Leadership Reading

Just in case you’re out there looking for some reading on leadership–maybe you’re thinking about running for chair next year, or applying for a Deanship, or maybe you’re a new muckety muck of some sort or other , I’ve run across a couple of things in the last few weeks that might be interesting:

~This one is about how leaders can avoid bad advice–it’s written for President’s but it’s true, from my experience, for Chairs as well as anybody who leads anybody in any regard (as a bonus, there’s some quality advice in the comments, too);

~And this is a list of books on leadership put together by some people from The Washington Post. The only one I can say anything knowledgeable about is the one by Joseph Badarocco, who teaches Business Ethics at Harvard. I’ve read some of his other stuff and found it to be interesting and well done. I don’t know the book listed, but I’d venture to guess that it isn’t terrible. If anyone has read any of the others, please put something in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Leadership Reading

  1. I read “Up the Organization” early in my career, and it shaped my leadership style significantly. I have recommended it to everyone who seeks to serve or is currently in a role as a leader. It is a quick read, full of short, sharp bits of advice. Although it has been over 25 years since I read it, I still remember the advice about taking care of the people below you – some day, you may end up working for them. It came true more than once for me.

    “Team of Rivals” is also a great book, and informative about the need to build temperamentally diverse teams. These are the toughest teams to be a part of, because disagreement is endemic. If guided by a set of higher principles, with team members who are committed to achieving the end as opposed to their own agenda on how to get there, these teams can create magical results. It can be a tough slog getting there, though. Doris Kearns Goodwin does a great job of showing how Lincoln managed a team of strong-willed intelligent leaders to save the Union. She also shows the darkness that descends upon great leaders as they wrestle with life and death decisions.

    I would add Max DePree’s “Leadership is an Art” to the list.

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