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30 Books Every IT Leader Must Read

This article first appeared on CIO Insight

Society for Information Management’s 2008 list of leadership books covers a wide-range of subjects, except IT itself.

Books ranging from How to Read a Book to The Prince are among 30 books every CIO wannabe should read, according to an annual list of must-read books issued by the Society of Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum.

Why no IT books? The books are aimed at IT professionals with aspirations to move into senior management jobs. “At this point in many careers, IT skills per se are not critical success factors,” Bob Rouse, a Regional Leadership Forum executive board member and affiliate associate professor of computer science and engineering at Washington University, writes in an e-mail exchange with CIO Insight.

The list is headed by How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren, which furnishes guidelines for critically reading.

“Reading is a key skill for continuous learning,” Rouse says. “Rarely have we considered reading as adults carefully or specifically. Adler has created the gourmet guide to reading, serious reading as adults.”

The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli’s political treatise on maintaining order in a principality, written in 1513, is a classic leadership dissertation on how to lead and perhaps most importantly, Rouse says, how not to lead.

Here is the list of the 30 books:

  1. How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
  2. Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others through Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion by Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee
  3. Heart of Change by John P. Kotter
  4. The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World for the Next 5, 10 and 20 Years* by James Canton
  5. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
  6. Leadership Passages: The Personal and Professional Transitions That Make or Break a Leader by David L. Dotlich, James L. Noel and Norman Walker
  7. Made to Stick: Why Some Idea Survive and Others Die* by Chip and Dan Heath
  8. Leadership is an Art by Max DePress
  9. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  10. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman
  11. Authentic Leadership by Bill George
  12. A Higher Standard of Leadership: Lessons from the Life of Gandhi* by Keshavan Nair
  13. Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman
  14. The Theft of the Spirit by Carl Hammerschlag
  15. Nibble Theory by Kaleel Jamison
  16. Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators* by Patrick M. Lencioni
  17. Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable…About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business by Patrick M. Lencioni
  18. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  19. Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie
  20.  Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change by William Bridges
  21. Creating the Good Life :Applying Aristotle’s Wisdom to Find Meaning and Happiness by James O’Toole and Walter Isaacson
  22. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler and Stephen R. Covey
  23. The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All by Michael Useem and Warren Bennis
  24. The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communications in the Age of Distractions by Rebecca Z. Shafir
  25. Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership by Joseph Jaworski (Preface), Betty Sue Flowers (Editor) and Peter M Senge
  26. A Leader’s Legacy* by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
  27. Two Old Women by Velma Wallis
  28.  The Heart Aroused by David Whyte
  29. Penguin State of the World Atlas* by Dan Smith
  30. Speed Lead: Faster, Simpler Ways to Manage People, Projects and Teams in Complex Companies* by Kevan Hall

* New to the list for 2008

Source: 30 Books Every IT Leader Must Read, By Eric Chabrow, posted 08-16-2007

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