Let me help you plan your reading for 2011.
The issue is… Leadership Development.
Look at those words. Think about them. They say a lot. Mainly they say this – leaders have to be developed, and leaders have to focus on, and work on, continual development. This does not happen by accident. Some leaders may be “born,” but most leaders are “developed.”
And one practice of ever-developing leaders is that they read. They read books for the purpose of personal development.
I thought about all of this after a great conversation over breakfast with my blogging colleague, Bob Morris. We talked about a lot. We share a love of reading, we share a deep appreciation of good authors and good books, so we are probably a little “biased” in our view of leadership development. But I think the evidence is on our side – leadership development does not happen by accident, and reading good books is a critical and time-tested path to leadership development.
So – assume that you are leader, and that you want to work on leadership development. What should you read? I’ve got a suggested list. If Bob, or my First Friday Book Synopsis colleague Karl Krayer were to suggest a list, it would be a different list. These are mostly books that I have read. It is my list of “areas of focus.” Some of these books are not new. But they are all worth reading, and if you want to get serious about leadership development, I think this is a pretty good list to start with.
Of course, there are other areas of focus that need/deserve/beg for attention — and other truly deserving book titles. This list is only a beginning…
So – here it is – my suggested reading list for leadership development. It includes seven areas of focus, with a total of eleven books. That is one book a month for 2011 (giving you either July or December “off”). Whether you choose these titles or not; whether you choose these areas of focus, or not; this I recommend: follow a leadership development plan. It is worth the investment of time!
|As you focus on:
|A good book to read is:
|The Right Values
|True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership (J-B Warren Bennis Series) by Bill George and Peter Sims
|The Right Strategy
|The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking by Roger L. Martin
Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm by Verne Harnish
|(note: this was a tough “focus” for which to choose the “best” book(s). I absolutely would include this Kouzes and Posner book: it is practical, and extraordinarily valuable).
Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst “Best” Practices of Business Today by Susan Scott
|Words that Work by Frank Luntz
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
|Functional, Effective Teamwork
|The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
|Cultivating Creativity and Innovation
|The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson
|Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
I hope you succeed at your attempts at leadership development in 2011.
Note: this is not my first attempt to suggest a reading list. Earlier, I posted this: Build Your Own Strategic Reading Plan — or, How Should You Pick Which Business Book(s) to Read? It has other suggestions, for other areas of focus.
So many books…so little time!
Here are three ways we can help with your leadership development efforts:
#1: You can bring me, or my colleague Karl Krayer, into your organization to present synopses of these, and many other books. These synopses provide the key content, and facilitated discussion of the implications. Contact me at .
#2: You can purchase our 15 minute version of these synopses, with audio + handout, from our companion web site at 15minutebusinessbooks.com. (Most of these were presented live at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. Be sure to read the faqs).
#3: Our blogging colleague Bob Morris is an accomplished business consultant, and can help your organization tackle these (and other) issues in an extended way. Contact Bob directly at .
Update: My blogging colleague Bob Morris, added some worthy volumes to this list. Check out his expanded list by clicking here.
Here’s his expanded list:
The Right Values
True North by Bill George and Peter Sims
The Executive’s Compass by James O’Toole
The Highest Goal by Michael Ray
The Heart Aroused by David Whyte
The Right Strategy
The Opposable Mind by Roger L. Martin
Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Unstoppable by Chris Zook
Enterprise Architecture as Strategy by Jeanne Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson
Fierce Leadership by Susan Scott
Encouraging the Heart by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
Maestro by Roger Nierenberg
True North by Bill George and Peter Sims
Words that Work by Frank Luntz
Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Influence by Robert Cialdini
The Back of the Napkin and Unfolding the Napkin by Dan Roam
Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
Functional & Effective Teamwork
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
Organizing Genius by Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman
Collaboration by Morten Hansen
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Cultivating Creativity and Innovation
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
Freedom, Inc. by Brian M. Carney and Isaac Getz
The Idea of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation by Thomas Kelley
Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono
Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind by Guy Claxton
Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki
The Other Side of Innovation by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble
Open Innovation and Open Business Models by Henry Chesbrough
Plus two additional categories:
Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice co-edited by Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana
The Talent Masters by Bill Conaty and Ram Charan
The Center for Creative Leadership Handbook of Leadership Development co-edited by Ellen Van Velsor, Cynthia D. McCauley, and Marian N. Ruderman
Extraordinary Leadership co-edited by Kerry Bunker, Douglas T. Hall, and Kathy E. Kram
Employee Engagement & Talent Management
A Sense of Urgency and Buy-In by John Kotter
The Art of Engagement by Jim Haudan
Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees by Lee J. Colan
Growing Great Employees by Erika Andersen
This morning, a large crowd gathered for the August First Friday Book Synopsis. Karl Krayer delivered the synopsis of Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, and I delivered the synopsis of the immensely practical Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm by Verne Harnish.
For September, traditionally the official launch of the new school year, we have chosen two important books. Karl Krayer will present the big best-seller, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. Hsieh is the CEO of the successful and popular Zappos.com.
I will present the synopsis of The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity by Richard Florida. Florida is the pace-setting author whose earlier book, The Rise of the Creative Class, generated thought and conversation for so many. The very title of his new book is profound: we are in a time that demands, and is experiencing, a great reset.
You can read the review of The Great Reset by Bob Morris, from our blog, here. Here is his last line: In my opinion, The Great Reset to be the most valuable book that Richard Florida has written…thus far.
One person, a first-time participant this morning, described the event as a fast dose of content, “fire-hosed from the speakers into the minds of the participants.” I think this is a pretty apt description. Our event is definitely fast-paced, content-rich, and content-focused.
If you live in the DFW area, plan to join us on Friday, September 3, for this gathering filled with content, great networking, and good food.
(If you do not receive our reminder e-mails, click the “sign up here” button on the right side of this page).
We had a wonderful gathering of book lovers and serious learners at the First Friday Book Synopsis this morning – a surprisingly good attendance for a 2nd Friday of July morning.
Next month, Karl Krayer will present a synopsis of the new, important book, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath, Ph.D. and James K. Harter (Gallup Press, 2010). (You can read Bob Morris’ review of this book on our blog book here).
I will present a synopsis of the business book classic, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm, by Verne Harnish (Select Books, 2002). This is a rare choice for us, to present a book that has been around a while. We have only done this a couple of times. The first business book classic we presented was Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf. There are a few books that stand the test of time so well – books that either came out before we began the First Friday Book Synopsis in April 1998, or, a book we just happened to miss. Such selections are ones that we feel that we need to include for the value they bring. So, for August, I will present this immensely practical book by Verne Harnish. (You can read Bob Morris’ review of this book on our blog here).
Mark your calendars now, and plan to join us on the first Friday of August, August 6.