Reading List: Leadership

By Marcie Levine

For the next installment to our reading list, below is information on twelve books on Leadership that were submitted by our colleagues.  Please note that we tried to assign ownership to the description/review wherever possible.

Background: As we have deployed more and more 360 degree assessments, many of our customers have requested that we include a reading list for participants who would like to explore ideas for increased management effectiveness.  I thought it would be interesting to ask clients and colleagues to share what they considered the best articles, books and online resources for the current business marketplace.  What I received was an amazing list of books, articles and websites.  We organized these into specific topic areas, and I will be sharing some of these resources in this blog.

The Courageous Follower
by: Ira Chaleff
Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly: Business consultant Chaleff points out that most of us at different times are both leaders and followers. Many books, he notes, have explored and analyzed the former role but almost none the latter. Following is often stigmatized, he argues, as docility, weakness or failure to excel. His handbook shows that a courageous follower can be an enormous asset to a leader, and he pinpoints five dimensions in which that courage can be demonstrated: assuming responsibility, serving, challenging, participating in transformation and, given the worst-case scenario, leaving…
Citation: Chaleff, Ira. The Courageous Follower: Standing up to & for Our Leaders. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2009. Print.
ISBN: 1605092738

Action Inquiry: The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership
by: Bill Torbert and Associates
Product Description: “Action inquiry” is the process of transformational learning that individuals (and even whole organizations) can undertake to better assess current dangers and opportunities, act in a timely manner, and make future visions come true. Through short stories of leadership and organizational changes in the areas of business, politics, health care, and education, this book illustrates how this process can increase personal integrity, improve relationships, and lead to company profitability and long-term success.
Citation: Torbert, William R., and Susanne R. Cook-Greuter. Action Inquiry: the Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler, 2004. Print.
ISBN: 157675264X

The Gifted Boss
by: Dale A. Dauten
Amazon review: Gifted bosses distinguish themselves from the pack, according to Dauten, by not just hiring employees but by “courting” and ultimately “acquiring allies”; by making their organizations or even just their department as “the best place for the best people to work”; by emphasizing standards (and leaving one’s employees free to figure out how to meet those standards themselves) over rules and procedures; and by trusting employees to find their own answers to problems rather than spend one’s days putting out brushfires for everyone…
Citation: Dauten, Dale A. The Gifted Boss: How to Find, Create, and Keep Great Employees. New York: Morrow, 1999. Print.
ISBN: 688168779

Leadership That Gets Results
by: Daniel Goleman, Harvard Business Review, Reprint
Product Description: This is an enhanced edition of HBR article R00204, originally published in March/April 2000… A leader’s singular job is to get results. But even with all the leadership training programs and “expert” advice available, effective leadership still eludes many people and organizations. One reason, says Daniel Goleman, is that such experts offer advice based on inference, experience, and instinct, not on quantitative data. Now, drawing on research of more than 3,000 executives, Goleman explores which precise leadership behaviors yield positive results. He outlines six distinct leadership styles, each one springing from different components of emotional intelligence. Each style has a distinct effect on the working atmosphere of a company, division, or team, and, in turn, on its financial performance…
Citation: Goleman, Daniel. “Leadership That Gets Results”. Harvard Buisness Review, March 2000

The Founding Fathers on Leadership
by: Donald T. Phillips
Amazon Review: When America aspired to break free from Britain, the real-life David-and-Goliath situation required that a full-blown cadre of dynamic leaders arise immediately from the revolutionary populace. As history shows, it did. Now, Donald T. Phillips–writer, speaker, and mayor of Fairview, Texas–uses those events to suggest ways that today’s businesspeople can likewise overcome tough odds and achieve success. Goal-setting, communication, and risk-taking, Phillips writes in The Founding Fathers on Leadership: Classic Teamwork in Changing Times, are just a few of the traits to be learned by studying Washington, Jefferson, and their colleagues.
Citation: Phillips, Donald T. The Founding Fathers on Leadership: Classic Teamwork in Changing times. New York, NY: Warner, 1998. Print.
ISBN: 446674257

Why CEO’s Fail
by: Dotlich, David, and Peter C. Cairo
Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly: Businesses are often defined by the personalities at the top. Enron’s Jeff Skilling and Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski rose through the ranks with their single-minded determination and abrasive styles, but also saw their careers-and companies-fail spectacularly because of those same traits. Management consultants Dotlich and Cairo diagnose the behaviors that can sink even the most talented businesspeople. Whether it’s arrogance, aloofness, volatility or any of the other personality flaws they’ve singled out, the authors encourage CEOs to throttle back on Type A brashness and focus more on team-building that will create a loyal and honest staff. It’s an original mélange of business smarts and accessible psychology, and the authors’ able storytelling brings their diagnoses to life…
Citation: Dotlich, David L., and Peter C. Cairo. Why CEOs Fail: the 11 Behaviors That Can Derail Your Climb to the Top-and How to Manage Them / David L. Dotlich, Peter C. Cairo; Forewords by Ram Charan and Robert Hogan. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003. Print.
ISBN: 787967637

Getting Things Done When You’re Not in Charge
by: Geoffrey Bellman
Product Description: Does it seem that good ideas go nowhere at your company? That meetings are often a waste of time? That nobody seems to be in charge? Roger Fisher (the coauthor of the bestselling book Getting to Yes) and Alan Sharp tackle, in their book Getting It Done, the inertia that afflicts many groups. The authors advance the idea of lateral leadership as a means of breaking apart the logjams that inhibit effective collaboration in organizations…This is a practical guide to solving common workplace woes that will relieve the frustrations that many of us experience everyday and at the same time help us to stand out as leaders.
Citation: Bellman, Geoffrey M. Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2001. Print.
ISBN: 1576751724

How the Mighty Fall
by: Jim Collins
Product Description: Amidst the desolate landscape of fallen great companies, Jim Collins began to wonder: How do the mighty fall? Can decline be detected early and avoided? How far can a company fall before the path toward doom becomes inevitable and unshakable? How can companies reverse course?  In How the Mighty Fall, Collins confronts these questions, offering leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course. Collins’ research project–more than four years in duration–uncovered five step-wise stages of decline…
Citation: Collins, James C. How the Mighty Fall: and Why Some Companies Never Give in. New York: Collins Business, 2009. Print.
ISBN: 977326411

How to Grow Leaders
by: John Adair
Product Description: How to Grow Leaders is an authoritative account of leadership development, the nature of leadership and how it can be taught. John Adair identifies the seven key principles of leadership development and answers vital questions on how to select, train and educate leaders…
Citation: Adair, John Eric. How to Grow Leaders: the Seven Key Principles of Effective Leadership Development. London: Kogan Page, 2009. Print.
ISBN: 749454806

Leadership: What Every Leader Needs to Know
by: John C. Maxwell
Product Description: Drawing from John Maxwell’s bestsellers Developing the Leader Within You, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, and Becoming a Person of Influence, Leadership 101 explores the timeless principles that have become Dr. Maxwell’s trademark style. In a concise, straightforward style, Maxwell focuses on essential and time-tested qualities necessary for true leadership –influence, integrity, attitude, vision, problem-solving, and self-discipline –and guides readers through practical steps to develop true leadership in their lives and the lives of others.
Citation: Maxwell, John C. Leadership 101. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002. Print.
ISBN: 785264191

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
by: John C. Maxwell
Product Description: Internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author John C. Maxwell has taken this million-seller and made it even better: Every Law of Leadership has been sharpened and updated, Seventeen new leadership stories are included, Two new Laws of Leadership are introduced, New evaluation tool will reveal your leadership strengths-and weaknesses, New application exercises in every chapter will help you grow.
Citation: Maxwell, John C. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You. Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 2007. Print.
ISBN: 785288376

Five temptations of a CEO
by: Patrick Lencioni
Amazon Review: Designed to be read in a single sitting, this book uses the unexpected meeting between troubled high-tech honcho Andrew O’Brien and a mysterious old man named Charlie to explore a series of common traps that can unwittingly ensnare any hard-driven executive. Lencioni hones in on the five “temptations” of the workplace: desires to jealously guard career status, consistently remain popular with subordinates, unfailingly make correct decisions, constantly strive for an atmosphere of total harmony, and always appear invulnerable. A discussion of the story’s events and their real-world implications follows, as Lencioni shifts from screenwriter mode to business coach to help answer some of the questions he raises.
Citation: Lencioni, Patrick. The Five Temptations of a CEO: a Leadership Fable. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998. Print.
ISBN: 470267585

Ready to get started?

About the author

Marcie Levine

Marcie Levine

Prior to founding SurveyConnect, Marcie had more than twelve-years of experience in HR, both as a consultant and in several corporate positions. As an HR consultant, she worked on a variety of client assignments, including the design and implementation of surveys. She created SurveyConnect to streamline and simplify the process of survey creation and administration. Marcie has published articles about 360 feedback process in trade magazines, including the International Society for Performance Improvement, Selling Power, T+D Magazine, and Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.