Reading List

I sometimes tell people that I “practice” leadership, in the same way that lawyers practice law. What this really means is that I NEVER stop studying. One of the pleasures of management is that you’re never done. There is always more to learn. I’ve built a considerable library of reference works over the years, and now I’m sharing some of my top picks. Better never stops.

These are some of the most valuable assets out there, in our opinion.

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It doesn’t cost you any extra. We just figure if we’re sending business Amazon’s way, we may as well get a tip!

The One Minute Manager

If you’re desperately short on time, hate reading, or otherwise have decided to read only one leadership book, it’s got to be The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. It’s written as a short narrative, and arranged into easily-digestible bite-sized chunks. These are explained as the three “secrets” of the One Minute Manager, reinforced by some practical examples in an imaginary company.

Start here! This really is a dummy’s guide to leadership, and sets out the basics in really simple terms. You won’t find any deeply-theoretical psychology-of-leadership research here, just straight guidance in plain language.

Turn The Ship Around

Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s dive a little deeper. And yes, that’s a pun. But you probably won’t get it until you start reading Turn the Ship Around by David Marquet. This is an absolute gold mine of staff empowerment techniques and mechanisms.

A word of warning, though: if you’re an old-school, command-and-control, do-exactly-what-you’re-told boss (dictator?), this might not be the book for you. The focus is on leading others to be better versions of themselves, and turning followers into leaders.

Probably the single most influential book your humble site editor has had the pleasure of reading.

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

“How to get what you want by saying what you need”. But more to the point, a solid framework for giving and inviting meaningful, actionable feedback. EVERYBODY should read this.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

This one`s an eye-opener! Everything I thought I understood about motivation was wrong. If you`re struggling with your own motivation, this might help you understand why. If you lead others, it`s a valuable addition to your toolbox.

Start With WHY

“How great leaders inspire everyone to take action”. But it`s not just about leaders. There`s valuable insight here to help understand yourself, too.

I also recommend you look up Simon`s Ted Talks, they`re fun to watch and really on-point.