“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
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.
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!