What’s the Best Leadership/Management Book That You Have Ever Read?

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Peter Sperry 4 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #181707

    Terrence Hill
    Participant

    This article on Fast Company’s blog got me wondering which book is MY favorite leadership/management book. I would have to say that the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey has got to be one of my favorites.

    What is your all-time favorite leadership/business book?

  • #181757

    Peter Sperry
    Participant

    The most controversial is still hands down the best. — “The Prince” by Nicola Machiavelli

  • #181755

    Steve Ressler
    Keymaster

    7 Habits is great

    I’m a big fan of biographies or overviews of a company’s history – just read the book on Amazon and Jeff Bezos that was great

  • #181753

    Kellie Graham
    Participant

    Primal Leadership by Goleman, Boyatzis, McKee

  • #181751

    Leadership and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute

  • #181749

    Mark Hammer
    Participant

    I’m still a big fan of “Leadership of Public Bureaucracies: The Administrator as Conservator” by Larry Terry. A virtual checklist of all the things one needs to tend to – from recruitment, to internal communications, to knowledge transfer, and beyond – that makes a public institution be perceived as THE authoritative source, and dependable repository of good judgment and sensible policies. Teaches how to remain true, and be seen as remaining true, to the mission of your agency despite changing landscape. Chock full of examples of mistakes from the annals of federal history. A relatively brief, but highly informative read.

  • #181747

    David A. Streat
    Participant

    This may sound a little strange, but the Bible is the best book on leadership that I have ever read. I say that because it has just about every sceaniro that one can think of and solutions to every problem. Just my humble opinion!

  • #181745

    Mark Hammer
    Participant

    Not a strange choice at all. I’m a little hesitant when it comes to things like smiting all the Amalekites, but apart from that, plenty of great lessons in how to lead, how not to lead, and the kinds of scenarios leaders are often faced with. A whole lot of good lessons in change-management, too. One just has to know where to look.

    The Bhagvad Ghita is also a pretty decent meditation on leadership.

  • #181743

    Scott Kearby
    Participant

    Not sure about Management but for Leadership, one of my favorites is “Leadership is an Art” by Max DePree.

  • #181741

    michele marsden
    Participant

    Hands down Seven Habits, it is a solid book that Covey wrote compling all the other books he had read. It’s a great book for interpersonal reflection as well as to use a guide in ethical leadership. Next is the One Minute Manager, again, simple to the point book.

  • #181739

    Joel Mendez
    Participant

    I will raise your Covery book with another Covey book – Speed of Trust

    The basic concept of trust makes possible for leaders to have followers.

  • #181737

    Joel Mendez
    Participant

    Good choice. Great advice for leaders that are responsible for armies and decision for war or peace.

  • #181735

    David B. Grinberg
    Participant

    “Good to Great” series by Jim Collins.

    http://www.jimcollins.com/article_topics/articles/good-to-great.html

    I also like Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. Simplicity at it’s finest.

  • #181733

    michele marsden
    Participant

    Who moved my cheese is so basic and yet when I used it in lower level management training, so many missed the theme.

  • #181731

    michele marsden
    Participant

    Another great book, unfortunately I find most business could care less about trust. Even if it is a core value that defines all else.

  • #181729

    Karen L. Jones
    Participant

    Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf (1977, 2002)- endorsed by Stephen Covey and Peter Senge. His concepts incorporate those mentioned by others such as trust, communication, empathy, etc.

    “The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is this: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect of the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?” (p. 27)

  • #181727

    Mark Hammer
    Participant

    Q: Do any of these recommended books convey anything particularly different, or cover distinct aspects or contexts of leadership, or do they simply put a particular spin on conveying what is largely the same message, such that it clicks with different sorts of people?

    I don’t ask this to denigrate any of them. Rather, one need only browse through the management section of any large quality bookstore to be struck by just how many published works there are on the general topic of leading and managing. And it’s not like there are bookstore sections on “how to lead a chain of convenience stores”, “how to lead shoe retailers”, “how to lead sports franchises”, or “how to lead public policy NGOs”. There is an underlying assumption about the generic nature of advice on leading and managing; most such books presume transferability of principles across many, if not all, contexts..

    So, why so many of these darn books? Are people who want to be leaders/managers that gullible that they’re easily persuaded into thinking that each new book is somehow going to be THE ONE? Are people who completely surprised themselves by how different their own experience was from what they’d expected inspired, in droves, to write books?

    I don’t get it. Why so many books telling pretty much the same story over and over again? And as David Streat’s post clearly attests, it’s not like the topic of leading is a particularly recent development!

  • #181725

    Tim Gembicki
    Participant

    One book that takes the opposite approach of many of those you see on the shelves is Marshall Goldsmith’s What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. It lists the 20 habits you need to STOP doing. See Goldsmith’s site.

  • #181723

    Laurie Menke
    Participant

    We use The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner as the basis for our leadership program.

  • #181721

    Gary Lyon
    Participant

    Stephen M.R. Covey’s “The Speed of Trust”. I swear by its principles and practices and have used it with very positive results when consulting with agencies that are undergoing great turmoil. Definitely on my “A” list.

  • #181719

    Gary Lyon
    Participant

    Can’t disagree with your thought. I think there is a lot of book marketing going on (new spin) and there is some uniqueness in how the message is presented that rings true with some more that others. Many spend a great deal of time telling you why without much substance about how to implement their recommendations. Others are more direct and application oriented, which is why my go-to is “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey because of how he shows direct correlation (causation?) for the impact of trust to the bottom line….performance (fiscal or otherwise). Without trust, there will be no commitment to organizational goals, and thus, poor performance.

  • #181717

    Bryan Frazar
    Participant

    A clarification is needed: The Speed of Trust is by Steven M. R. Covey, the son of the late Dr. Steven R. Covey who wrote The 7 Habits … .

  • #181715

    James Deimer
    Participant

    Jim Collins & Peter Senge are among some of my favorite authors. Yet, in the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. Regarded by many as the most gifted and influential author and journalist in America today, Gladwell’s rare ability to connect with audiences of such varied interests has ensured that each title become a phenomenal bestseller with more than ten million copies in print combined.

    Each of the 3 books by Gladwell sit nicely between my copies of “Good to Great”; “Built to Last”, “The 5th Discipline”, & “The Prince”

  • #181713

    Joel Mendez
    Participant

    Has anyone thought of putting a section on govloop with professional book recommendations?

    It would be great to have all these books with a short description and a tag -leadership, business practice for others.

  • #181711

    Darrell Hamilton
    Participant

    If you go back to one of the earliest management books, “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu circa 500 BC, you will find that the only real difference in leadership is the particular problems that arise. People issues tend to be about the same and strategy has certainly not changed much. I would say that the more modern books may offer an easier reading than trying to figure through “The Art of War”.

    Of course there are some really awful books out there too. Not everyone who writes a leadership book actually knows what they are talking about.

  • #181709

    Karen L. Jones
    Participant

    Or a wiki page of some sort so it can be added to?

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