30 Must-Read Books for Aspiring IT Leaders

By Brian P. Watson  |  Posted 07-31-2008

30 Must-Read Books for Aspiring IT Leaders

Looking for some instructive, inspiring books to read? The Society of Information Management has a few suggestions.

Each year, SIM releases a list of must-read books for aspiring IT leaders. The choices, though, might surprise you--and if you're looking for books on IT, look elsewhere. Instead, SIM's list offers a mix of top works on leadership, team-building and strategy, along with some classics and new releases.

Why not fill the list with IT books? "At this point in many careers, IT skills per se are not critical success factors," Bob Rouse, a SIM Regional Leadership Forum executive board member told CIO Insight last year

Here's SIM list for 2009:

1. How to Read a Book, by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren

2. Brain Rules:12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School, by John Medina

3. Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations, by John P. Kotter

4. The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World for the Next 5, 10 and 20 Years, by James Canton

5. First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

6. Leadership Passages: The Personal and Professional Transitions That Make or Break a Leader, by David L. Dotlich, James L. Noel and Norman Walker

7. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip and Dan Heath

8. Leadership is an Art, by Max DePree

9. Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl

10. The Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria


11. True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, by Bill George, David Gergen and Peter Sims

12. Gandhi (the movie)

13. Working with Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman

14. The Theft of the Spirit: A Journey to Spiritual Healing, by Carl Hammerschlag

15. The Nibble Theory and the Kernal of Power, by Kaleel Jamison

16. Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators, by Patrick M. Lencioni

17. Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up, by Patricia Ryan Madson

18. The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli

19. Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace, by Gordon MacKenzie

20. Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, by William Bridges


21. Creating the Good Life: Applying Aristotle's Wisdom to Find Meaning and Happiness, by James O'Toole and Walter Isaacson

22. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler and Stephen R. Covey

23. The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All, by Michael Useem and Warren Bennis

24. The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communications in the Age of Distractions, by Rebecca Z. Shafir

25. Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership, by Joseph Jaworski (Preface), Betty Sue Flowers (Editor) and Peter M Senge

26. A Leader's Legacy, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

27. Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival, by Velma Wallis

28. The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, by David Whyte

29. Penguin State of the World Atlas, by Dan Smith

30. Speed Lead: Faster, Simpler Ways to Manage People, Projects and Teams in Complex Companies, by Kevan Hall

31. The Pearl, by John Steinbeck

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