Leadership and Management discussion

Most Influential Book

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message 1: by Robert (last edited Aug 23, 2008 08:01AM) (new)

Robert | 1 comments
Of all that you have read thus far, which one book has had the greatest influence on your personal as well as professional development?

How so?

As for me, it has been Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography.

How so?

Because, since childhood, it has helped me to make countless (and usually correct) decisions in my life, including what not to do, and has also helped me to develop the values and habits I have needed to achieve the various goals I continue to set.

Please share your own choice and the reasons for it.

message 2: by Randy (new)

Randy Park | 1 comments That is a very tough question, because my own development has occurred because of many influences, most through books.
If I had to only pick one, it would probably be The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge. It has great insights over a wide variety of topics, from self awareness to organizational behaviour.

message 3: by Arun (new)

Arun Ramamurthy | 1 comments I agree with Randy that this is a tough question, because I believe there would be more than one book that you would think to be the most influential - as there would definitely be more than one song that you think is the best ever.
Two books come to my mind as I hear this question - One is "Chinese Knowledge", a translation in Tamil about Lao Tsu's philosophy. Very few times do you get to read a book and feel that you have learnt something profoundly impacting, a idea so powerful and beautiful at the same, and wish everyone knows about it. Lao's principles could only be grasped and explained by a guru like him.
In similar lines, " I'm Ok; You're Ok" by Dr. Thomas Harris is one influential book which introduces Transactional Analysis(TA ) to the commoner. TA is a theory explaining intricacies of who we really are, and should certainly be read by everyone.
I would say these books are to be read by anyone in management - the first to know about the world and nature, and how management fits in there; the second to know about himself.

message 4: by Manu (new)

Manu | 1 comments I agree with Randy's view. In my case, I have gone through numerous books on personal development and leadership development. One remarkable book that has influenced my thoughts is the one I am currently reading: "Tough Choices" by Carly Fiorina, former CEO of HP

message 5: by Irial (new)

Irial O'Farrell | 4 comments The most influential book I ever read was Leadership & Self-Deception. I read the book in a day and when I was finished, I picked up the phone and called the arbinger institute to find out more.

Why did it have such an impact on me? Having studied Philosophy, coaching, management and leadership, there had been something that bugged me and I couldn't quite figure it out. I read this book and knew that it both articulated the question and gave the answer. To me, it was the source of all that we are as humans.

message 6: by Dino (new)

Dino Hsu (dinohsu1019) I like The Seven Habbits of Highly Effective People.

message 7: by Acohen843 (new)

Acohen843 | 1 comments I agree there are many different books on this topic that are beneficial. One of the classics is the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I keep a list of the 7 principles push pinned on my cubicle wall. I try to follow them every day especially when things get tough or when I'm working with a difficult client.

message 8: by Jay (new)

Jay (jaytbutler) | 5 comments I also agree that this is a very difficult question. Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders is perhaps my favorite. It is impossible to lead without considering the full person, not just the mechanics of leadership. To inspire people to higher performance and to accomplish what has not been done before requires not only to touch the mind, but also to capture the heart.

message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Santos | 2 comments Robert wrote: "
Of all that you have read thus far, which one book has had the greatest influence on your personal as well as professional development?

Leadership: Past, Present & Future by Carlos Rivera

How so?

It's simple to the point and has examples of past and present leaders.

As for me, it has been Benjamin Franklin's Autobio..."

message 10: by Steven (new)

Steven Smith (srsmith2014) | 14 comments Even though its a very old book the most influential book on my professional managerial life has been: The Managerial Choice by Frederick Herzberg wherein he presents his two-factor theory. With a clear understanding of what things really motivate people, and what things are just hygiene factors that cause dissatisfaction if not corrected, a manager can make really good decisions. Because this book was so influential, I discuss it in depth in my new book: Managing for Success: Practical Advice for Managers (which, by the way, is still in the give-a-way program. The second most influential book on me is Good to Great by Jim Collins; without the right people in the right positions, our departments will be mediocre no matter what else we do.

message 11: by Dominic (new)

Dominic McLoughlin | 62 comments Mod
Tough question as others have said! I would nominate Patrick Lencioni's Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team because it is very practical and I have used the principles to successfully resolve dysfunction in teams and organisations.

message 12: by Zack (new)

Zack (zechariahs) | 6 comments This is a difficult question. While I tend to devour books authored by John C. Maxwell, based on immediate impact to my professional life my answer has to be "High Output Management" by Andrew S. Grove.

message 13: by Jason W (last edited Jul 06, 2017 05:07AM) (new)

Jason W Miller (jasonwmiller) | 1 comments This is a great discussion and has given me some ideas of what to read next. The three most influential leadership/management books for me are How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (which I consider more of a management book than a self help book), The Power of Professionalism by Bill Wiersma, and the Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner. All three helped shape my current leadership philosophy and help guide my management decisions. The Carnegie book is one I reread annually just to remind myself not to neglect the basic tenants of relationship forming that keep me connected to the people that I deal with every day. The Wiersma book explains seven principles that drive performance and build trust. From this book I learned how to talk about professionalism, how to bring it to the teams I am a part of or managing, and how to build trust through transparency. Finally the Leadership Challenge has served me well in keeping me focused on the most important principles of leadership and helps me not to get too distracted that I forget about what is most crucial to my team. I recently finished reading Radical Candor by Kim Scott which I found very insightful. Scott's book presents a program of candor - inviting criticism from direct reports in order to constantly be honing our management and leadership effectiveness as well as delivering direct and accurate feedback to those same people. I am going to try to implement the radical candor system on my work unit next week. We'll see how it goes. I am confident that at a minimum it will make me a better leaders.

message 14: by Dominic (new)

Dominic McLoughlin | 62 comments Mod
Thanks for that comprehensive answer Jason. I haven't read Radical Candour, will add it to my list. I would be interested to hear how your latest implementation goes - please update us!

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