Special Issue of Your Weekly Staff Meeting: For the last nine years, Your Weekly Staff Meeting has featured a “Book-of-the-Year” pick from the books I've reviewed each year. Recently, I mentioned these powerful books during a podcast interview. Here are the books:
9 Books Every Leader and Manager Must Read!
2016: The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan
Favorite quote: "What's the ONE Thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?"
2015: Leadership Briefs: Shaping Organizational Culture to Stretch Leadership Capacity, by Dick Daniels
Favorite Quote: Under six “Graceful Reminders” in Chapter 11 the author warns about “the danger of the 15%. Some people can be right 85% of the time. It is a powerful gift. The danger is when they assume they are right 100% of the time. They become relationally dangerous 15% of the time when they are wrong but think they are correct.”
2014: Xenophon's Cyrus the Great: The Arts of Leadership and War, by Xenophon (Larry Hedrick, Editor)
Favorite Quote: Peter Drucker noted: “…the first systematic book on leadership—the Kyropaidaia by Xenophon, himself no mean leader of men—is still the best book on the subject.”
2013: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: Discover the 20 Workplace Habits You Need to Break, by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter
Favorite Quote: Goldsmith says there are 20 workplace habits you need to break. He also quotes Peter Drucker: “We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.”
2012: The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business, by Patrick Lencioni
Favorite Quote: “No matter how good a leadership team feels about itself, and how noble its mission might be, if the organization it leads rarely achieves its goals, then, by definition, it’s simply not a good team.”
2011: Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward, by Dr. Henry Cloud
Favorite Quote: He defines the pruning moment as “that clarity of enlightenment when we become responsible for making the decision to own the vision or not. If we own it, we have to prune. If we don’t, we have decided to own the other vision, the one we called average. It is a moment of truth that we encounter almost every day in many, many decisions.”
2010: The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God. Having the Guts to Respond, by Bill Hybels
Favorite Quote: Hybels suggests five questions to ask to discern God’s whispers: “1) Is the prompting truly from God? 2) Is it scriptural? 3) Is it wise? 4) Is it in tune with your own character? And 5) What do the people you most trust think about it?”
2009: Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry, by Ruth Haley Barton
Favorite Quote: On spiritually discerning God's voice in a group: “It is also important to involve the right people. One very common leadership mistake is to think that we can take a group of undiscerning individuals and expect them to show up in a leadership setting and all of a sudden become discerning!”
2008: Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Leaders, by Peter F. Drucker, Frances Hesselbein, and Joan Snyder Kuhl. (Note: this links to the latest edition of the book, published in 2015.)
Favorite Quote: Question 5: What Is Our Plan? Drucker lists five elements of effective plans: Abandonment, Concentration, Innovation, Risk Taking, and Analysis. On abandonment he preaches, “Ask of any program, system, or customer group, ‘If we were not committed to this today, would we go into it?’ If the answer is no, say ‘How can we get out—fast?’”
NOTE: The book-of-the-year for 2017 will be announced here on Dec. 31, 2017. And this reminder: click here to download free resources from the 20 management buckets (core competencies).
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