Our clients frequently ask us for reading recommendations. For years our response has been, “What area are you interested in?” We think this may still be the best approach to narrow your list, and we have also listed many of the books that have contributed to how we think about our field.
This list (hand picked by Brad Spencer) includes new books as well as many of the classic works in the fields of business and psychology. Some may seem dated, but because of the research, basic nature of the content or the fact that it was groundbreaking at the time, we continue to include them. Top picks in each category are listed in bold.
The Clayton M. Christensen Reader Harvard Business Review
Leadership and Self Deception A.B. Ringer Institute
Authentic Leadership George, Bill
Good to Great Collins, Jim
A Passion for Excellence Peters, Tom
Analyzing Performance Problems Mager, Robert F.
Best of Chief Executive Donlin, J.P.
Executive Levinson, Harry
First Things First Covey, Stephen R.
Hope is Not a Method Harper, Michael V. and Sullivan, Gordon R.
In Search of Excellence Peterson, Thomas
Influencer Grenny, Joseph; McMillan, Ron; Maxfield, David; Patterson, Kerry; and Switzler, Al
Lead Right for Your Company’s Type Schneider, William E.
Leadership Challenge Kouzes, James M.
Matsushita Leadership Kotter, John P.
On Becoming a Leader Bennis, Warren
Power and Influence Kotter, John P.
Principle Centered Leadership Covey, Stephen R.
Purpose Driven Organization Pascarella, Perry
Stealing Fire Kotler, Steven and Wheal Jamie
The Mastery of Management Kahler, Talibi
The Prince Machiovelli, Niccalo
The Reengineering Alternative Schneider, William E.
The Temporary Society Bennis, Warren
The Truth About Forgiveness Shenk, Tom
The Trusted Advisor Master, David
The Way of the Seal Divine, Mark
Execution Bassidy, Larry
Corporate Culture and Performance Kotter, John P. and Heskett, James L.
Built to Last Collins, James C.
301 Great Management Ideas Noble, Sara P.
A Manager’s Guide to Operations Research Ackoff, Rivett
Assertiveness at Work Prentice Hall
Attaining Manufacturing Excellence Hall, Robert
Behavior in Organizations Porter, L.W.
Beyond the Quick Fix Kilmann, Ralph H.
Best Practices Anderson, Arthur
Danger in the Comfort Zone Bardwick, Judith M.
Do Nothing Murnighan, Keith J.
Every Employee, A Manager Myers, Scott
Gods of Management Handy, Charles
Living on the Fault Line Moore, Geoffrey A.
Management, Tasks, Responsibilities, and Practices Drucker, Peter F.
Management, A Book of Reading Koontz and O’Donnell
Management Cases Drucker, Peter F.
Managing the Professional Service Firm Maister, David H.
New Patterns in Management Likert, Renis
One Minute Manager Blanchard, Kenneth
Planning and Control Systems: A Framework for Analysis Anthony, Robert N.
Quality is Free Crosby, Phillip
Reengineering the Corporation Hammer, Michael
Riding The Wave Merron, Keith
The Artist’s Way Cameron, Julie
The Competent Manager Boyatiz, Richard A.
The Effective Executive Drucker, Peter F.
The Future of Management Hamel, Gary
The Human Side of Management Odirne, George
The Managerial Grid III: The Key to Leadership Excellence Blake, Robert R.
The Seventh Power Hancock, Kevin
True Professionalism Maister, David H.
Up is Not the Only Way Kaye, Beverly L.
Winning Welch, Jack and Welch, Suzy
The Discipline of Market Leaders Treacy, Michael and Wiersema, Fred
Blue Ocean Strategy Kim, W. Chan and Mauborgne, Renée
Competitive Advantage Porter, Michael E.
Briefer Course James, Wiliam
Competitive Strategy Porter, Michael E.
Competing for the Future Prahalad, Hamel
Getting to Yes Fisher, Roger
The Competitive Advantage of Nations Porter, Michael E.
Crossing the Chasm Moore, Geoffrey A.
Play Bigger Lochhead, Christopher; Maney, Kevin; Peterson, Dave; and Ramadan, Al
Inside the Tornado Moore, Geoffrey A.
Traction Wickman, Gino
Platform Revolution Chourary, Sangeet Paul; Parker, Geoffrey G.; Van Alstyne, Marshall W.
SYMLOG Bales, Robert F.
Appreciative Inquiry Cooperrider, David L. and Whitney, Diana
Crucial Conversations Grenny, Joseph; McMillan, Ron; Patterson, Kerry; and Switzler, Al
Everybody Wins: Transactional Analysis Applied to Organizations Jongeward, Dorothy
Human Motivation McClelland, David C.
Drive Pink, Daniel
The Human Side of Enterprises McGregor, Douglas
6th Edition Research Methods in Social Relations Judd, Charles
Assessing Human Motivation McClelland, David C
Beyond Ambition Kaplan, Robert S.
The Innovator’s Solution Christensen, Clayton M. and Raynor, Micheal E.
Management by Motivation Gellerman, Saul W.
Motivating Economic Achievement McClelland, David C
Motivation and Achievement Atkinson & Raynor
Motivation and Personality Maslow, Abraham H.
Motivation and Productivity Gellerman, Saul W.
Motivation Through the Work Itself Ford, R.F.
Motivational Trends in Society McClelland, David C
Motives in Fantasy, Action, and Society Atkinson, John W.
Motives, Personality, and Society McClelland, David C
The Achievement Motive McClelland, David C.
The Achieving Society McClelland, David C.
Work and the Nature of Man Herzberg, Frederick
The Change Cycle Salerno Ann and Brock, Lillie
Switch Heath, Chip and Heath, Dan
A Force for Change Kotter, John P.
Changing Minds Gardner, Howard
Sway Brafman, Ori and Brafman, Rom
The Anatomy of Peace, The Arbinger Institute
The Heart of Change Kotter, John P.
The Three Boxes of Life Bolles
Economic Theory top
Eat the Rich O’Rourke, P.J.
Freakonomics Levitt, Steven D.
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations Landers, David S.
Managerial Finance Brigham Weston
Money Ball Lewis, Michael
Type Talk at Work Kroeger, Otto
What Really Matters Schwartz, Tony
A Whole New Mind Pink, Daniel H
Mindset Dweck, Carol S., Ph.D.
Gifts Differing Briggs-Meyers, Isabel
Born to Win Jongeward, Dorothy
A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance Festinger, Leon
10,000 Dreams Interpreted Miller
A Dictionary of Psychology Drever, James
A Psychiatry Glossary (5th Edition) Little & Brown
Anxiety Barlow, David H.
Anxiety Disorders and Phobias Beck, Aaron T.
Basic Psychopathology: A Programmed Text Johnson, C. Warner
Behind the One Way Mirror Madanes, Cloe
Beware the Naked Man Who Gives You His Shirt Mackay, Harvey
Beyond Balance Krotler, Jeffrey
Dream Power Faraday, Ann
Break Through Thinking Nadler, Gerald
Breaking Free Noer, David
Choices Helmstetter, Shad
Emotional Intelligence at Work, Weidinger, Hendrie, Ph.D.
Enneagram Palmer, Helen
Gestalt Therapy Verbatim Peris, Fritz
Hello Sigmund, This is Eric H., Louis
Humanistic Psychotherapy Ellis, Albert
Integrating the Individual and the Organizations Argyris, Chris
Interpersonal Behavior Athos, Anthony G.
Interpersonal Confidence and Organizational Effectiveness Argyris, Chris
Life Types Hirsh, Sandra
Man’s Search for Meaning Frankl, Victor E.
Mastering Your Inner Game Kauss, David
New Ways of Managing Conflict Likert, Renis
Obedience to Authority Milgram, Stanley
Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Volume 2 Grinder, John; DeLozier, Judith; and Bandler, Richard
Parent Effectiveness Training Gordon, Thomas
Please Understand Me Keirsey, David
Principles of Group Treatment Berne, Eric
Psycho-Cybernetics Maltz, Maxwell
Reality Therapy Glasser, William
Self-Renewal Gardner, John C.
Straight-Line Spencer, Bradford F., Ph.D with Monser, Edward L.
Stumbling on Happiness Gilbert, Daniel
Symlog Bales, Robert and Cohen, Stephen
The Artist’s Way at Work Bryan, Mark
The Enneagram Palmer, Helen
The Inner Game of Tennis Gallwey, Timothy W.
The Process Therapy Model Kahler, Taibi, Ph.D
The Seasons of a Man’s Life Levinson, Daniel J.
The Structure of Magic I Grinder, John and Bandler, Richard
The Structure of Magic II Grinder, John and Bandler, Richard
Thinking Fast and Slow Kahneman, Daniel
Toward a Psychology of Being Maslow, Abraham H.
Transactional Analysis Revisited Kahler, Talibi
Transformations : Growth and Change in Adult Life Gould, Roger L.
Why Am I Afraid To Tell You Who I Really Am? Powell, John
Zone to Win Moore, Geoffrey A.
Managing Major Sales Rackham, Neil and Ruff, Richard
To Sell is Human Pink, Daniel
Conceptual Selling Miller, Robert B.
The Seven Keys to Managing Strategic Accounts Reese, Samuel, Sherman, Sallie and Sperry, Joseph
Strategic Selling Miller, Robert B.
Team Building top
TeamWork LaFasto, Frank and Larson, Carl E.
Change-Able Organization Daniels, William R.
Self-Directed Work Teams Orsburn, Jack
A Handbook of Group Verbal Exercises Morris, Kenneth T.
A Handbook of Non-verbal Group Exercises Morris, Kenneth T.
A More Beautiful Question Berger, Warren
A World Waiting to be Born Peek, M. Scott
Affirmative Action for Women Jongeward, Dorothy
American Renaissance Cetron, Marvin
Big Mac Boss, Max
Blink Gladwell, Malcolm
Can You Believe Your Eyes? Block, J. Richard
Choices Helmstetter, Shad
David and Goliath Gladwell, Malcolm
Five Bold Choices Coughlan, Jay and Julian, Larry
Flawless Consulting Block, Peter
Free to Choose Friedman, Milton
Getting Naked Lencioni, Patrick
Non-Parametric Statistics McGraw-Hill
Organizational Development: Strategies and Models Beckard, R.
Pat’s Point of View Lencioni, Patrick
Portfolio Life Corbelt, David
Preparing Instructional Objectives Mager, Robert F.
Say Hello to the Elephants Rose, Tony
Talking to Strangers Gladwell, Malcolm
The Coddling of the American Mind Lukianoff, Greg and Haidt, Jonathan
The Five Disfunctions of a Team Lencioni, Patrick
The Five Temptations of a CEO Lencioni, Patrick
The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive Lencioni, Patrick
The Lessons of History Durant, William James
The Tipping Point Gladwell, Malcom
What Color is your Parachute Boles, Richard
What the Dog Saw Gladwell, Malcolm
With Respect to the Japanese – A Guide for Americans Condon, John C.