What to read to get ahead

SIM's 2007 book list highlights books that will enhance your leadership development

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Hit the books if you want to become an IT leader. The Society for Information Management has announced the 2007 book list for its Regional Leadership Forum.

Hit the books if you want to become an IT leader. The Society for Information Management has announced the 2007 book list for its Regional Leadership Forum, a program that grooms IT pros eager to advance to executive positions. SIM recommends that participants read the 30 books on the list before they begin the program.

Designed to enhance the experience of people participating in the RLF, the list includes fiction and nonfiction written by noted leaders and thinkers. "The RLF book list was created with the participants' personal leadership styles in mind," says Bob Rouse, RLF program director. "These books are not another person's lessons for successful leadership; they are books that focus on the methodology of discovering an authentic leadership approach."

Here are the top 10 books on the list:

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

Billed as "the classic guide to intelligent reading," this paperback edition teaches readers how to review a book analytically.

The authors cover four levels of reading: elementary, inspectional, analytical and synoptical.

SIM says that readers will learn a skill that's essential for IT professionals: the technique of understanding a book and its meaning completely rather than just scanning its pages.

Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others through Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion by Richard E. Boyatzis and Annie McKee

The co-authors' best-seller Primal Leadership introduced the concept of "resonant" leaders: those who manage their and others' emotions in ways that drive success. Here, Boyatzis and McKee focus on leading successfully in stressful situations. This Harvard Business School Press book reveals specific techniques leaders can use to combat stress, avoid burnout, and renew themselves physically, mentally and emotionally. This book is new to the RLF list for 2007.

The Heart of Change: Real Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations by John P. Kotter and Dan S. Cohen

"This book uses interviews to teach its lesson that people change what they do, less because they're given an analysis that shifts their thinking but more because they're shown a truth that influences their feelings.

The book explains that successful large-scale change occurs in eight stages, and that the central challenge in each stage is changing people's behavior.

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change by William Bridges

Because of mergers, acquisitions, layoffs, bankruptcies and restructurings, business is in contant flux. When changes occur, the thing that's often the most difficult for managers and employees to work through is the psychological transitions that accompany them. In this book on dealing with the human side of change, Bridges dissects the dynamics of organizational change and gives managers advice about planning for organizational transition and the actions to take along the way.

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

One thing great managers have in common is that they don't hesitate to break every rule conventional wisdom holds sacred. The authors explain how frontline managers can succeed in attracting and retaining talent. The book elaborates on four key actions: select for talent, define the right outcomes, focus on strengths and find the right fit.

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

Predictable crossroads that executives encounter in their careers include moving into a leadership role for the first time, being responsible for a significant failure, losing a job, losing faith in the system and dealing with personal upheavals. Experience is the best teacher, say the authors, who emphasize how great leaders build on their successes and failures. This book is new to the RLF list for 2007.

Winning 'Em Over: A New Model for Managing in the Age of Persuasion by Jay Conger

The premise of this book is that the conventional, command-and-control management mind-set won't work for today's businesses. Instead, leaders need to be able to influence and motivate others through the power of persuasion. Conger explains the components of managing by persuasion and gives readers tips on how to reinforce their persuasive skills.

Leadership is An Art by Max De Pree

This best-seller examines leadership as a stewardship based on building relationships, initiating ideas and creating a lasting value system within an organization. De Pree provides the insights and guidelines for leaders to achieve success, noting that a leader's first responsibility is to define reality and the last is to say "thank you."

Man''s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

In the first part of this book, Frankl chronicles his experience in a concentration camp during the Holocaust, and draws conclusions about the meaning of life. In the second part, survivor Frankl covers the development of his therapy, called logotherapy.

The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman

Dizzying advances in technology and communications have contributed to the "flattening" of the world. Friedman focuses on what globalization means to countries, companies, communities and individuals, and how we all need to adapt to this new playing field.

Learn more about this topic

Complete Regional Leadership Forum book list

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