19 Books That Will Make You a Better IT Leader

19 Books That Will Make You a Better IT Leader

A reading list for IT leaders

Developing your leadership skills is a necessity for IT leaders in the ever-changing business environment. The path to great IT leadership is filled with experience and exposure to diverse ideas. Reading is a wonderful way to gain exposure to diverse ideas on leadership from top executives, consultants, companies, and other kinds of leaders. From revisiting classics to keeping with the latest books in the field, the list of possibilities is nearly endless. To help you find a few of the gems worth spending your valuable time on, we put together a list of must-reads for IT leaders. Be sure to check out these 19 books if you’re looking to add some new ones to your reading list.

While the list may look challenging, keep in mind that most of the great leaders throughout time have been avid readers. When someone asked Warren Buffet the key to sucess, he pointed to a stack of books and said “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” He is reported to spend about 80% of his time reading even today. Other great examples include Bill Gates who says he reads about 50 books a year and Mark Cuban who says he reads more than three hours a day. It all starts with selecting one book!

The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything

The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything

by Stephen Covey, Jr.

Learn about how trust is inherent in every interaction and how to establish it immediately when working with employees, clients, and stakeholders.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

Learn how to increase your EQ using four key skills with a step-by-step program.

Good to Great

Good to Great

by Jim Collins

Discover the key elements, based on extensive study data, that are required to take a company from simply good to great.

4. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

by Adam Grant

Explore the surprising forces that determine why some people rise to the top and others don’t and learn about the approach to work, interactions, and productivity that will help you succeed.

How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything

How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything

by Dov Seidman

Discover why sustainable advantage and long-term success is now dependent on how an organization does things and get practical advice on how to implement and leverage this change.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

by Simon Sinek

Learn how the greatest leaders in the world all think, communicate, and act in the same way and how you can leverage this same style within your organization and personally.

Extreme Ownership

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Learn the mindset and principles that enable SEAL teams to succeed against all the odds and how to apply them to your team or organization to improve results.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

by Robert Cialdini

Delve into the psychology of why people say “yes” and how to apply and defend yourself against the six principals underlying the psychology.

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

by The Arbinger Institute

Develop an understanding of how we unknowingly sabotage ourselves by blinding ourselves to our true motivations and how to move beyond it.

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

by Simon Sinek

Discover how creating what Sinek calls a “Circle of Safety” for your internal teams can lead to organizational greatness through a series of diverse, true stories.

17. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking Fast and Slow

by Daniel Kahneman

Explore the areas where we can and cannot trust our intuitions, how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking, and techniques you can use to guard against troublesome mental glitches in this discussion of how we think.

Turn the Ship Around! : A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules

Turn the Ship Around! : A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules

by L. David Marquet and Stephen R. Covey

See how empowering your staff and developing leaders can lead to exceptional results for your company.

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will

by Geoff Colvin

Explore the high-value skills that are essential to the future of work for humans that machines cannot easily replicate.

The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change)

by Clayton M. Christensen

Learn how to capitalize on the phenomenon of innovation to your company doesn’t lose market leadership from failing to know when and how to abandon traditional business practices.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In

by Sheryl Sandberg

Explore this inspiring call to action for women on how to combine personal achievement with personal fulfillment and learn about how men can benefit by supporting women in reaching their full potential.

Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders

Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders

by Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston

Learn about three integral practices for navigating the unknown so you can become more agile and guide your organization to success in an ever-shifting environment.

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Learn how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, create resilient workplaces, and build up your own resilience so that when faced with adversity during your career you’re able to make the most of Option B.

Action Inquiry

Action Inquiry: The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership

by William R Torbert

Learn about a strategy to help you better assess current opportunities and threats, take action promptly, and pave the path to reaching your goals.

19. Wolf in Cio's Clothing

Wolf in Cio’s Clothing

by Tina Nunno

Learn how to master the Machiavellian principles of power, manipulation, love, and war so you can adjust your leadership style in extreme situations to further your own success and that of your teams.

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers. ~ Harry S. Truman

Looking for more great books to add to your reading list on technology topics? Check out our list of books on new technologies and organizational development.

Take the Steps for Success

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