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

This list is a personal list of some books that we view as important, influential or just worth a read; it is not exhaustive and changes from time to time.

Coaching & Psychology



Co-active Coaching

Kimsey-House et al. 2011

The starting point for Co-active Coaches.

Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds

Sullivan and Rees, 2008

How to ask powerful questions and get insights without leading your subject.

Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman, 1996

The original text at the heart of much of our work in coaching and in the foundations of the ORSC methodology.

The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success

Stein and Book, 2011

A supporting text for those wanting to know more and work on their EQi.

Thinking, fast and slow

Daniel Kahneman, 2011

A fascinating insight into how we think and why we should and shouldn’t use our intuition.

Leadership & Business



Churchill: A biography

Roy Jenkins, 2002

Far more powerful and insightful than the “what I did” autobiographies of many business leaders. With themes including resilience, courage, passion, preparation, independence, communication, relationships and failure there are lessons here for all leaders.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey, 2004

Still contains sound advice and most people will identify where they could make improvements in themselves. 

The First 90 Days

Michael Watkins, 2013

The manual for hitting the ground running in a new role.

The Secrets of Success at Work

Richard Hall, 2008

Written by my first coach, this book contains many pearls of wisdom (as long as you can overlook him quoting Fred Goodwin).

Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business 

Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 2012

The masters of rigorous but readable works on working across cultures. 

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything

Levitt and Dubner, 2007

Along with their follow-up Superfreakonomics (2010) they explain why the obvious or common sense answer is quite often wrong and teach you to think of things in a different way.

The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter than the Few

James Surrowiecki, 2010

For those of us who believe in the power of the group or team, evidence that we are right!

Interesting and Inspiring



A Time of Gifts / Between the Woods and the Water

Patrick Leigh Fermor, 1977 / 1986

Telling the fascinating story of what must be one of the earliest “gap years” when Patrick walked across Europe in 1931. Whilst he starts sleeping rough or in cheap inns; as he crosses a lost Europe he ends up staying in castles and mixing with the local aristocracy.

Germania / Danubia

Simon Winder, 2010 / 2013

An easy an entertaining way to learn more about the history of these parts of Europe that English education barely skims.

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance

Robert Prisig, 1974

An introduction to the subject of Total Quality Management via a philosophical novel, you either love it or hate it!

Stan the Man – Stan Bowles autobiography

Stan Bowles (plus unnamed ghost writer no doubt), 1996

For QPR fans there is not much in our history to cheer us up, but knowing that the best football autobiography ever written came from our Stan is something.

Almost anything and everything by John Updike and Charles Dickens!