May 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
This week, a client asked me for an annotated bibliography of management and leadership books I would recommend that could be posted to their intranet. Below is my list. In the near future, I will list the best leadership/management blog and websites. If you have any to recommend, I’d love to know of them. Thanks in advance.
The Resilience Factor (Revich)
As a leader, your people look to you, as an example, for how to respond to change and crisis. This book, with assessments and concrete practices, serves as a guide to help you bolster optimism, cope with anxiety and loss, and navigate through the fallout from any kind of crisis.
Emotional intelligence is the proven best predictor of who will be most successful, particularly if you are in a leadership position. This book defines the fifteen competencies of EI and offers ideas on how to develop them.
Martin Seligman’s classic, and what he draws from more than twenty years of research, is a must read for leaders who care about the inner life of themselves and those they lead. It teaches how to develop and model honest optimism, and explains how to break the “I-give-up” habit. Great self-assessments to help you focus. Optimistic leaders have more engaged teams.
While it’s no secret that we are creatures of habit, the challenge lies in how to drop the bad ones and develop good ones. For leaders, we and our teams have developed habits over time that need to change. Duhigg explains the psychological nature of habits and what we can do to help ourselves and our teams take on new habits.
Virtual Team Success (Lepsinger)
Lepsinger’s extensive global research into virtual teams lead him to publishing this book that outlines why so many of these teams fail, profiles high performing teams, provides a virtual team launch kit, and provides best practices for leaders and teams.
Trust drives all business relationships, especially those between a manager and his/her direct report. Yet, according to 2009 research, 42% of employees do not trust their immediate supervisor. This book, backed by empirical and analytical heft, provides thirteen concrete behaviors leaders must use to ensure that a climate of trust does indeed surround them.
Managing Across Cultures (Soloman)
This book examines not just how cultures differ in behavior and norms, it provides deep understanding as to why these norms exist. Demonstrating ones interest, and a bit of knowledge in another culture builds trust and endorsement. A great compliment to the GLOBE SMART resource available online to many of you. As leaders, we have a responsibility to demonstrate our sensitivity to differences and to teach that sensitivity to our direct reports.
You Already Know How to Be Great (Fine)
The top two factors that promote employee engagement are direct reports’ sense that that their manager cares about them, and the belief that their manager is there to help them grow. Alan Fine, renown coach to athletes, concert performers and business leaders, provides a simple and compelling understanding of the nature of performance, the coaching relationship and how to conduct a coaching conversation with both willing and unwilling performers.
Bob Sutton has compiled and summarized research and stories of the worst things we do as leaders and managers, as well as how some of us overcome the unconscious bad habits that develop when we are anointed as leaders. Written in a compelling and irreverent style. A book that you’ll find hard to stop reading.
Thirty years of research has peered into the human mind and uncovered an enormous amount on what drives our intuitions, emotions, biases and motivations. As managers, understanding people is the sin qua non to our success as leaders. Brooks has woven the results of the research into the lives of two fictional characters – Erica and Harold – and through their story we come away with a new perspective of what makes us, our direct reports, and our teams tick.
Most of us have been taught – and practice – that the best way to motivate our people and teams is with the carrot and the stick. While that may be true for simple tasks, it is not true for situations that require complex or innovative thinking. Based on sound research, Pink explains, in a compelling and humorous way, the truths of motivation that are based on the human needs to direct our own lives, involve ourselves in purposeful and meaningful work, and the innate drive to get better at something that matters to us. If you are interested in creating a work environment that breeds innovation and engagement, this is a must read.
Fired Up or Burned Out (Pankau)
This is a book about reigniting your team’s passion, creativity and productivity. It is a book about engagement. Built upon solid research, it shares compelling stories about leaders whom we should here about more often – and contrasts them with negative examples of leadership. This book delivers concrete ideas on how leaders can build a climate characterized by engagement that results from connection.
Management Tips (Harvard Business Review)
This pocket sized book is filled with single page, inspiring, concise tips on a broad range of topics related to managing and leading. A sampling: “Listen Better,” “Schedule Regular Meetings With Yourself,” “Become a Thought Leader,” Master the Art of Being Assertive.” Starting your day with a one minute read may take it in a different and better direction.
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