Recommended Books on Leadership and Team Building

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The single most important thing a leader can do is lead by example, and if you want your team to be dynamic and learn more, you've got to continually innovate and find new ways to encourage, reward, and motivate YOURSELF! That's right, I said you've got to motivate YOU! If you lead by example, and you're motivated, soon your team will be too!

That being said, here are my recommendations for a few good leadership and team building books. Enjoy!

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow them and People Will Follow You Failing Forward John C. Maxwell (

I recommend Maxwell's books for a variety of reasons. One is because he is a pastor, so he recommends a very ethical type of leadership, grounded by a belief in God. Secondly, he breaks things down in an easy to understand, easy to apply method that anyone can follow and relate to. I'm reading a few of his other books, and he has fast become my favorite author.

Love is the Killer App Tim Sanders (

Tim, an executive at Yahoo!, talks about getting the people you work with and for to love you, by sharing your knowledge and your network, in ways that add value for all people. I like to think of myself as a "lovecat" and if you read this book, maybe you'll see why, and/or become a lovecat yourself.

It's Your Ship Mike Abrashoff (

A great leadership book that encourages you to empower your team! Simple, obvious messages that are the best!

NOTE: Mike just released a new book called Get Your Ship Together that I have not yet read. If anyone has and has any thoughts about it, please send it my way. Thank you!

Leadership is an Art Max Depree

Max is a master of pointing out how artful it is to be a good leader. Max also talks about how ethics are an important component of business, and that it's about more than the bottom line. Great, easy to read, book that you can quickly apply to your leadership situation.

Good to Great Jim Collins (

This book is the prequel to Built to Last (another great book), and tells about how the best companies got to where they were, in some very quantifiable ways. I'm amazed any manager doesn't read this to learn how to be the best. And Jim's website has some great clips about the different things that you need in order to be GREAT! I would encourage everyone to read this book, think about it, and then get the book on CD and listen to Jim read the book, and think more about it. Wow!

First, Break all the Rules Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman This is how the world's best managers SHOULD treating each player as an individual, by being unafraid to do something different, by BREAKING THE RULES! I took a class where we discussed this book, and believe me, this book will open your eyes to how you really can manage a team of unique people individually, if you're willing to make the effort.

Ken Blanchard - especially Gung Ho!, Raving Fans, and the One Minute Manager series

More easy reading, with important lessons for all of us that are easy to take away, all jam packed into an easy to read format. I especially enjoy Gung Ho!, and am going to be implementing "The Way of the Beaver," "The Spirit of the Squirrel," and "The Gift of the Goose" on my team soon.

Until next time...Make it a GREAT day!

Phil Gerbyshak

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