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Darin W

I've been reading "Managing" by Henry Mintzberg, and have found it one of the best books I've read on the topic. Worth the investment in time and money.

Wally Bock

Wonderful post, Bob. I join others in suggesting Team of Rivals. It's a superb book about creating and managing a team. I've given it to several clients.

For my money, Warfighting, the doctrine of the US Marines is the very best short English book on strategy. But there's lots of good advice for leaders, as well.

Art Petty and Rich Petro wrote an excellent book called Practical Lessons in Leadership. It's one of the few books out there with a section on how to decide if becoming a boss is for you.

Drucker's Effective Executive deserves its classic status.

And, finally, like any good author, I really, really, really like my Performance Talk: The One-on-One Part of Leadership, which also forms the basis for my Working Supervisor's Support Kit ( )

Joseph Lira

That is a very interesting list, thanks for sharing it, I am particularly interested in Price's "The Pixar Touch", Steve Jobs is both loved and hated all around, I tend to like him and I would like to learn more from his empowerment tactics.
One of my all time favorites is "The Leader in you" by Carnegie, you probably read it already, but I just wanted to make a humble contribution to your post, I really like your blog, I will tell my friends about it.

Lasting Power

Not a bad list, I'd make it a lucky 13 by adding by Joan Magretta.

Daniel Malherbe

Hi Bob. This is my first visit to your blog. Great content. I enjoyed Gary Hamel's The Future of Management and Good to Great by Jim Collins. I still need to read his Built to Last. The cultural poise between industrial age thinking and what is to come in the 21st century never stops to amaze me. Observing Africa's response to this challenge will be fascinating, especially as it is a continent that didn't experienced an internal industrial revolution in the past. Thank you for the list. I will investigate.


What is (or where is) the evidence supporting open-book management?

Al Topher

A pretty good list.

I'd add Ricardo Semler's The Seven-Day Weekend.

And Dennis Bakke's Joy at Work.

Scott Underwood

Your mention of McCullough's 1776 made me think that Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin would be worth mentioning. After his election, Lincoln chose for his cabinet three politicians who had opposed his nomination.

Jason Telerski

Mountains Beyond Mountains, about Paul Farmer and Partners For Health, is my favorite book about leadership--if it is indeed about leadership.

I think that more important than reading about how to be a manager, we should take time to read books about how to be more human. My current favorite is Winnie the Pooh, which I'm reading for perhaps the 30th time with my kids at bedtime.

Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts.

Alice Korngold

Great recommendations! Here are several that I just collected from business, CSR, and nonprofit leaders: and

Kent Blumberg

I have to add one of yours; perhaps the most useful business book I've read: Hard facts, dangerous half-truths, and total nonsense. I can't read a news story, listen to a business proposal, or teach a class without a miniature pair of authors (Pfeffer and Sutton) whispering in my ear: "Where's the evidence?"

John Caddell

Bob, in addition to your excellent suggestions, I'd recommend "Senior Leadership Teams,"by Hackman et al. It talks about boss' other critical responsibilities, besides managing and taking care of their people--being effective peers and teammates to other leaders in their company or division.

The alpha tendencies that cause so many problems with subordinates also impede effectiveness of managers when they have to work together to lead their companies. I certainly wish I had read it before my first executive role.

Regards, john

Jeff Shattuck

I confess, I have not read most of these, but I will investigate them all further.

The only one that I have read is 1776, which I inhaled!

Here's one add: The Lessons of History, by Will and Ariel Durant. I think good bosses should know about the the big events that created the modern world and what conclusions might be drawn from them.

Aldo Gandia

The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell helped our leadership team transform a group of managers from indifferent, passive workers to involved, passionate leaders.

Also, if I may.. if any of Bob Sutton's followers are interested in more leadership tips please consider following me on twitter.

I have 15 years of management experience with the largest restaurant company in the world and i was lovin it everyday of it. Additionally, I've led various production teams at several Fortune 500 companies. Plus, I carry a bicultural background that provides a unique perspective on reaching people.

Thanks for your consideration.

Andrew Meyer

I love your list and it added a few books to my reading list. I'd like to suggest a few others and the reasons I think they're worth reading:

Consulting Demons ( A great history of corporate consulting companies and how the grew up. Hint, it wasn't to help businesses succeed. Consultants are important, understanding their perspective is critical.

The Blind Men and the Elephant ( There are many books about the mechanics of managing projects, this book takes the perspective of understanding them.

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli ( It may not be politically correct, but understanding how power works is always important.

What every BODY is Saying ( Understanding body language is always helpful.

The Four Steps to the Epiphany ( Even if one isn't an entrepreneur, understanding the basics of bringing a product to market is key.

Crossing the Tracks for Love ( Discussing social class is almost forbidden in America, but to deny that it exists is crazy. Ruby Payne has written other books on class in America, but this one conveys the ideas in the most accessible and enjoyable way.

The Black Swan ( Its comforting to think that life goes in a smooth progression, unfortunately that's not the way the world works. Understanding "Mediocristan" and "Extremistan" are important to understanding the world.

Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making ( There are something like 178 entities in the world with revenues over $50B, less than 80 of them are countries. To not think about how to operate in a world where over half of the wealthiest entities do not operate under any country's governance, is to miss one of the major problems effecting the world today.

Maverick: The Success Story behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace. ( Ricardo Semler really is a maverick, and one could dismiss his ideas if he wasn't so successful.

Bret Simmons

A great list, Bob. I too loved Joker One (I think I learned about it on your site). I would add to this list "The Knowing-Doing Gap," a new book "Employees First, Customers Second," and one of my favorite books ever "The Fifth Discipline."

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