One of the best ways to stay informed and to grow as a leader is to make time to read personal development books that offer new ideas, inspiration and insight. During the course of our coaching and training sessions, we frequently suggest books to our clients to support the concepts that we discuss. Here is a partial list of some of our favorite books that we recommend most to our clients. Consider this “brain candy” list a Spring gift!
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni. An easy to read story that will help you understand how to improve teamwork and manage diverse personalities.
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. This happens to be one of the most used and tattered books on my personal bookshelf. He shares powerful, life-changing, and timeless advice on managing your time and managing your life. If you have never read it and if you only acquire one book on this list, let this be the one.
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Grenny, McMillan, Switzler, and Patterson. One of our most requested topics continues to be conflict management and this book serves as a nice supplement to the conflict management methodology that we teach.
- The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Powerful life-lessons based on the “last lecture” from Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who gave his last lecture about a year before he died from pancreatic cancer. His lecture went viral once posted on YouTube, which led to various media appearances including the Oprah show. He then went on to co-author this New York Times best-seller.
- The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. This book is written by Stephen R. Covey’s son and focuses on how to build a culture based on trust. It explores 13 behaviors leaders engage in that build trust.
- Managing the Professional Service Firmby David Maister. This book offers management, leadership, and strategic and profitability advice for professional service firms.
- Nuts!: Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe For Business and Personal Success by Kevin and Jackie Freiberg. This book is a must if you are serious about providing truly exceptional client service and retaining your most valuable asset – your employees!
- Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Explore strategies for boosting your emotional IQ and learn to build competencies such as empathy and self-awareness.
- The Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Art of Influence by Ken Blanchard. A succinct and easy to read book with thought-provoking leadership quotations.
- True Professionalism by David Maister. Another must-read, this book explores the fundamentals of leadership and client service within the profession.
Make it a habit to always have a book (or an e-book) with you so that if you find yourself waiting in line, waiting for a client or stuck in an airport you’ll be able to be productive and use the time to feed your mind good food.
Happy reading! Which books would you add to this list? Please leave a comment letting us know what books have positively influenced you. We are always looking for new recommendations!