Does summertime make you want to dig your toes into the sand and your mind into a good book? Many of us crank up our reading in the summer for pure enjoyment. How about sprinkling in some books to enhance your development as a manager? Sometimes the perspective of a good author is just what you need to refresh the way you see your work, and even your career. Below, you’ll find my take on the top 5 books every developing manager should read.

Two books on personal leadership…

  1. Being the Boss by Linda A. Hill and Kent LinebackBeing the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader
    Linda A. Hill and Kent LinebeckEspecially helpful for new and developing managers! The authors offer instruction in three sections:
    – Manage Yourself
    – Manage Your Network
    – Manage Your Team

    You’ll get helpful insight around things like how to manage a team when you used to be one of their peers, how to manage up effectively, and how to provide clarity for your team.

  2. Triggers by Marshall GoldsmithTriggers
    Marshall GoldsmithGoldsmith shares why changing our behavior is so important…and so difficult.  He provides a range of engaging questions to help you evaluate how your environment influences you so you can…
    – Identify triggers that create troublesome behavior
    – Find effective ways to overcome your triggers, and
    – Create lasting change for the better

    He sprinkles in lots of personal anecdotes that keep the reading lively! This one is beneficial for all leaders, from developing managers all the way to the C-suite.

And three on organizational effectiveness…

  1. The Advantage by Patrick LencioniThe Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business
    Patrick LencioniOrganizations are messy!  And developing managers would do well to focus not just on their team, but on their organization as a whole.

    Lencioni gives us the means to view and improve organizational health through four disciplines:
    1) Building a team that is behaviorally cohesive
    2) Boosting intellectual alignment and commitment
    3) Over-communicating clarity to the organization
    4) Creating systems that reinforce that clarity

    His writing style is easy to read and full of short case studies. And he offers an organizational health checklist to help you pinpoint strengths and weaknesses.

  2. The Leadership PipelineThe Leadership Pipeline
    Ram Charan, Steve Drotter, and Jim NoelAre you operating at the right leadership level? This one’s a real eye opener! The Leadership Pipeline reveals an architecture of competencies we need at each level of management.  Each of the six critical passages outlined up the career ladder requires a shift in thinking and behavior.  This one’s a good read for:
    – Understanding the competencies you need now as a developing manager
    – Considering the competencies you’ll need at the next rung
    – Selecting and developing leaders, and succession planning
  3. Traction by Gina WickmanTraction
    Gino WickmanThis one’s a little different. It’s written for entrepreneurs who lead small organizations, but I think leaders of business units and developing managers of small teams can also glean much from it. It provides strong tactical tools for:
    – Creating a vision
    – Moving a team toward that vision
    – Analyzing the people who report to you for fit
    – Running meetings that drive the business forward

    It’s pure gold for entrepreneurs who need to establish clarity and cadence in getting things done!

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