Leadership Resource Guide

The Reading List

Below you will find a selection of books and related resources which focus on leadership development.  For each selection, there is a problem statement and a brief summary to aid you in your selection.  If you determine you would like to read one (or more) of the books listed, simply click on the title and this will take you to the Education Service Resource Library from which the book(s) may be checked out to you.  If you have any recommendations for books or resources which you feel should be included here, or if you would like to submit a review for one of these books, please contact us.

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It's Okay to be the Boss
Bruce Tulgan, New York: Collins, 2007

Problem Statement:  If you are a manager constantly struggling with the feeling you must continue to “do more with less," It’s Okay to be the Boss will provide detailed instructions on how to maximize your time as a manager and increase the efficiency of your employees. 

Today’s managers are facing a variety of challenges—from budgetary constraints, to generational challenges to recruitment and retention, to a culture where manager’s assume they do best when they’re “hands off” with their employees.  By providing a wealth of anecdotal evidence, the author demonstrates that the challenges facing today’s manager stem from under-management rather than over-management.  In the book, readers will discover that what their employees need most is for them to spell out expectations clearly, be clear in instructions, monitor performance constantly, correct mistakes instantly, and reward excellence constantly. 


Leadership: Theory and Practice
Peter G. Northouse,
Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2007

Problem Statement:  Are you just becoming a “leader”?  Or do you need a “refresher course” on leadership and the many ways it is conceived?  This book will provide an excellent overview of the concept, including cutting-edge models and current trends and challenges. 

The term “leadership” has always meant a variety of things and the world of professional development has seen a dramatic increase in the number of theories, models, systems, and ways in which leadership is discussed and taught.  Leadership: Theory and Practice is an excellent primer to sort through the most relevant of these existing conceptions, as well as to better understand the most pressing challenges in the realm of leadership.  However, far from being a dry theoretical lecture, the author includes 3 case studies for each theory of leadership presented, allowing the reader to immediately apply the theories.  


Peripheral Vision
George S. Day and Paul J.H. Schoemaker, Boston: Harvard University Press, 2006

Problem Statement: If you find that or feel like you are constantly responding to changing environmental conditions only once they occur, this book will better equip you to forecast and prepare for changing circumstances in your organization and operational environment.  Just as small flames can start big fires, it is a reality in today's work world that major changes and challenges frequently appear initially as small "blips" on the radar screen.

Day and Schoemaker's book provides the tools to better see these issues while they are in the infancy and to subsequently prepare your organization to turn these issues from challenges to opportunities.  By describing 7 critical steps for strengthening an organization's "vision"—scope, scanning, interpretation, probing, action, organization, and leadership—this work will assist in turning an organization from a responsive entity to a nimble,  predictive organization.  The book does utilize a private sector perspective—“staying ahead of the competition"—but it does describe the approach necessary for any organization to stay "ahead of the curve." 


Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002

Problem Statement:  While leaders looking to refine their skills have a wealth of “technical” leadership resources at their fingers, there is often little attention paid to the emotional aspects of leadership.  Building on the foundation of his groundbreaking work in  Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman teams with Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee to extend the principles of emotional intelligence into the world of leadership development.

To quote the authors, "The fundamental task of leaders... is to prime good feeling in those they lead. That occurs when a leader creates resonance a reservoir of positivity that unleashes the best in people. At its root, then, the primal job of leadership is emotional."  For many leaders, particularly in the Court environment, the thought of incorporating more emotion into their leadership and their work environment is a challenging thought.  However, this work demonstrates how leaders who feel this way do so at their organization’s peril.  But moving the emotion-based recommendations from Emotional Intelligence into the realm of business leaders, the authors make a compelling argument for the role that positive energy has in any leader’s success (or failure). 

Pump Them Up
Lorraine L. Ukens, King of Prussia, PA: HRDQ, 1996

Problem Statement:  Are you a leader looking for ways to improve the cohesiveness and efficiency of your team(s)?  This set of 35 workshops will provide you with a wide range of thematically-arranged, dynamic activities to get you to your goal. It has long been understood that approaching your organization as a "team" is an effective way to manage both your human resources and work processes.  But, the challenge remains: how do you make a group truly feel like and operate as a team

 In  Pump Them Up, Ukens provides leaders with a variety of 2-hour workshops which leaders can facilitate within their organization to help to build of effective work teams.  Additionally, these team-building workshops are indexed by skills focus, including goals and procedures, leadership, communication, trust and conflict resolution, problem solving and decision making, group dynamics, and growth and development. 


The Carrot Principle
Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton, New York: Free Press, 2007

Problem Statement:  Are you a manager who is reluctant to make frequent, public use of praise and recognition with your employees due to fears of jealousy, inefficiency, and the appearance of favoritism?   The Carrot Principle will show managers the most effective ways to recognize employees as well as demonstrate a simple truth—the best managers do in fact recognize their employees frequently. 

By using sophisticated long-term data, the authors discovered a critical fact about the use of recognition and praise by managers who might otherwise shy away from the practice—it shouldn’t be avoided at all!  The authors discovered that not only do the best managers make frequent use of praise and recognition, but that by doing so they increase productivity, morale, and employee retention.  Following a discussion about how and why employee recognition is an effective component of a successful organization, the authors provide advice on the most effective ways to provide this recognition.  In a working world which all-too-frequently avoids employee recognition for various reasons, The Carrot Principle will show reads how and why it shouldn’t.


The Leadership Challenge
James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002

Problem Statement:  Whether you are a leader just beginning your "leadership journey," or you are an experienced leader in need of some fresh perspective to improve your abilities, Kouzes and Posner's now classic tome on leadership will provide you with an excellent set of recommendations and experiences to do the job. 

Having built on a more than 20-year foundation of research and writing, Kouzes and Posner's well known work describes the critical components of great leadership.  Far from being a special gift endowed only to a few charismatic individuals, the authors describe how leadership is a destination achievable by anyone.  In   The Leadership Challenge, leaders at any level will find the "five practices of exemplary leadership" which the authors have discovered through their research.  These practices include "model the way," "inspire a shared vision," "challenge the process," "enable others to act," and "encourage the heart."  Now regarded as a seminal work in the field of leadership development, all leaders will leave this work enriched. 


The Leader's Voice
Boyd Clarke and Ron Crossland, New York Select Books, 2002

Problem Statement:  The Leader’s Voice is an ideal book for individuals who are already in leadership positions, but who are experiencing the unfortunate effects of a “failure to communicate.” 

Clarke and Crossland, experts in the field of communication, take the reader on a journey through the potential benefits, and pitfalls, of how a leader communicates.  By first delineating the three “channels” by which all humans communicate—“Facts,” “Emotions,” and “Symbols”—the authors explain that effective leaders are keen to effectively employ all three channels, in different ways and at different times. 

Through ensuring this multi-channel approach, leaders can be more assured that their messages are being received “loud and clear” by their constituents.  After instructing the reader on the multi-channel approach, Clarke and Crossland lay out the “Four Fatal Assumptions” of leaders when they communicate.  Boyd Clark and Ron CrosslandThrough a focus on the multi-channels, and by mindfully avoiding these assumptions, leaders will be better equipped to align their organizations around key initiatives, increase credibility, raise morale, and shepherd their organizations through difficult periods of change.


The Supreme Court (DVD)
Narrated by David Strathairn, Director Thomas Lennon, 2007: HiddenHill Production

While the world is familiar with their famous decisions, and even some of the memorable characters who've donned the black robe, the U.S. Supreme Court nonetheless remains in large part a mystery.  However, the critically-acclaimed four part PBS documentary  The Supreme Court goes beyond this facade and plumbs many of the hidden stories behind the highest court in the U.S.  By focusing on the unseen side of the lives of many of the justices through the history of the Court, revealing the personal stories of the famous names behind the cases themselves, and providing a historical overview of the trends throughout the Court's history, viewers are provided a rare in-depth look at the Court.  Without understanding the larger context of judicial history in the U.S., court leaders cannot effectively understand the branch which they lead.  This excellent documentary provides a dramatic "crash course" to do just that. 


Time for a Change: Ideal Leadership Services
Larry Stout, Ph.D., Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 2006

Problem Statement:  If  you are already in a leadership position and want to take your leadership “to the next level,” or you are an aspiring leader looking to prepare,  Time for a Change will provide you with a no-nonsense, “boot camp” approach to leadership using an easy-to-understand model. 

Honing his work through years of work with emerging Baltic governments and business leaders, Dr. Stout describes in his work what he calls the “Ideal Leadership Model.” This model consists of six leadership competencies—vision, values, wisdom, courage, trust, and voice.  By working through the way that each of these competencies adds up to an ideal leadership situation, the author presents a relatively simple path towards great leadership.  This is an excellent handbook for leaders at any point in their development.   


Winning Decisions
J. Edward Russo and Paul J.H. Schoemaker, New York: Doubleday, 2002

Problem Statement: As a leader, do you often feel paralyzed or slow-moving when it comes to decision making?  This book will provide you the tools to arrive at systematic, well thought out decisions in a short amount of time.  One of the most basic--and thus frequently overlooked--responsibility of leaders at any level is decision making.  Under the pressure of the moment, leaders may often feel overwhelmed and uncertain about in which direction they should take their organizations.

In   Winning Decisions, Russo and Schoemaker take the reader through a highly-interactive journey—full of case studies, exercises, and immediately-practical tips—into heart of effective, timely decision making.  The authors first describe the four critical steps to decision making: framing decisions, gathering intelligence, coming to conclusions, and learning from experience.  By consistently incorporating these steps into decision making   situations, leaders will be equipped to make the best decisions quickly.