What are the best books you’ve read on the subject? I welcome all titles. I’m cleaning out Borders tomorrow. Reading kicks ass.
Two I like, CMC, are “Break All the Rules” and “The One Minute Manager”
Hows that Gray hair thing going?
Leadership books… I know this will probably get flamed…
Seven Habits of Highly Effictive People by Steven Covey. Before I started teaching, I was sent to one of these Seminars and all I could think when I first got there was “this is going to be gay.” But it wasn’t, the whole focus isn’t on how you can be a better leader, although there are aspects of the 7 habits that deal with it. It mostly teaches you how to better handle yourself when you’re communicating. It strips you down and helps you discover and develop your own issues so that way you can work better with others. The main thing that this book discusses leadership-wise is the change in the paradigm of “the people I’m in charge of work for me” to “I work for the people I’m in charge of.” (the upside down pyramid) It seems like a simple concept, and it is, but the Seven Habits show you how to make that leadership change. When I first started leading people I was very totalitarian, (do it, do it now, or I’ll rip you apart… I promise…) Nowadays, I’m a lot more reasonable and things I’m in charge of seem to go a lot more smoothly. I don’t credit the Seven Habits completely, but they definitely had an impact on me being a better leader.
The best advice I can give, though, is to read all you can then practice it on your people, everyone and every situation is different and there isn’t one set template or formula to being a good leader.
Have fun at Borders, I love that fucking store.
mamann: Thanks for the suggestions.
Brad: Yup, that’s a great book. I’ve already read it. I completely agree with your comments. The hair situation is still the same. However, I can hide it pretty well and I’m going to stop thinking about my hair and focus on more important things.
I really enjoyed Covey’s ‘First things First’, a good total life thinker. (wow what great grammar :-))
Try “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” or even Norman Schwarzkopf’s autobiography “It Doesn’t take a Hero”.
Two Classics: Sun-Tzu’s “The Art of War” and Machiavelli’s “The Prince.”
The latter is a bit hard to get into but they can’t be beat for leadership strategies and more.
If you want something really different, but really amazing “The Art of War” is the way to go.
http://www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/22-100/toc.htm -this is a Book by the US Army on Leadership. Very interesting quotes on the subject as well.
“Art of War” Sun-Tzu is a good one you should also check Rudy Giuliani “Leadership” book that he wrote also.
How about “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie.
I’m not sure if you would classify this as leadership, although you certainly need this skills to be effective as one (unless you want to be a hated dictator type)
among other things, it has been said that a leader is one who influences others to do as they normally wouldn’t, all the while thinking it was their idea. That said, I think Carnegie’s book would be appropriate.
Damn Sergius you stole my two books. . .
Although if anyone is interested you can download The Art of War from project Guttenberg. Just do a search and it’ll come up, they may have The Prince too. . .
Leadership is a topic I find fascinating and while I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, it is a subject I’ve read much about for coaching purpses and for firefighting. I could list a large bibliography of books, but I’ll keep it to my two personal favourites.
“Good to Great” by Jim Collins is the business leadership book du jour right now and is very well researched and well written. It breaks leadership down to some pretty simple concepts and exposes some of the myths of leadership qualities we often attribute to well known business and military leaders. I’m not saying it’s the difinitive comtemporary book on leadership, just different in it’s approach from most of the others out there.
My other favourite is “Zen lessons, the Art of Leadership”, Translated by Thomas Cleary. It’s a book of leadership philosophy from various “Zen masters” from over a 1000 years ago, but is as contmporary in it’s message as the first book I mentioned.
I like “Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun.”
I was also interested by a thought from Warren Buffet. He thinks the best employees are those that have an “ownership” mentality. Now it may not be directly related to leadership, but if you have that mentality of you are pivotal to the success and failure, it can unleash all your abilities.