To become a recognized expert in any subject, a professional has to stay on top of the latest developments in their area of expertise. For this reason, I am constantly reading books, motivational articles, reviewing research studies, and scanning papers on leadership, employee motivation, and work environment.
The following leadership books are very supportive of the concepts that I speak about in my professional activities, and I am pleased to recommend them to you. Also, check out these recommended titles on business strategy and personal effectiveness and success!
I am interested in continuing to enhance and share this list with others. If you have a recommendation for a motivational book or book about building loyalty that you feel belongs on this list, please send me the information!
* For more information on a book, hover over or click on the book image.
First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
This book outlines the groundbreaking research of Buckingham and Coffman around the factors of employee engagement - motivated, committed employees who take ownership of their work. Many of the leadership practices we teach to our clients are reflected in Buckingham and Coffman's Q12 assessment - 12 questions that measure the levels of employee engagement.
Now, Discover Your Strengths Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton
This sequel to Buckingham's original Q12 research explores how engaging employees in their area of strength increases commitment and engagement. This "play to strength" concept is a key employee motivation and retention factor.
Driving Fear Out of the Workplace Kathleen D. Ryan and Daniel K. Oestreich
Ryan and Oestreich take a close look at what creates fear in the workplace including how avoidance contributes to employee insecurity and a cycle of mistrust. The second book might better be called "building trust in the workplace," with some interesting ideas for establishing high-trust relationships with employees. An interesting read.
The War for Talent Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod
Based on McKinsey's research into the challenges for employers to attract, recruit and retain top talent, this book lays out the fundamentals of a talent management program. In particular, I often recommend clients review the sections on developing an employment value proposition and developing a recruitment strategy.
The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders Ira Chaleff
Not everyone works for a strong boss. This book by Ira Chaleff gives some concrete ideas for coping in these situations and focusing on contributing to the organization. His focus is on open communication and developing an honest relationship with a leader, while maintaining your own peace of mind, integrity and well-being. A great book for anyone who finds themself in this challenging situation.
Flight of the Buffalo: Soaring to Excellence, Learning to Let Employees Lead Ralph C. Stayer, James A. Belasco
”People rise to the challenge when it is their challenge” – this concept from the Flight of the Buffalo is at the centre of my leadership philosophy. Getting people engaged and involved in all aspects of their work, particularly setting personal performance goals can net dramatic results for the team and the company.
The Leadership Challenge James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
As someone who was trained directly by James Kouzes in the leadership principles outlined in this book, I can say that these principles are timeless and are woven through the conversations that I have with leaders each day. The five practices of exemplary leadership outlined in this book are: modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You John C. Maxwell
This book by John Maxwell covers the gamut of lessons for leaders including building trust, being a good listener, influencing vs. leading, gaining buy-in, and empowering employees – to mention only a few. I often recommend this book to new leaders.
Dances With Dependency Calvin Helin
An excellent book for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of issues related to modern day Aboriginal life in Canada.