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Through your career (and life), there's a good chance you've read books, articles, blogs or whatever that have stuck with you. The books listed below have had that impact on me.
Hoping you find some of these interesting as you read and build your own professional expertise.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. People are amazed that this book is still relevant, having been published in the 1930's. But as I'll tell people, human nature is still human nature. This is an easy read offering basics that will quickly and powerfully help you connect better with others.
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. This is a fascinating look at the importance of process (some of you are yawning in your heads). Seriously, Gerber uses an engaging approach prefaced by telling a story about a new entrepreneur who's exciting business is ruining her life and how process done right turns things around.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. You'll find this book on why teams don't work and how to remedy that very relatable (one of my clients wondered if I had the book written to describe their own dysfunctional company - I didn't). As with most of Lencioni's books, the majority of the book is an engaging cautionary tale. By the time you get to the end, you have a "Karate Kid" experience - finding out the "wax on - wax off" ultimately wins you the karate tournament (if you haven't seen the movie, check it out and you'll understand the reference). He has a number of books, but a very new one also worth checking out is The Motive - all about the importance of coaching your people because it's your responsibility - not just because it feels good to do it (most leaders are the latter and because they don't like the experience of coaching, don't do nearly enough of it).
Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. The authors give you a direct and instructive lesson about how to get things done. My biggest take-away is that to change an organization, you do it in order: see if the right structure is in place (roles in the org chart to accomplish company goals); the right processes are in place and are working; and, then work on leadership and culture factors. So many of my clients do this nearly in reverse order but quickly learn that the Bossidy/Charan way is more effective.
Good to Great by Jim Collins. Years ago, this was the "it book" (you could see stacks of its red cover in airports). This is a research study on what makes some companies only good and some stellar = great. Yes, the age of the book shows a bit as some great companies have become good and I think some might not even exist anymore. But, Collins and his research team distill down the things that still make for great companies. One that has become part of daily business language is, is an employee on the "right bus" and in the"right seat."
EI 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. So much is written about Emotional Intelligence (EI) but some of it is so complex, the reader feels like they have to be in graduate school to "get it." This book in its simplicity, provides three things that will help you quickly understand EI so you can begin coaching on it. First, their EI model is to-the-point. And, each book comes with a simple EI survey that easy to take. Lastly, the book is keyed to the EI assessment results - so you can look up what your results mean.
Multipliers by Liz Wiseman. All leaders want their teams to be productive and innovative. But, they don't know how to take their associates' talent and "multiply it," well beyond telling people to work harder (which gets pretty tired as the associate and boss, very quickly). This book clearly spells out (and back it with research) how there are ways to increase productivity and to do so in a positive and reinforcing way.
Leadership Conversations by Alan Berson and Richard Stieglitz. Companies are always keeping an eye to their future. And, that future is largely in the hands of their up and coming professionals - high potentials. Yes, there are dministrative ways to keep high potentials engaged (promotions, raises, etc.), but these don't get to the heart of what motivates high potentials to want to stay in your company and become part of its growth engine.
Emotional Agility by Susan David. So much has been written on Emotional Intelligence (EI). But most of it is describing EI and not as much on how to improve it. This book is nearly a "how-to" helping you understand why you are somewhat emotionally rigid (we all are - please don't take offense) and how to achieve the gold standard of EI - emotional agility.
Leading With the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K of Duke fame). Part of the fun of coaching wonderful professionals is that they want to learn as much as I do. Although I recommend most of their reading, they sometimes come back to me with one of their favorites (thanks, Mike!). Even if you don't follow college basketball, you might know that under Coach K, Duke was a super team and as you'll read, because of a super coach. If you want to seriously increase your interest in coaching and pick up some very useful tips, you'll find it all in these pages.
The Assertiveness Workbook by Randy Paterson. I've run dozens and dozens of leadership skills groups ("Leadership Academies") through the years. And, the one skill people most want to increase is their assertiveness, i.e., being able to speak up confidently and directly in a way that they can more effectively connect with other (and as leaders, influence them as well as impacting how their organization operates). This book does a great job explaining how to do just that - with clear definitions and even includes simple surveys so you can tell how assertive you are and how you need to improve.
How Did That Happen (Holding People Accountable for Results - The Positive, Pincipled Way) by Roger Connors and Tom Smith. So many leaders want their people to be more accountable but struggle knowing just how to make that happen. The Connors and Smith approach (that's what I call it) makes so much sense and does because it appeals to human nature (well beyond the tired imploring people to work harder - so problematic for so many reasons). If you've wondered how to create significantly higher levels of accountability in your team or company, the tools are right here.
In the Company of Family by Melissa Mitchell-Blitch and Sustaining the Family Business by Marshall B. Paisner. There are a large number of books about navigating succession in family businesses - these two books talk about succession and family dynamics from a personal and relatable level. In the Company of Family concerns a topic frequently experienced but rarely discussed in family businesses - boundaries. Why is this important? Because when you mix business and family, it can be difficult to come up with the most fair way to handle situations. She uses a number of examples that I'm sure family business owners and heirs will find relatable. And, the Paisner book is nearly a blueprint for how a medium size family business owner helped his sons become proactively engaged in succession - booming very active participants (not passive bystanders).
Wired to Care by Dev Patnaik. This is a great book on business empathy. Being empathic makes "meh" relationships into great ones. Empathy is a critical skill for leading and for being an effective coach.