Recommended Books...

While some of these books are getting old, all have been significant in my life and may be helpful for you and your team.
Daren Wride

Increasing Your Leadership Confidence, by Bobb Biehl

I picked this book up in December of 1989 and it has become a guide I will refer to for the rest of my life. With lists of questions and applications on key aspects of leadership and personal development, there is something here for everyone at every stage of their development. Significant resources for leading and developing healthy teams. This book has been re-released as "Thirty Days to Leadership Confidence."

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey

You are most likely familiar with this landmark book. In the early ‘90’s when I read it, it launched me solidly into priority-based planning and time management. How can you lead a team if YOU don't know where you are going?

The Power of Full Engagement, by Jim Loehr, Tony Schwartz

The focus of this book is on “managing energy, not time.” In fact, the authors argue that the true purpose of time management is energy management. They also give many guidelines on how to begin increasing your energy immediately. Ideal for a team to read and discuss together.

The Power of Simplicity, by Jack Trout

Yeah, I guess I like “the power of...” titles. You may know of Jack Trout from his classic Positioning. I bought this book based on the title and the dedication line ("Dedicated to the overwhelmed and the confused who sense there’s a simpler way") and was not disappointed. While he takes shots at popular organizational, leadership, and management ideas, he is ultimately on a rampage against unnecessary complexity. While there is no section dedicated to teamwork, this would be a great book to go through as a team.

Goals, by Brian Tracy

A very thorough treatment of the topic of goal setting and achievement. If goal setting is a basic part of your operational strategy, buying and digesting a copy of this book is probably worth your time. In fact, get one for eveyone on your team!

Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi

This networking manual, whose author is considered by some to be the most connected person in the world, is the antidote both to tacky networking and a fear of networking. With a high emphasis on genuine friendship and value added interactions, practical advice I could adopt immediately, and sidebars highlighting individuals from Ferrazzi’s “Connector’s Hall of Fame,” this was my top read from back in 2006.

On Writing, by Stephen King

Even if you are not in the target audience for this book (aspiring novelists) nor a big fan of Stephen King, his masterful use of the English language sets a high standard for communicators of all stripes. I’ve been tempted to sleep with this book under my pillow in hopes that some of his clarity, discipline, and focus will rub off on me.

The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton Christensen

An innocent research foray into the topic of innovation resulted in my being blind-sided by this book. Using some compelling case studies, the author builds a strong case for the inability of existing organizations to create or even respond to “disruptive” (versus sustaining) innovations, leaving them vulnerable to the young, nimble organizations that create those disruptions. The implications of his theory touch organizations of every kind, including non-profits, and by the time I got to the end of the book it was a foregone conclusion that I would be reading his follow-up, The Innovator’s Solution. If innovation is part of your team's DNA, or you want it to be, digest this one together.

The One Thing You Need to Know, by Marcus Buckingham

The subtitle, “...about great managing, great leading, and sustained individual success” reveals this book’s structure. You will not necessarily agree with his conclusions, but simply wrestling though the process of considering what is most important in each of these areas will challenge and strengthen your convictions. If nothing else, find a copy of the book and flip through it until you find The One Thing You Need to Know About Sustained Personal Success. It could lead to a significant shift in your life. A great gift for your team members.

The Bible

In addition to providing a record of the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, one of the most significant shapers of world history, books like Proverbs (which was compiled about 1000 B.C.) give snippets of ancient wisdom that have obvious application to our lives today. Newer translations like The Message provide a fresh phraseology, while the King James Version of 1611 is a showcase of the finest writing of that day. An interesting study on teamwork and team leadership is to read the sections where Jesus is working with his disciples.

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