Interesting Books About General Leadership/Management

First Break All the Rules (5*) by Gallup, Marcus Buckingham, Don Clifton (this was a book that changed my views on recruiting and role descriptions, allowing me to see people as more puzzle bits than set, square roles. It completely changed my leadership philosophy in my young 30’s and is definitely worth a read)

The Knowing-Doing Gap (4*)by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton (this book was part of my coursework at Stanford and instrumental to addressing the frequent problems of companies desiring a certain value or behaviour but driving (or rewarding) the opposite. This would be a good book for any company working with their culture, values, mission, purpose who does not see the desired outcome and wants to improve)

Built to Last (4*) by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras (this was my first introduction to Jim Collins and his work, as a course book from Stanford. This book is primarily intended for entrepreneurs or people founding companies, as it looks at (through strong data analysis) what companies built into them to last. History has changed things though, as some of the profiled companies are no longer the commanding presence they were, but the lessons are still worthwhile)

Good to Great (5*) by Jim Collins (this is my favorite of the Jim Collins’ series, primarily because it is the most applicable for leaders and managers who are not able to build a company from scratch. There are so many good points in this book, from the definition of a Level 5 leadership, the mirror vs window, and having the right people on the bus, that I recommend this most if you only read one of his)

How the Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In (4*) by Jim Collins (addressing the above point that history changed some companies that were Built to Last, that once venerable companies don’t always stay that way, this book is much more instructional for those of us who don’t have the opportunity to be part of a start-up and building a company. With the solid data analysis, Jim Collins identifies what causes some companies to fall and others to re-invent and succeed again)

Great by Choice (4*) by Jim Collins (another data driven analysis of specific choices companies make to bring them to greatness)

The No Asshole Rule (5*) by Robert I. Sutton (with a bit of thumbing the nose at Harvard with the title and research area, my former Stanford professor became the expert in Assholes with this book. It is both insightful and an entertaining read for those who want to avoid being an asshole, forming an environment full of assholes, or working with them. Sound research despite the less scholarly name.)

The Asshole Survival Guide (4*) by Robert I. Sutton (continuing in his work with assholes, Sutton now helps you to deal with assholes, as well as helps you to decide if you should pull the plug and change or not. I recommend this book when people are stuck with a colleague or boss they really don’t like, but otherwise enjoy their work.)

Good Boss, Bad Boss (4*) by Robert I Sutton (if you don’t want to end up as the person that people are reading about how to survive from above, this can be a good book to help define and act. As the caption says, “How to be the best and learn from the worst”.)

Note that there are also a lot of good books for leaders and managers under my other categories.