My Most Influential Business Books
I have become somewhat addicted to books about business, largely because I find so much in them that I can apply to my work here at Parker. The following list is not all-inclusive but does list some of the books that have affected me the most.
1. Leading Change, by John Kotter. Kotter’s book makes so much sense to me each time I go through it. He has an 8-stage plan for leading change, and demonstrates how to involve everyone in the process. He also discusses the pitfalls involved and how to avoid them> Much of his approach surrounds the importance of “vision.” There is much to be found here that applies to academic practice, where change is necessary if we are to survive.
2. Good to Great, by Jim Collins. In this book Collins dissects why some companies thrive and grow while others in the same sector fail. He finds commonalities between those who succeed. Much of what he found can be summarized as: the best companies found and promoted the right people who acted in a disciplined manner to get work done. In this, Collins discusses his “hedgehog concept.”
3. The Effective Executive, by Peter Drucker. Drucker is the dean of executive leadership studies. His book notes that the measure of an executive is the ability to get the right things done. This stresses imagination and intelligence. The best executives manage time well, know how to mobilize strength for effect, set priorities, etc.
4. The Magic of Dialogue, by Daniel Yankelovich. Dialogue here refers to “carefully structured communications” designed to create mutual understanding. In this book, the author provides a number of different approaches designed to foster better communication and create dialogue between colleagues to enhance trust and effectiveness.
5. Made to Stick, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. This was a book recommended to me by a colleague who is president at a sister chiropractic college, and it looks at why some ideas stick while others do not. Clearly, this has applicability to the chiropractic profession as well as to chiropractic education. The goal of this book is to help explain why ideas stick, and to enhance the probability yours will do so.
6. The Servant Leader, by James Autry. This is about managing with respect, honestly, love and spirituality. It is not religious; please don’t get the wrong idea. But it places the leader in position of being servant to those he or she leads.
This is just a few of many books that have helped guide my approach to leadership, management and personal effectiveness.