Additional Reading Recommendations for Military and Business Leaders

I love to read and apply what I learn.  I encourage other military leaders and business professionals to do the same because I value the deep knowledge and various tools I have developed over the past 15 years since I started a reading development program.

For those accepted into our program, our Development and Preparation Program© (DPP) provides a comprehensive list of books to prepare for a business career, our Resource Center has an abridged list for those who are not accepted into our program, and PCS to Corporate America 4th. Ed. (Cameron, Alvarez and Junker) also has an extensive reading list.  To view the DPP Reading List and the abridged list, visit our Resource Center http://www.cameron-brooks.com/candidates_resourcecenter.html.

While those books recommended in DPP, in our ResourceCenter and in PCS 4thEd. are great places to start, excellent leadership and business books are being published all the time.  Therefore, we have numerous other books that we like and use.  We recommend these to someone who has read all of the books in our program or to Cameron-Brooks Alumni asking for recommendations.  Below is a list of some of our favorites.  As you can, see we like a variety of books – those on talent, skill development, biographies, and more.  We recommend a well-balanced reading program just like your diet.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There:  How Successful People Become Even More Successful (Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter).  Marshall Goldsmith is an executive coach who describes bad habits that derail careers and provides advice to overcome them to help you become the leader you want to become.

MOJO:  How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It(Marshall Goldsmith).  Another great book by Marshall Goldsmith.  Let’s face it, a career is a marathon and not a sprint, and has several bumps in the road.  We all lose our motivation at times.  This book helps you find your “winning streaks” and how to keep them coming, overcoming those bumps in the road.

Wooden on Leadership:  How to Create a Winning Organization (John Wooden and Steve Jamison).  Can you believe that the most successful college basketball coach, and probably the best coach of any sport, did not focus on wins and losses?  No, they were the result or the outcome of great habits and developing great teams and organizations.

Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success (Carol Dweck).  Stanford Psychologist, Carol Dweck, addresses the differences between a fixed and growth mindset and how the growth mindset can help you reach your potential, and how you can help others reach theirs.

The Executive and the Elephant:  A Leader’s Guide for Building Inner Excellence(Richard L. Daft).  This is a book on personal mastery.  Even great leaders can be stuck in poor habits, be reactionary, overreact, etc. (the Elephant), but we can be better by being thoughtful, rational, circumspect and more disciplined (the Executive).

Honest Signals:  How They Shape Our World (Alex Pentland).  Subtle patterns in how we react to others indicate whether we are listening, paying attention, interested, etc.  They reveal signals towards other people that may not agree with the words we are using.  This is a great book to help all leaders with their body language and listening, and also how to read others’ body language.

Talent is Overrated:  What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else (Geoff Colvin).  Hard work and talent will only take a person so far in a career.  Colvin argues it also takes “deliberate practice” to become extraordinary.

Plain Talk:  Lessons from a Business Maverick (Ken Iverson).  This is a great biography by the CEO of Nucor and how he saved the company.  He shares his ideas and lessons learned from saving the company and building a world-class organization.

The Power of Habit:  Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change (Charles Duhigg).  This book will make you think twice about what you do and why you do it.  It will help you look at yourself, others and your organization to understand key habits that drive you, and other habits that are good to keep and ones you should change.  Easy read with great stories to support his points.

The Servant Leader:  How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance (James A. Autry).  Servant leadership is a big topic in business today.  This is the type of leader that teams and companies want.  Ken Blanchard and Robert K. Greenleaf also have good books on this topic.

The Snowball:  Warren Buffet and the Business of Life (Alice Schroeder).  This is the biography of Warren Buffet.  If you want to be successful in business, shouldn’t you study, learn about and know one of the most successful business people ever?

The Advantage:  Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business(Patrick Lencioni).  We really like this book and have implemented his steps in establishing a purpose, values and behaviors.  It has really elevated our organizational effectiveness and focus.  Whether you are leading a small team, a sales territory or a large division, you can apply some or all of Lencioni’s recommendations.

To Sell is Human:  The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing, and Influencing Others (Daniel H. Pink).  Regardless of our role in a company/organization, we are all in sales.  This book is for everyone, and not just those in a sales or marketing career.  You want to get better at influencing your children, spouse, coworkers, suppliers, contractors, customers, boss, peers, etc.?  Read this book, study it, apply it!

 

Joel Junker