BOOKS FOR EXECUTIVES TO READ AND NOT TO READ
by Perry Smith (July 2010 update)
This list appears here courtesy of General Smith.
1. The Tipping Point by Gladwell. (Most insightful book I have read in years). His books Blink and Outliers are also worthwhile.
2. Leading Up by Useem (How to help your bosses do better)
3. Leaders by Bennis and Nanus (An enduring classic)
4. Right from the Start by Ciampa (Best book on how to transition into a top leadership position)
5. Three Cups of Tea by Mortenson (Uplifting tale of life in the remote parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. What one committed person can accomplish)
6. The Promise: President Obama, Year One by Alter (Inside look at Obama's first year in office)
7. Coping with Difficult People by Bramson (To be kept at your elbow)
8. The Chinese Century by Shenkar (Overstated but insightful)
9. Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Friedman (Friedman is the best of the American observers of world issues)
10. The Courageous Follower by Chaleff (An excellent book on an important but largely neglected topic)
11. The Fourth Star by Jaffe and Cloud (A close look at four generals)
12. The Female Advantage: Women's Ways of Leadership by Helgesen (Women leaders should go with their inherent leadership strengths)
13. Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Christakis and Fowler
14. Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory by Hessler (A grass roots look at China today)
15. The Department of Mad Scientists by Belfiore (An in depth look at DARPA)
16. Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty by Collier (The remarkable life stories of our living Medal of Honor recipients)
Books hardly worth reading:
Books by Paul Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Lester Thurow, John Lehman, Jeremy Rifkin (ponderous writing, deep cynicism, lack of objectivity or poor track record in predicting future events or trends).
Magazines of value:
Business Week, The Economist, The Futurist, Foreign Affairs.
Television shows of great value:
PBS's "The News Hour"
"NBC Nightly News" with Brian Williams
Leadership conference for first line supervisors:
Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership (Inexpensive and great location) - (www.blueridgeleadership.com)
Organization to join:
The World Future Society (www.wfs.org)
Perry Smith’s leadership book Rules and Tools for Leaders is used in the Emory University MBA and EMBA program as well as in a number of military and community leadership programs. It has passed the 300,000 mark. He serves as Secretary of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. He welcomes comments on this list and on his books and articles. firstname.lastname@example.org 706.399.9754