A month or so ago I was approached by a young lady who was thinking about going into management. She asked me for some recommended reading that would help prepare her for her possible new role. Below is the list I gave her of my favorite management and leadership books, as well as why I think these books are valuable. I’d love to hear input on your favorite books as well.
1. First, Break All The Rules - Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
This is a must read book for anyone who is going into management. The title refers to the fact that the research performed by the Gallup organization clearly shows that some of the most common “rules” of management are, in fact, incorrect. By focusing on the top performing organizations Buckingham and Coffman make a clear case for a different style of management.
2. Dig Your Well BEFORE You're Thirsty - Harvey MacKay
A common sense approach to people and your career, Harvey MacKay provides us with practical, easy to read advice about ourselves and our careers. This is just one of several excellent books by Mr. MacKay.
3. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership - Revised Edition - John Maxwell
John Maxwell is the leader’s leader. His “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” takes leadership to levels that most of us don’t even think about. This book is excellent for experienced leaders as well as emerging leaders.
4. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - Patrick Lencioni
Told in narrative style, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” is the story of a typical business team and what is holding them back. Patrick Lencioni weaves a tale of dysfunction that applies to many teams and then clearly shows how one can overcome these challenges.
5. Working With Emotional Intelligence - Daniel Goleman
Every leader needs to understand emotional intelligence, and Daniel Goleman is the master at explaining what emotional intelligence is and how it applies in the workplace. Complex theories are explained in simple terms and then related back to every human being. Those leaders who don’t understand the concept of emotional intelligence are not leaders for very long.
6. Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill
Originally published in 1937 this book is as relevant today as it was then. This is a dynamic personal development book that defines personal development. The mind is a powerful tool and Napoleon Hill demonstrates how to harness your mind for your personal success.
7. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Steven Covey
This book is an all time classic and a must read for anyone who wants to be successful in their own life. Take my advice and read this book slowly. Savor the ideas presented by Covey and enjoy the new perspective that he provides.
8. How To Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Don’t read this book once. Read it again and again. This is another oldie (1936), but in reality it is a timeless classic. Its lessons are as applicable today as they were in 1936 and will help you understand yourself and others as well.
9. True North - Bill George
This is a newer book that will someday be considered a classic. In this book Bill George makes the case for discovering what you are all about, to create a leadership style that is 100% authentic and effective. Until you understand yourself, you can’t truly create a vision of where you want to go.
10. What Got You Here, Won't Get You There - Marshall Goldsmith
Considered by many to be the “bible of executive coaching.” Marshal Goldsmith clearly demonstrates that to succeed, we need to learn, grow, and do things differently. After being rewarded for our behavior, it can be difficult to adapt and change. But change we must. To succeed as a leader means understanding what new skills must be learned and mastered.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on these books, as well as add to this list of great leadership reads.
Until next time.....
ECI Learning Systems, LLC