Recommended Books & Articles

We are frequently asked to recommend books related to a variety of topics on coaching, leadership and managing time, people and business. Here’s some of the material we recommend. All of the books can be purchased by visiting a bookstore online or in-person.

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Relentless by Ted Rogers and Robert Brehly is a detailed and insightful chronology of how Rogers Communications has become one of the largest Canadian multi-media companies. Rogers is characteristically frank in describing the many steps he (and his team) have taken as well as the lessons learned in creating a vast media network. Lots of takeaways here for budding entrepreneurs.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Published in 2006, this book remains on the top 10 list. The Secret’s premise is all about being positive and channeling your thoughts intentionally. Bringing the elements of The Secret into our lives will impact every aspect of our lives. Also available on DVD.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book was recommended to me by a colleague seven years ago when I found myself out of alignment with things in life. Ruiz masterfully reveals the source of our self limiting beliefs as well as simple yet powerful code of conduct. A must read for people that are highly value-principled.

The New Retire Mentality
by Mitch Anthony is written to challenge the boomer crowd and challenge how we view “retirement”. This book is a worthwhile read with many thought provoking questions. The wild economic downturn of the past months should be more than fodder for re-examining our underlying assumptions on the “R” word.

It’s Your Move by Marge Watters & Lynne O’Connor is a book I recommend to those contemplating or in the midst of career transition. This is a very practical Canadian “how to” for helping the reader navigate the river rapids of job and career change.

Good to Great by Jim Collins. If you have ever wondered where the expression, “Who’s on the bus?” you can stop wondering. (Hint – start with the who before the what). This book has become a benchmark for culture and strategy for many organizations as they aim for reaching and sustaining a high level of performance year after year.

The Leader’s Digest by Jim Clemmer. Best known for Firing On All Cylinders, Clemmer has successfully distilled a great deal of information on leadership into a series of briefings on the key elements of serving as a leader. A useful read and reference for leadership

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni. Lencioni builds an effective story around the experiences of an abruptly retired executive searching for meaning in his career and life. Through a series of twists and turns the central character discovers some of the universal causes of despair and frustration at work – as well as the keys to overcoming them.

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris. For me, the most thought provoking book I read in 2008. Ferris compels us to re-think our way of doing business and our life course by showcasing everything from mini retirements to outsourcing.

Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock and Sara Lancaster. This provocative book was recommended by a client and examines the roadblocks our society puts in women’s paths. The authors clearly advocate that negotiation is no longer optional. A must read for both sexes!

The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Les Hewitt. This book prescribes recipes for helping us address what the authors consider to be our top business challenges – time pressures, financial pressures and juggling energy between work and home.

Artful Work by Dick Richards is about bringing passion and commitment to ourselves and our workplace. The book “Is to stimulate courageous and hopeful aspects of ourselves which seek to make our work lives more joyful, truthful and productive.” Visit INSIGHTS, 2008 Archives, April for a detailed overview.

Leadership From The Inside Out. Becoming A Leader for Life by Kevin Cashman. One of my favourite reads in 2009. Filled with insightful commentary and probing questions. The dedication says it all, “This book is dedicated to those value-creating leaders with the courage to commit to authentic personal transformation and the passion to serve the world around them.”

The EQ Edge. Emotional Intelligence And Your Success by Steven Stein and Howard Book. Emotional Intelligence (or “street smarts”) is responsible for up to 80 percent of a leader’s success in achieving the intended results through inspiring collective action. This book makes EI understandable and pinpoints the key competencies that help us understand, manage and channel our emotions in an intelligent manner.

Leadership and Self-Deception. Getting Out of the Box. The Arbinger Institute. Self deception blinds and baffles us to the true cause of problems. All the solutions we can think of may actually make matters worse. So as leaders we need to understand how we deceive ourselves and look for new ways to uncover practical solutions to problems we are sure were someone else’s.

Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions if a Team.  A Field Guide by Patrick Lencioni. Readers of the December 2008 reading list will recall how much I enjoy Lencioni’s writing. This book is filled with practical insights and a framework for identifying and working through the dysfunctions that can prevent the formation or erosion of high performance teams.

Primal Leadership. Learning to Lead With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Anne McKee. Adding to such informative articles as “What Makes a Leader” (Harvard Business Review – available on our website) and a continuous stream of research, Goleman and company successfully put forward the importance of leaders creating resonance – a reservoir of positivity that frees the best in people. Guess what folks? Back to the fundamental importance of managing emotions.

Leadership And The Sexes. Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business by Michael Gurian and Barbara Annis. This groundbreaking book integrates brain science and gender studies to provide a new perspective on understanding gender diversity and developing competitive advantage by harnessing the differences.

Service America. Doing Business in the New Economy by Karl Albrecht and Ron Zemke. Regrettably we experience less than stellar service in our day-to-day interaction and transactions. This book reminds us of the importance of developing value-added relationships and is a call to action to the highest service imperative of quality, customer-driven business.
The Wisdom of Teams. Creating the High-Performance Organization by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith. A must read for leaders wishing to understand the dynamics of groups and teams.  The research which supports this book pinpoints the must-haves of team basics and performance outcomes.

The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization by Peter Drucker and Leader to Leader Institute. Leadership means coming up with the right answers. This book embraces the important coaching skill of asking the right, disarming questions that are so important to determining what’s needed, why it matters and how to make it work.

The Heart Aroused. Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America by David Whyte. The vast majority of people identify who they are through their work. David Whyte’s fascinating blend of criticism and poetry implores corporations and “us workers” to courageously bring out our soul of creativity and innovation from the very roots of where it has been pushed deep into the underground chasms deep below the surface.