One of my favorite leadership books is “The One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. It speaks about simple techniques to effectively manage people so that both the organization and the individual profit.
I love to give books as gifts but I don’t have a “go to book.” One of the wonderful things about books is it is so easy to personalize the gift based on the person’s interests. For people new to the Treasure Valley, I like to give them books about Boise, especially books about hiking and biking here.
“Better Human: It’s a Full-Time Job.” Written by yours truly!
“Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom.
“The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell.
Right now it would be “Extreme Ownership.” It is a leadership book written by two former Navy Seal commanders about the leadership lessons they learned under intense pressure. It is all about accountability that drives leaders to achieve victory. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.” It’s easy to blame others when things go wrong, and this book helps remind me that personal accountability is the only way to sustain great leadership.
“Beowulf,” translation by Seamus Heaney.
“The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein – a wonderful story with many life lessons.
The book I would recommend is “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews. I was presented this book by a friend of mine some number of years ago. The book takes a look at crisis in a person’s life and focuses on seven rules of life that can provide a whole different perspective on how someone might live life. No matter how bad things might seem, our outlook on life can have a huge bearing on where things could take us. This is a book that can have a profound impact on a person’s life.
So many choices, and book selections are very personal. “Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole is a favorite, though, if you have a friend with a good sense of humor who appreciates brilliant writing.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” In my opinion, it is the greatest book of the 20th century in American literature and an enduring classic. It details the striving nature of the American spirit while exposing some of the harsh realities just beneath the surface of American life. It is a book you can read throughout your life and take profound meaning from it each time. It means something different to you in high school, college, young adulthood and middle age. Second place would be John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.”
“The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell.
“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr.
“The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” by Barry Posner and James M. Kouzes.
I enjoy reading and am quick to recommend many different books, especially in business management. The book I highly recommend for everyone is “Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter” by Shelly Brady. It is such an inspiring story of not only not giving up, but being an inspirational person no matter the barriers. Bill Porter shows that even cerebral palsy cannot stop you from making a positive difference in the lives of people.
I’m going to recommend books in two categories.
“Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard” by Dan and Dean Heath. The Heath brothers have generated some of the best business thinking and writing in the country in recent years, I think, and with this one they have shared some very important lessons about how to address BHAGs – big, hairy, audacious goals. For me, they build on that BHAG thinking that James Collins and Jerry Porras began in 1994 with “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.” In the more than two decades since that seminal book, there has been terrific disruption in some of the biggest areas in our society: media, education and health care come to mind. The Heaths’ work is timely and insightful.
And then, anything by our incredible, Pulitzer Prize-winning neighbor Anthony Doerr! I’m a big fan.
Jim Collins has several good books, but “Good to Great” is a favorite. It prompts us to think in terms of long-term and sustainable practices, both personally and professionally, that help us achieve our goals. Nothing replaces hard work, persistence and integrity but a mindset for making lasting changes for improvement is necessary.
Patrick O’Brian’s “Master and Commander.”
Currently, “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr.