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Charles Handy's Top Leadership Books of 2009


It's that time of year again, with Booz & Company's magazine, strategy+business (free registration), kicking off the 'best business books' listings in style with guest authors penning the reviews.

London-based business 'guru' and author Charles Handy -- who predicted over a decade ago many of the changes to working life that we're still grappling with today -- has compiled his top leadership reads.

In keeping with Handy's own social philosophies, his top reads have a strong streak of ethics in their message -- the 'Puritan Gift' of the Hoppers' book, for example, is "that rare ability to create and manage organizations that serve a useful purpose in society". (Even though I've just started it, I might venture to add "Business at a Crossroads: The Crisis of Corporate Leadership" by Tom Lloyd to his list.)

But there's plenty here of interest, as long as Gordon Gekko's not your leadership pin-up. See what you think -- and add your own favourites below.

  1. The Puritan Gift: Reclaiming the American Dream amidst Global Financial Chaos, by Kenneth Hopper and William Hopper.
  2. Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, James O'Toole with Patricia Ward Biederman (2008).
  3. Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help by Edgar H. Schein.
  4. Walk the Walk: the #1 Rule for Leaders by Alan Deutschman
  5. Charisma and Compassion: Cheng Yen and the Buddhist Tzu Chi by C. Julia Huang
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