[December 09, 2014] I’ve been a bit remiss in not providing my professional reading list. As I wrote in a post just a few days ago in My Blog Themes: Top 10, “Professional level reading is a very important ingredient in this effort [to be a great leader].” For that reason, I have two wonderful books that will certainly entertain and provide a fulfillment to my promise that good books on leadership are invaluable to leaders. Both highly recommended for your end-of-year reading adventure.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t. Donald Mitchell, 2001.
I like the concept upon which this book was written. Its founding principle is that good should not be accepted as just “good enough.” The question posed is how can a business (or any organization for that matter) go from being successful and good, to being the best and greatest. This book by Mitchell uses research and good leadership principles to attempt the task of finding the answers. There are 11 studied companies here and this is good reading. For example a key point made by Mitchell was that great companies blew away their comparable peer group, not just beat them but runaway winners. Mitchell believes that one key to success is a “Level 5” leader and once you’ve read what he has to say, you may think that those Level 5s you know aren’t really up to par. Another key is that a leader has to be more concerned about getting the right people on board rather than the wrong people off board. Makes sense and this is usually the opposite of what many leaders think since they spend too much time dealing with problem employees. A very good read and highly recommended.
Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization. John Wooden and Steve Jamison, 2005.
Demonstrating that leadership is universal, this book by basketball coach Wooden and his long-time writing collaborator Jamison have once again offered both Wooden’s philosophy and concrete tips on being a leader. John Wooden is the most successful college basketball coach in history … a 10 time NCAA champion. What I thought interesting was the many anecdotes he spreads throughout the book (helps keep it from being boring). And boring the book is certainly not. This book applies directly to the workplace, whether it be a large corporation, the military, or a small business. One of his important guidelines is that details are important and Wooden uses the rivets of an airplane wing as the metaphor; “…each detail (is) like a rivet on the wing of an airplane. Remove one rivet from the wing and it remains intact; remove enough of them, however, and the wing falls off…” A leader must identify each of the many details that are most pivotal to team success and then establish, and teach, a high standard of behavior or performance in executing those details. Highly recommended.
To go to the full Professional Reading list, simply click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/
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