Some resources to enjoy. Here is my recommended reading list. I listed a few of the great ones, but excluded the great leadership classics you already know about and can find just about everywhere like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Emyth, Good to Great, Total Leaership, etc. Enjoy!
“The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies” by Ivan Misner – This guide to networking by Misner, the founder and chairman of BNI (Business Network International), is an invaluable roadmap for businesspeople seeking to develop or fine-tune a necessary and often overlooked skill. Misner and Donovan’s title stems from a study that spawned the six degrees of separation theory, which actually revealed that only 29% of the population is connected to this extent.
“The Leader of Oz: Revealing the 101 Secrets of Marvelous Leadership for the 21st Century” by Kevin D. Gazarra and Murtuza Ali Lakhani – The book (based loosely on The Wizard of Oz story) is a focus on gaining credibility and strength through clear planning and problem solving. It stresses the importance of mutual trust that aligns with the organization’s core values, the ability to influence great transformations by demonstrating physical intellectual, and emotional strength, and the ability to develop the capacity to bring all of the components of your brain, heart, and nerve together in synergy.
“The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life” by Jeff Olson – Do you find yourself missing the one thing in life that would help you achieve a desired goal, realize a long-held dream, or push you up the ladder to success? Then this is the book for you!
The Slight Edge will teach you how to achieve success in all aspects of your life – in your health, your finances, your personal relationships, and your family life.
“You Can Compete: Double Sales Without Discounting” by Bob Phibbs – This work gives the independent business person concrete advice from someone who’s worked in retail stores 50+ hours a week, has known what to do when their back is against the wall and has a proven track record of success. It is aimed at independent business owners.
“The Dream Manager” by Matthew Kelly – This book emphasizes that a key and critical role of leadership is the ability to recognize the dreams of those that we lead and inspire them to achieve those visions. It perfectly supports on how/ why Driven Associates’ programs are designed around dreams as well. This book is a must read for any new leader to familiarize him/herself with the concept of helping employees fulfill their personal dreams to achieve organizational goals and anyone just wanting to get energized again or learn more.
“Transitions” by William Bridges – Change tends to be situational … we’re the super-worker one day and the next we’re the supervisor. In Transitions, Bridges suggests a three phase model for dealing with the deeper experience, a transition. He walks us from Endings through the Neutral Zone and finally into the New Beginning. As the subtitle says, this book offers “Strategies for coping with the difficult, painful, and confusing times in your life.”
“The Other 90%: How to Unlock Your Vast Untapped Potential for Leadership and Life” by Robert K. Cooper – Most of us use only 10 percent of our intelligence and creativity potential, leaving vast quantities of what we’re capable lying dormant, unused and untapped. It’s this ratio that Robert Cooper hopes to help reverse with The Other 90%, his inspirational guide to waking the sleeping giant within each of us.
“Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear” by Dr. Frank Luntz – Why do some ads connect emotionally and others fail miserably? Why do some speeches resonate and endure while others are forgotten moments after they are given? Whether your goal is to boost sales, win political office, inspire your employees, or get that raise you deserve, Dr. Luntz teaches about the phenomenon of transforming mere words into an effective arsenal for the war of perception we all wage each and every day. Included are 21 essential and powerful words and phrases for the 21st century, words that cut to the heart of Americans’ most fundamental beliefs and core values.
“Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play: Transforming the Buyer/Seller Relationship” by Mahan Khalsa, Randy Illig, and Stephen R. Covey – An excellent illustration of the Buying/Selling Process. While there is nothing “new” it is shared in such a “hit you in the forehead” way that you take away many new things from the same timeless principles. I found myself re-living and learning from my previous buying/selling situations as Mahan shared the story. It is especially good in the audio version because you can hear him yell “NO GUESSING!” with the effectiveness of spaced repetition.
“How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work: Seven Languages for Transformation” by Robert Kegan, Lisa Laskow Lahey – Language is the primary tool by which we communicate. Kegan and Lahey argue, though, that the words we use do more than represent feelings and attitudes. The very choice itself of one word or expression over another can determine feelings and attitudes and–most importantly–actions.
“Feel The Fear … and Do It Anyway”, by Susan Jeffers, PhD – Jeffers discusses the crippling effects of fear in her personal life and explains how she formulated a course of action for conquering it. Her answers are simple, her course of action difficult only because it requires courage. She explains how fear is based on the uncertainty of change and the lack of positive self image.
“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni – Once again using an astutely written fictional tale to unambiguously but painlessly deliver some hard truths about critical business procedures, Patrick Lencioni targets group behavior in the final entry of his trilogy of corporate fables. And like those preceding it, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is an entertaining, quick read filled with useful information that will prove easy to digest and implement. This time, Lencioni weaves his lessons around the story of a troubled Silicon Valley firm and its unexpected choice for a new CEO: an old-school manager who had retired from a traditional manufacturing company two years earlier at age 55.
“The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow – A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy? When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–”Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
“Enlightened Leadership” by Ed Oakley and Doug Krug – This book provides a framework for how leaders might think and also provides a very concrete problem-solving strategy that you can consider trying. The authors feel that ideas need to percolate up from below, so that workers buy into change. Ask your people a specific series of questions such as “What is good about our current processes?” “What works?” “What do we like and want more of?” “What is our goal?” “What small steps can we then take to try to get a little closer to the solutions that will give us more of what works and what we want?”
“The Emotionally Healthy Church” by Peter Scazzero. This book addresses the importance of Emotional Health and Emotional Intelligence in Church Leadership it makes the statement that “As go the leaders, so goes the church.” It is told from the author’s pain after almost losing his church and his family, he realized that unless he takes care of himself he can’t help anyone else. It shows the you can’t be spiritually mature and emotionally immature. This is a must read for anyone thinking about a leadership role in a church or spiritual organization.
“Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else” by Geoff Colvin – One of the most popular Fortune articles in many years was a cover story called “What It Takes to Be Great.” Geoff Colvin offered new evidence that top performers in any field–from Tiger Woods and Winston Churchill to Warren Buffett and Jack Welch–are not determined by their inborn talents. Greatness doesn’t come from DNA but from practice and perseverance honed over decades.
“The Four-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris – What do you do? Tim Ferriss has trouble answering the question. Depending on when you ask this controversial Princeton University guest lecturer, he might answer: “I race motorcycles in Europe.” “I ski in the Andes.” “I scuba dive in Panama.” “I dance tango in Buenos Aires.” He has spent more than five years learning the secrets of the New Rich, a fast-growing subculture who has abandoned the “deferred-life plan” and instead mastered the new currencies—time and mobility—to create luxury lifestyles in the here and now. Whether you are an overworked employee or an entrepreneur trapped in your own business, this book is the compass for a new and revolutionary world.
“The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning” by Calhoun W. Wick, Roy V. H. Pollock, Andrew McK. Jefferson, and Richard D. Flanagan – The Six Disciplines provides the definitive road map and tools for optimizing the business impact of leadership and management training, sales, quality, performance improvement, and individual development programs. This important book presents the theories and techniques behind the approach and includes expert advice for bridging the “learning-doing” gap.
“The Man Who Made Wall Street” by Dan Rottenberg – Anthony J.Drexel, founder of Drexel University in Philadelphia, was the most influential financier of the 19th century. He was the mentor of the famous JP Morgan and pioneered many business and financial strategies still in use today. He also introduced modern management practices such as allowing employees to earn “sweat equity” in his firm, rewarded indiviual initiative and eschewed nepotism.
“People Buy You” by Jeb Blount – With all the focus on technology to sales processes to selling skills, Jeb challenges the reader to think differently about the decision making process. He actually devoted 8 pages to this often overlooked skill … smiling. Another gem is the greatest competitor anyone has is not the other guy or business, but the Status Quo.
“Wall Street Journal Essential Guide to Management” by Alan Murray – Great overview of the management body of knowledge. Good refresher for those with management training and an excellent primer for those without. Focusing on classic and contemporary works that have been recommended by members of The Wall Street Journal CEO Council—all chief executives of large and successful global companies—it is an invaluable reference and essential tool.
“Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” by Tony Hseih – The visionary CEO of Zappos explains how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success. Pay new employees $2000 to quit. Make customer service the entire company, not just a department. Focus on company culture as the #1 priority. Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business. Help employees grow both personally and professionally. Seek to change the world. Oh, and make money too. Tony shares the different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and pizza business through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more.
“The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Reward” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz – For 25 years, Loehr and Schwartz have conducted intensive training with professional athletes to help them perform at peak levels under intense competitive pressures. They are not involved in the physical training process, however. Their intervention focuses on effective management of our most precious resource, our energy. They have found to their surprise that the performance demands most people face in their everyday work environments are often tougher than those professional athletes face. Because athletes train constantly, they are more prepared, whereas most people are in the work game 8 to 12 hours a day with little or no training at all. Most of us are constantly trying to manage time; here, the authors have instead set out a prescription for managing energy on every level: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
“The Right Fight: How Great Leadership Use Healthy Conflict to Drive Performance, Innovation, and Value” by Saj-Nicole Joni and Damon Beyer – Consultants Joni and Beyer contend that large-scale change in an organization requires dissent, and managing dissent is a critical aspect of leadership for the complex twenty-first century. Leaders must work within the debate, and the authors aim to help in deciding what is worth fighting for (the right fight) to ensure that the battle is about what really matters.
“The GE Workout: How to Implement GE’s Revolutionary Method for Busting Bureaucracy & Attacking Organizational Problems-FAST” by David Ulrich, Steve Kerr, Ron Ashkenas – Many companies have adapted Jack Welch’s now-famous strategies for running a business. Taking advantage of Welch’s popularity (and expertise), this handbook lays out instructions for implementing GE’s “Work-Out” method. Flexible in execution, the method calls for collecting large teams of employees for defining tough business decisions, then breaking into smaller teams to develop solutions.
“The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management” by Stephen Denning – Organizations today face a crisis. The crisis is of long standing and its signs are widespread. Most proposals for improving management address one element of the crisis at the expense of the others. The principles described by award-winning author Stephen Denning simultaneously inspire high productivity, continuous innovation, deep job satisfaction, and client delight.
“DRIVEN: Business Strategy, Human Actions and The Creation of Wealth” by Mark L. Frigo and Joel Litman – If we can better understand how the success or failure of a business is driven by its plans and actions, then we can greatly improve how we run our businesses and value companies. DRIVEN is about RETURN DRIVEN STRATEGY, a framework for business analysis and planning prioritization and the culmination of a ten-year research project studying and categorizing the root causes of thousands of businesses that have succeeded, failed, or remained in mediocrity.
“The Big Picture”: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies” by Kevin Coupe & Michael Sansolo – This book shares how to use the stories in movies to solve problems in business. From The Godfather to Tootsie, from The Wedding Singer to Babe, the authors use more than sixty of their favorite movies to teach important lessons about branding, customer service, leadership, planning, ethics, and innovation. Readers will learn how to use stories from the movies to communicate clearly with employees, clients, and customers.