J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Leadership Books Sweep

Leadership Books Sweep

  • Comments 3

I finished sweeping my Leadership Books list.  It took a while to update it, but I think it reflects a good set of leadership books by key categories now. 

I added a few new books to my leadership books list including The 5 Levels of Leadership, by John Maxwell, and StandOut, by Marcus Buckingham, which weren’t available when I first put my list of leadership books together.I also added some books to the list based on feedback from different folks.  For example, I added 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class, by Steve Siebold, Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO, by Harrison Monarth, and The Leadership Test, by Timothy Clark.

This is my current list of top 10 Leadership Books:

  1. Emotional Capitalists: The New Leaders, by Martyn Newman
  2. Leadership Gold, by John C. Maxwell
  3. Principle-Centered Leadership, by Stephen R. Covey
  4. The 5 Levels of Leadership, by John Maxwell
  5. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell
  6. The Art Of War, by Sun Tzu
  7. The Effective Executive, by Peter F. Drucker
  8. The Essential Wooden, by John Wooden
  9. The Leadership Challenge, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
  10. The Leadership Test, by Timothy Clark

Enjoy and explore the list of leadership books.

  • Don't you find that when you've read a few "leadership/management/self-improvement" books, that they all start to get pretty similar?  These days I find that I've mastered my skim reading technique for all of these classes of books to the point where I can read one in just a few hours.

  • @ Darren -- Yes, and no.

    All paths lead to the same town.  But, not all journeys are the same.  And not everybody has been to the same town.  And not everybody knows the nuances and distinctions that take things to a deeper level.

    There are times when I think I've seen it all, and then I remind myself to keep digging.  I look for things that are different in concept, approach, or implementation.   Any of those can be a game changer.

    Finding books that tackle different concepts is tough, because many books cover the same map.   But then you find books like Stumbling on Happiness that surprise us with insight.  Or then you find books like Outliers with surprising data.  Or then you find books like The Mechanism of the Mind that dive deep into the mechanics of how we create and shape insight itself.

    Just like songs, where a lot of them cover the same old stuff, sometimes an old song is sung new, or sung in a way that makes something stick.  So those are the gems I look for.

    In order to stay in this curious mode, and to stay on path as a lifelong learner, I ask myself a different set of questions when I approach a book:

    - What's different about this book? (the concept, the approach, or the implementation)

    - What can I use?

    - How can I use this?

    I always look for at least three takeaways that I can immediately apply.

    The books where I get the best breakthroughs are cross-displine insight.  For example, I like to read sports pyschology to see how world-class athletes bring out their best, and how I can apply it to my little world.  I like to see how NLP pracitioners rapidly model excellence, and how I can use that on the job to leap frog hurdles.  I borrow patterns and practices from doctors that battle depression to build coping mechanisms for life's worst setbacks.  I look to some of the best executive coaches like Marshall Goldsmith to borrow and build super skills for daily life, and sharpen critical thinking, decision making, time management, leadership, etc.

    I do find the more books I read, the more familiar the terrain is, but that just makes my job tougher to dig for the gold, and I try to rise to the challenge.

  • Cheers, thanks for the great response!

    Here's a couple of interesting looking books that I found tonight while doing some research about high performance sports coaching:

    * www.amazon.com/.../ref=reg_hu-rd_add_1_dp

    * www.amazon.com/.../ref=reg_hu-rd_add_1_dp

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