10 Books for Leaders

Last Updated Oct 29, 2008 10:30 PM EDT

Here's a list on books on leadership put together by CIO Insight.

"Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value," by Bill George
"Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls," by Noel M. Tichy and Warren G. Bennis
"Leading Change," by John P. Kotter
"The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All," by Michael Useem.

"What Were They Thinking?" by Jeffrey Pfeffer
"Leadership Passages: The Personal and Professional Transitions that Make or Break a Leader," by David L. Dotlich, James L. Noel and Norman Walker
"Reengineering the Corporation," by Michael Hammer and James Champy
"The Practice of Management," by Peter F. Drucker
"Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers and Facilitators," by Patrick M. Lencioni
"A Leader's Legacy," by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
I don't want to dis this list, which has a number of well-regarded books on it. But it feels a bit like it was compiled via search engine.

Only one of these books, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team," makes this list of 25 top leadership books. AsktheManager put that on its all-time top 10, as well, and topped it with Stephen R. Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Successful People," which makes sense (though personally I found it unfinishable). John Kotter's "Leading Change," meanwhile, makes this top 3 leadership books list, and cites the excellent "One-Minute Manager," as well.

But where are the biographies of great business leaders? Why not a book like "Titan," Ron Chernow's gripping biography of John D. Rockefeller? Or Alfred Sloan's seminal "My Years with General Motors." Or for a more modern leader, why not one of the books on Bill Gates? "Hard Drive" or "Gates," or even "Breaking Windows" all get nods from Mary Jo Foley in her book "Microsoft 2.0."

  • Michael Fitzgerald

    Michael Fitzgerald writes about innovation and other big ideas in business for publications like the New York Times, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc. and CIO. He’s worked as a writer or editor at Red Herring, ZDNet, TechTV and Computerworld, and has received numerous awards as a writer and editor. Most recently, his piece on the hacker collective the l0pht won the 2008 award for best trade piece from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. He was also a 2007 Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion.