10 Essential Books for Any Leader (and Organizational Development or consulting professionals who support them!)

1. Go Put Your Strengths to Work

Why? To be your best self and leverage the best of others, you need to focus on strengths (but you know that already…you’ve visited this blog after all!)

2. The First 90 Days

Why? Provides framework to determine what to focus on right away, and essential tips and tools to expedite new leaders’ transition. Trust me, it works!

3. Difficult Conversations

Why? It outlines three (completely accurate) stages of difficult conversations. Drives home why it’s essential to ensure you’re having the deepest level conversation necessary for the situation.

4. Getting to Yes

Why? It’s negotiation and mediation 101 – who doesn’t need to know how to do this quickly and easily?

5. The Mediator’s Handbook

Why? A fabulous step-by-step guide on how to facilitate a successful mediation (and believe me, it’s so good, you don’t want to skip ANY steps!)

6. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life

Why? Reinforces the power of mindset, and the Choice Map is a concrete tool to help with mindset shift (yours, staff, peers, customers…)

7. Do More Great Work

Why? Through exercises, helps you to determine what is your bad, good and great work (and why doing mainly good work isn’t good enough!)

8. Crucial Confrontations

Why? When conversations are really, really tough, this book provides additional strategies on how to work through them.

9. Influencer

Why? Concrete and powerful examples of how changes (that seem nearly impossible) can happen, but need to influence people’s ability and motivation differently depending on which of the three levels you are at – individual, team/group, organization/system

10. Co-Active Coaching

Why? Best coaching book I’ve read – some theory, some exercises, and a lot of wisdom…the CD of examples of actual coaching conversations was fabulous.


Oh and one more….for the consultants out there

11. Flawless Consulting

Why? It’s the consultant’s bible. Absolutely essential. Nonnegotiable. End of story.

2 thoughts on “10 Essential Books for Any Leader (and Organizational Development or consulting professionals who support them!)

  1. I have read and am familiar with most of these books and agree. The emphasis on conflict management is valuable as that is an area that is very common in leadership but one in which most leaders do not feel comfortable or well prepared. The research done by the Lominger folks (Leadership Architect) supports this as a strength that is underdeveloped in most leaders. Peter Block’s book on Flawless Consulting has been around for the test of time and is still a classic.

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