Kim H. Krisco (2001) Leadership & Art of Conversation, Prima Publishing

I had this on the reading list of one of my MBA courses and a student said she could not afford the book. I asked why and she said it was only available on Amazon and it cost $59999. Was I ever embarrassed to find out that it was out of print and Amazon simply maximized the digits in the numeric dollar field. My copy was given to me many years ago at a BP management conference. I believe used and an occasional new copy come available. I have seen them for as high as $900 – pricey for a 150-page paperback.

The reason for the high value is that the book has become a cult classic in conversational leadership. Kim was at the front end of the learning curve of leadership versus management and how leaders shape the direction of a company through conversations. Her work has inspired many of the current luminaries on the subject. I use her work in my seminar and one quote in particular sticks with me, “Unless you learn to recognize, manage, and shift out of past-domain conversations, you will never be able to deliver on your fundamental responsibility of a leader – creating and sustaining a viable future.” I treasure my copy of Kim’s book.

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