Saturday, July 19, 2008

reader request: (short) books on leadership

An ack/nak reader and over-all good guy dropped me a note last night.  I will now share it with you.

I'm being asked to step up my leadership effectiveness at work (a minor promotion prompted this comment from my superior), perhaps you know of a (short) book to help me out? 

 I'll offer my USD$0.02 on the topic - I'm counting on the rest of you to chime in with your favorites.

First of all, congratulations. A promotion of any sort is a good thing, especially when it brings with it an opportunity to do something new.  

So you're being challenged to use people resources to achieve results. Neat.

And you're asking for advice on how to be good at it.

Untold thousands of trees have been chopped down, chewed up and smooshed into paper, printed with words, and turned into books on this topic. Leadership is one of those Great Big Ideas, right next to Cheese Moving.

There are two short books on the topic of leadership I've read and enjoyed lately that benefit from being a) short and b) short.  Oh, and they're both fables.  So sue me, I like fables.  And did I mention that they're short?

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick M. Lencioni.  His "five dysfunctions" - absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results - are easy to spot, and curiously straight-forward to address, as they build on each other in a progressive way.  Translation - nothing good will happen in the absence of trust, so work on that first before you start working on the others. 

The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann.  This slim little book is chock-full of hackneyed dialog, stock characters straight out of central casting, and features an ending that will remind you of a Disney movie.  But I loved it for the simplicity of its message - the key to success (sorry, "stratospheric" success) is. . .  I won't spoil it for you, but you can probably already figure it out from the title.  I carry this book around with me and dip in to it on a frequent basis.  No kidding.  It's 144 pages of goodness.  

So there are my two short books.  Others like The West Point Way of Leadership by Col. Larry R. Donnithorne (ret.) can wait for another day. 

1 comment:

Cypripedium said...

Cheese moving is now available online:

Thanks for the tips!