Reading List: What’s on yours?

October 23, 2012

Reading List:  What’s on yours?

My reading list is usually longer than I have time to complete, but I always appreciate book recommendations. Today, I thought I’d share some of mine. I have been reading (or listening) to at least six business books per year for the last twenty years. One year I set a challenge for myself to read 52 books in 52 weeks. Granted, some were small books but many others were on The New York Times bestsellers list. I read a lot of the classics like How to Win Friends and Influence People, Psycho Cybernetics,  Over the Top and How to Swim with the Sharks without Being Eaten Alive. I believe that this single goal, and the years of reading that followed, had a significant impact on not only how I look at leaders, but how I gain understanding and experience from leaders with whom I have the privilege to associate.

Here are books that I have read (or listened to) lately and recommend:

  1. The Five Temptations of a CEO by Patrick Lencioni
  2. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by Marilee Adams (see my blog post on this topic here)
  3. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  4. Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel
  5. 12: The Elements of Great Managing by Rodd Wagner and James Harter (see my blog post on this topic here)
  6. Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar Schein
  7. Energy Leadership by Bruce Schneider (look for a blog series on this topic in the near future)
  8. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
  9. The Intelligent Entrepreneur by Bill Murphy
  10. The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge

I was part of an organization once that took its leadership clues from the book of the month. The senior staff would read a book together and for the next month we were off in a new direction for strategic planning, moving the elephant, or finding wildly important goals. To me, that is not the purpose of reading leadership books. Rather, read to get multiple points of view and to learn. Don’t force the lessons into your work or leadership, but be prepared to apply lessons when the situation demands it.

The more you read, the more balanced and selective you’ll be in what you choose to act upon and when.

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