces of sound advice for those about to embark on the journey. Now you’ve got the job, you can change your mindset. Instead of concentrating on selling yourself, you need to solve the problem of getting a good deal for both of you. Know when to stop pushing, keep your options open and make sure you involve HR. Most important of all, be spotlessly ethical.

3. The three stages of leadership: David Lewis

How do you become a leader? It doesn’t start with being great at one job, then great at the next before being promoted all the way to the top. It may seem that way to outsiders, but if you’re a leader, you know that each stage of your career has called for a brand new portfolio of skills.

David Lewis takes us though the three main stages of leadership and illuminates the mistakes so many organisations and individuals make when they assume that success at one stage equals success at the next.

We all know a manager who can’t stop interfering with their team’s work, focusing on the method and not the outcome. This is what happens when people don’t get the support they need when moving from the first stage to the second. What separates the winners from the losers is an awareness of the whole leadership journey.

4. The economy according to Trump: Richard Portes

Donald Trump’s attitude and way with words provoke strong views around the world. So what are his policies about, and how will he put them into place?

LBS Economics Professor Richard Portes explores the viability of Trump’s trade and taxation agenda. Set against the backdrop of history and economic reality, Portes looks at other countries for examples that bring theory to life.

Will Trump make America great again? We’ll have to wait until his aspirations for the country meet hard economic reality to find out.

5. What to do when you don’t know what to do: David Lewis

Nobody knows what to do all of the time. We can take a punt, but if a problem is totally unfamiliar, using our usual tools of experience and intuition won’t work.

David Lewis takes us through four principles to help you innovate, find new solutions and create value in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous challenges, known as ‘VUCA’ situations.

It takes a brave person to admit they don’t know, but not acknowledging this means you’re setting yourself up to fail. Talk to people who see things differently to you, ask questions in different ways and you might find, after a bit of experimentation, that answers reveal themselves.

6. Adhocracy: a new management approach: Julian Birkinshaw, Simon Caulkin and Jonas Ridderstrale

In the age of big data, super-detailed analytics can get us only so far. Julian Birkinshaw and Jonas Ridderstrale say that intuition and agility are more likely to carry you through the inexorably changing landscape of tomorrow.

It’s all about avoiding the analysis paralysis that conventional planning, strategy and hierarchy creates. We need to get beyond knowing to doing, and we need to do it faster. Building an organisation and style of leadership that works with change is the only way forward. Born out of their book, Fast/Forward, the points presented here focus on action, engagement, fluidity and adaptability.

7. Five tips to find your personal purpose: Richard Hytner

When LBS Professor Rob Goffee says, ‘Be yourself more. With skill’, he sums up how to find your personal purpose in five words. Here, Richard Hytner’s expansion of this statement into five points helps you put it into practice.

When you find your personal purpose, everything is less of an effort: managing your energy and staying positive and focused is easy. If you’ve been looking fruitlessly for years, search in better places: start with the tips Hytner has gathered and refined over his years advising leading global businesses on how to gain competitive edge.

8. Seven essential reads on negotiation: Selin Kesebir


Negotiation is a vital skill for success, whatever job you do. If you ever have to get something you want from someone who doesn’t want to give it, you’re a negotiator.

The diversity of books in Selin Kesebir’s top seven reflects the range of thinking on diversity. From a parenting book to a thriller-style story about an FBI hostage negotiator’s career, these books give you the aerial view of negotiation you need to hone your style.

9. Eight remarkable reads on decision-making: Victor DeMiguel

Tough decisions can induce anxiety in the most resilient leaders. And when you’re anxious, you don’t make the best decisions. Victor DeMiguel’s top ten books on decision-making help ease the pain.

DeMiguel’s fascination with big data and how it’s rewriting the rules on competitive advantage comes to the fore in this list of inspirational and highly practical books.

From the revered Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, to Michael Lewis’s Moneyball, which gives baseball-inspired insight into making decisions, DeMiguel has all the bases covered.

10. The man who would be King: Nigel Nicholson

Back in January, the American people elected Donald Trump as their 45th president. Love him or hate him, his personality has placed him in the most powerful position in the world. How?

There are commonalities in every leader’s story, from which Nigel Nicholson defines a leadership formula: they are always the right person, at the right time, doing the right thing (though right does not necessarily equal nice or ethical).

In his journey to the top, Trump has chosen the well-used tactic of using dominance and prestige. But history has taught us that leaders who do this usually fail to fulfil their vision.


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