51 Best Books on Leading Teams

Best Books on Leading TeamsT

eam leaders are critical to executing the vision. The vision is essential to every organization that wants to succeed. Without vision, there’s no direction. In business, profits obviously are the bloodline of the organization. But the leadership team is the brains. It is critical to understand, learn, and grow in team leadership.

Best Books on Leading Teams: THE LIST

1. The Art of Leadership
2. Leadership Is Language
3. Unstoppable Teams
4. Everyone Deserves a Great Manager
5. How Not to Manage People
6. Herding Tigers
7. Extreme Teaming
8. The Street Savvy Sales Leader
9. Welcome to Management
10. Dynamic Reteaming
11. The Catalyst Effect
12. Your Team Loves Mondays…Right?
13. The Right Kind of Crazy
14. The Wisdom of Crowds
15. The Culture Code
16. The Best Team Wins
17. Virtual Selling
18. Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
19. The Manager’s Answer Book
20. Pulling Together
21. The Ideal Team Player
22. Thrive
23. Extreme Team
24. The Power of Virtual Distance
25. Leading Self-Directed Work Team
26. The Courage Solution
27. The Art of Gathering
28. Making Remote Work Work
29. The Surprising Science of Meetings
30. The Unashamed Guide to Virtual Management
31. Global Teams
32. Improve Your Virtual Meetings
33. FRICTION
34. Work Together Anywhere
35. Organizing Genius
36. Disciplined Collaboration
37. The Long-Distance Leader
38. Taking Minutes of Meetings
39. Making the Matrix Work
40. The Orange Revolution
41. Primal Teams
42. Leadership Team Coaching
43. The Secret of Teams
44. 12
45. It’s Your Ship
46. First Among Equals
47. Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team
48. The Essential Wooden
49. The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork
50. Wooden on Leadership
51. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

1. The Biggest Bluff | By Maria Konnikova

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Many people think leadership is a higher calling that resides exclusively with a select few who practice and preach big, complex leadership philosophies. But as this practical book reveals, what’s most important for leadership is principled consistency. Time and again, small things are done well build trust and respect within a team.

Using stories from his time at Netscape, Apple, and Slack, Michael Lopp presents a series of small but compelling practices to help you build leadership skills. You’ll learn how to create teams that are highly productive, highly respected, and highly trusted. Lopp has been speaking and writing about this topic for over a decade and now maintains a Slack leadership channel with over 13,000 members.

The essays in this book examine the practical skills Lopp learned from exceptional leaders—as a manager at Netscape, a senior manager and director at Apple, and an executive at Slack. You’ll learn how to apply these lessons to your own experience.

2. Thinking in Time | By Ernest R. May and Richard E. Neustadt

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From the acclaimed author of Turn the Ship Around!, former US Navy Captain David Marquet, comes a radical new playbook for empowering your team to make better decisions and take greater ownership.

You might imagine that an effective leader is someone who makes quick, intelligent decisions, gives inspiring speeches, and issues clear orders to their team so they can execute a plan to achieve your organization’s goals. Unfortunately, David Marquet argues, that’s an outdated model of leadership that just doesn’t work anymore.

As a leader in today’s networked, information-dense business climate, you don’t have full visibility into your organization or the ground reality of your operating environment. In order to harness the eyes, ears, and minds of your people, you need to foster a climate of collaborative experimentation that encourages people to speak up when they notice problems and work together to identify and test solutions.

Too many leaders fall in love with the sound of their own voice and wind up dictating plans and digging in their heels when problems begin to emerge. Even when you want to be a more collaborative leader, you can undermine your own efforts by defaulting to the command-and-control language we’ve inherited from the industrial era.

It’s time to ditch the industrial age playbook of leadership. In Leadership is Language, you’ll learn how choosing your words can dramatically improve decision-making and execution on your team. Marquet outlines six plays for all leaders, anchored in how you use language:

  •  Control the clock, don’t obey the clock: Pre-plan decision points and give your people the tools they need to hit pause on a plan of action if they notice something wrong.
  •  Collaborate, don’t coerce: As the leader, you should be the last one to offer your opinion. Rather than locking your team into binary responses (“Is this a good plan?”), allow them to answer on a scale (“How confident are you about this plan?”)
  •  Commit, don’t comply: Rather than expect your team to comply with specific directions, explain your overall goals, and get their commitment to achieving it one piece at a time.
  •  Complete, not continue: If every day feels like a repetition of the last, you’re doing something wrong. Articulate concrete plans with a start and end date to align your team.
  •  Improve, don’t prove: Ask your people to improve on plans and processes, rather than prove that they can meet fixed goals or deadlines. You’ll face fewer cut corners and better long-term results.
  •  Connect, don’t conform: Flatten hierarchies in your organization and connect with your people to encourage them to contribute to decision-making.

In his last book, Turn the Ship Around!, Marquet told the incredible story of abandoning command-and-control leadership on his submarine and empowering his crew to turn the worst performing submarine into the best performer in the fleet. Now, with Leadership is Language he gives business people the tools they need to achieve such transformational leadership in their organizations.

3. Unstoppable Teams | By Alden Mills

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Three-time Navy SEAL platoon commander and founder of Perfect Fitness reveals how to put together teams that can accomplish any objective—by leveraging an unexpected set of values and priorities.

SEALs and civilians operate in extremely different environments, but what makes both kinds of teams excel comes down to the same thing: service to others, trust, empathy, and a caring environment. Alden Mills has experience working in both the military and the private sector, as a SEAL platoon commander and as a startup founder of Perfect Fitness. He’s seen firsthand what it takes to lead an unstoppable team of individuals.

Teams are nothing more than a series of interconnected relationships with a collective, single-minded focus. Success almost never depends on individual talent and valor; instead, Alden Mills shows, it depends, first, on creating a strong foundation for yourself and, second, using that foundation to help others go beyond their individual pursuits and talents to create something bigger and better—an unstoppable team.

Unstoppable Teams show managers at every level, at both large and small organizations, including private, public, and nonprofit, how to inspire, motivate, and lead the people around them. Mills draws on stories from his own experiences to impart these surprising team-building lessons:

  • Too many people mistake groups of individuals for a team.
  • No two people are alike, but we all have the same genetic drivers that motivate us—our will to survive, our ego-driven desire for personal gain, and our soul-driven yearning to be a part of something greater than ourselves.
  • When we override our fears about survival, we can focus on our desire to thrive.
  • The more you care for your teammates, the more they will dare for the team.
  • Great ideas are not reserved for a select few—true teams embrace the diversity of thought to find winning ideas.

These lessons aren’t exclusive to the Navy SEALs; they are used by successful entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, coaches, and sports captains—and now you can master them too. Unstoppable Teams is the handbook for how to build care-based teams that will push people to achieve more than they ever thought possible.

4. Everyone Deserves a Great Manager | By Victoria Roos Olsson, Todd David, and Scott Miller

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From the organizational experts at FranklinCovey, an essential guide to becoming the great manager every team deserves.

A practical must-read, Franklin Covey’s Everyone Deserves a Great Manager is an essential guide for the millions of people all over the world making the challenging and rewarding leap to the manager. Based on nearly a decade of research on what makes managers successful—and includes new ways of thinking, tips, and techniques—this volume has been field-tested with hundreds of thousands of managers all over the world.

Organized under four main roles every manager is expected to fill, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager focuses on how to lead yourself, people, teams, and change. Readers can start anywhere and go everywhere with this guide—depending on their current problem or time constraint. They can pick up a helpful tip in ten minutes or glean an entire skillset with deeper reading. The goal is for the busy manager to know what to do and how to do it without interrupting their regular workflow.

Each role highlights the current, authentic problems managers face and briefly explores the limiting mindsets or common mistakes that led to those problems. With skill-based chapters that cover managerial skills like one-on-ones, giving feedback, delegating, hiring, building team culture, and leading remote teams, the book also includes more than thirty unique tools, such as prep worksheets and a list of behavioral questions for your next interview. An approachable, engaging style using real-world stories, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager provides the blueprint for becoming the great manager every team deserves.

5. How Not to Manage People | By Mike Wicks

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You play it cool, letting your team take half days on Friday and overlooking the occasional latecomer to the office. You stand up for your people and make sure they know you’re there for them, but they still hate working for you. What gives? Well, you’re clearly screwing something up, and it’s time you find out what it is.

It’s frustrating. You’ve put in the work and finally made it to the management team, and you haven’t stopped there. You show up first and leave last. You’re there every time one of your employees needs something. To any outsider looking in, you’re killing this management thing.

But still, your employees want nothing to do with you. They scoff when you tell them what to do and suddenly get quiet when you walk into the room. You know you have to get your team behind you if you’re going to stay on the management team. Chances are it’s not about what you’re doing right–it’s about what you’re doing wrong.

How Not to Manage is filled with interviews and stories of people who were being held back by the things they didn’t realize were working against them. The workplace is a minefield filled with politics and unspoken rules. This book is here to teach you:

  • How you’re screwing it up and what to do about it
  • How other people screwed it up before figuring it out
  • What you should stop doing immediately
  • What you should be doing more of

Now, stop panicking and letting frustration hold you back. This book is the tool you need to get your team on your side and rock the manager title!

6. Herding Tigers | By Todd Henry

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A practical handbook for every manager charged with leading teams to creative brilliance, from the author of The Accidental Creative and Die Empty.

Doing the work and leading the work are very different things. When you make the transition from maker to manager, you give ownership of projects to your team even though you could do them yourself better and faster. You’re juggling expectations from your manager, who wants consistent, predictable output from an inherently unpredictable creative process. And you’re managing the pushback from your team of brilliant, headstrong, and possibly overqualified creatives.

Leading talented, creative people requires a different skill set than the one many management books offer. As a consultant to creative companies, Todd Henry knows firsthand what prevents creative leaders from guiding their teams to success, and in Herding Tigers he provides a bold new blueprint to help you be the leader your team needs. Learn to lead by influence instead of control. Discover how to create a stable culture that empowers your team to take bold creative risks. And learn how to fight to protect the time, energy, and resources they need to do their best work.

Full of stories and practical advice, Herding Tigers will give you the confidence and the skills to foster an environment where clients, management, and employees have a product they can be proud of and a process that works.

7. Extreme Teaming | By Amy C. Edmondson and Jean-Franciois Harvey

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Today’s global enterprises increasingly involve collaborative work by teams of experts operating across different professions, organizations, and industries. Extreme Teaming provides new insights into the world of complex, cross-industry projects and the ways they must be managed.

Leading experts Amy Edmondson and Jean-François Harvey analyze contemporary cases that expose the complex demands of cross-boundary collaboration on management and inform our understanding of teams. Containing powerful insights and practical guidelines that allow managers to bridge professional divides and organizational boundaries in order to work together effectively, this is a new exploration of the challenges involved in today’s global enterprises.

The authors demonstrate that the work done in the modern organization is less and less about looking inward and creating strong teams inside the company, and more about teaming across boundaries – that often are in flux.

Extreme Teaming is a must-read book for all courses related to leading open innovation; teamwork and collaboration; project management; and cross-boundary work.

8. The Street Savvy Sales Leader | By Mark Welch

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As a sales leader, you know your sales pipeline needs filling. You know your customers are unhappy having to “break-in” new reps. You know how quickly your customers’ buying behavior changes with increased knowledge and choices. You know that to gain new customers and keep existing ones you must continually exceed their expectations. And you know that the odds are against you: training has little correlation to ROI, and most salespeople forget 80 percent of their training within a month. The solution? Build a team, workplace culture, and sales funnel that ensure long-term adaptability and success. Gimmick-free and packed with clear and effective advice, The Street Savvy Sales Leader uses tried-and-tested techniques from 30+ years of experience, and interviews with more than 100 sales professionals, to help you focus on the people, values, and processes that will enable your business to flourish for years to come.

9. Welcome to Management | By Ryan Hawk

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From the creator and host of The Learning Leader Show, “the most dynamic leadership podcast out there” (Forbes) that will “help you lead smarter” (Inc.), comes an essential tactical guide for newly promoted managers.

Every year, millions of top performers are promoted to management-level jobs―only to discover that the tactics that got them promoted are not the tactics that will make them effective in their new role. In Welcome to Management, Ryan Hawk provides practical, actionable advice and tools designed to ensure that transition is a successful one.

He presents a new actionable three-part framework distilled from best practices drawn from in-depth interviews with over 300 of the most forward-thinking leaders around the world, as well as his own professional experience going from exceptional individual producer to new leader. Learn how to:

• lead yourself: build skills and earn credibility. Compliance can be commanded, but commitment cannot. People reserve their full capacity for emotional commitment for leaders they find credible, and credibility must be earned.
• build your team: develop a healthy and sustainable culture of mutual trust and respect that creates cohesion. This includes effective hiring and firing practices.
• lead your team: set a clear strategy and vision for your team, communicate effectively, and ultimately drive the results the organization is counting on your team to deliver.

Through case studies, hundreds of interviews, and personal stories, the book will help high performers make the leap from individual contributor to manager with greater ease, grace, courage, and effectiveness. Welcome to management!

10. Dynamic Reteaming | By Heidi Helfand

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Your team will change whether you like it or not. People will come and go. Your company might double in size or even be acquired. In this practical book, author Heidi Helfand shares techniques for reteaming effectively. Engineering leaders will learn how to catalyze team change to reduce the risk of attrition, learning and career stagnation, and the development of knowledge silos.

Based on research into well-known software companies, the patterns in this book help CTOs and team managers effectively integrate new hires into an existing team, manage a team that has lost members, or deal with unexpected change. You’ll learn how to isolate teams for focused innovation, rotate team members for knowledge sharing, breakthrough organizational apathy, and more.

You’ll explore:

  • Real-world examples that demonstrate why and how organizations reteam
  • Five reteaming patterns: One by One, Grow and Split, Isolation, Merging, and Switching
  • Tactics to help you master dynamic reteaming in your company
  • Stories that demonstrate problems caused by reteaming anti-patterns

11. The Catalyst Effect | By Jerry Toomer, Craig Caldwell, Steve Weitzenkorn, and Chelsea Clark

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Have you ever known colleagues who the minute they stepped into the conference room, on stage, or onto the playing field, elevated the performance of everyone around them? Someone whose impact within the team could be seen in nearly everything that was said and done?

These individuals are catalysts – they spark excellence in the behavior and the performance of the entire team.

The Catalyst Effect identifies the behaviors and skills needed to lead from wherever you are, regardless of your role or title. It describes powerful leadership and teamwork principles-12 clearly defined competencies, based on field research with professionals in business, sports, the arts, and non-profit organizations-that will elevate the performance of individuals, teams, and your entire organization.

This essential guide will show you how to learn and practice these catalytic competencies and help your group and organization achieve greater success, improve team dynamics, and help teammates grow in stature while magnifying their value.

12. Your Team Loves Mondays...Right? | By Kristin A. Sherry

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According to Gallup research, 9 out of 10 people are not naturally wired to manage people. Yet, two-thirds of managers are thrown into supervising people without direction. Kristin Sherry had a similar experience leading a team of 31 people for the first time without preparation.

Packed with practical tools, frameworks, and tips to grow your confidence and people management capabilities, this book will help you discover if management is the best fit for your talents, reveal directing and delegating styles, offer strategies and tactics for hiring, onboarding, training, developing others, and retaining and offboarding employees.

Readers will find step-by-step support to create development plans, give feedback, motivate others and facilitate feedback sessions in this toolbox of actionable guidance.

Hard learned lessons combined with experience coaching managers to improve their skills are delivered in this easy-to-follow guide to earning your team’s respect, get better results and help your team love Mondays.

13. The Right Kind of Crazy | By Adam Steltzner and William Patrick

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From Adam Steltzner, who led the Entry, Descent, and Landing team in landing the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars, comes a profound book about breakthrough innovation in the face of the impossible.
 
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is home to some of history’s most jaw-dropping feats of engineering. When NASA needed to land Curiosity—a 2,000-pound, $2.5 billion rover—on the surface of Mars, 140 million miles away, they turned to JPL. Steltzner’s team couldn’t test their kooky solution, the Sky Crane. They were on an unmissable deadline, and the world would be watching when they succeeded—or failed.
 
At the helm of this effort was an unlikely rocket scientist and accidental leader, Adam Steltzner. After barely graduating from high school, he followed his curiosity to the local community college to find out why the stars moved. Soon he discovered an astonishing gift for math and physics. After getting his Ph.D. he ensconced himself within JPL, NASA’s decidedly unbureaucratic cousin, where success in a mission is the only metric that matters.
 
The Right Kind of Crazy is a first-person account of innovation that is relevant to any­one working in science, art, or technology. For instance, Steltzner describes:
 
·How his team learned to switch from fear-based to curiosity-based decision making
·How to escape “The Dark Room”—the creative block caused by fear, uncertainty, and the lack of a clear path forward
·How to tell when we’re too in love with our own ideas to be objective about them—and, conversely, when to fight for them
·How to foster mutual respect within teams while still bashing bad ideas
 
The Right Kind of Crazy is a book for anyone who wants to channel their craziness into creativity, balance discord and harmony, and find a signal in a flood of noise.

14. The Wisdom of Crowds | By James Surowiecki

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In this fascinating book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.

With boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, and biology, behavioral economics, artificial intelligence, military history, and politics to show how this simple idea offers important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, run our companies, and think about our world.

15. The Culture Code | By Daniel Coyle

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Where does great culture come from? How do you build and sustain it in your group, or strengthen a culture that needs fixing?

In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations—including the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six, IDEO, and the San Antonio Spurs—and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Drawing on examples that range from Internet retailer Zappos to the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade to a daring gang of jewel thieves, Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change. Coyle unearths helpful stories of failure that illustrate what not to do, troubleshoots common pitfalls, and shares advice about reforming a toxic culture. Combining leading-edge science, on-the-ground insights from world-class leaders, and practical ideas for action, The Culture Code offers a roadmap for creating an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved, and expectations are exceeded.

Culture is not something you are—it’s something you do. The Culture Code puts the power in your hands. No matter the size of your group or your goal, this book can teach you the principles of cultural chemistry that transform individuals into teams that can accomplish amazing things together.

16. The Best Team Wins | By Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

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The New York Times bestselling authors of The Carrot Principle and All In delivering a breakthrough, groundbreaking guide for building today’s most collaborative teams—so any organization can operate at peak performance.

A massive shift is taking place in the business world. In today’s average company, up to eighty percent of employees’ days are now spent working in teams. And yet the teams most people find themselves in are nowhere near as effective as they could be. They’re often divided by tensions, if not outright dissension, and dysfunctional teams drain employees’ energy, enthusiasm, and creativity. Now Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton share the proven ways managers can build cohesive, productive teams, despite the distractions and challenges every business is facing.

In The Best Team Wins, Gostick and Elton studied more than 850,000 employee engagement surveys to develop their “Five Disciplines of Team Leaders,” explaining how to recognize and motivate different generations to enhance individual engagement; ways to promote healthy discord and spark innovation; and techniques to unify customer focus and build bridges across functions, cultures, and distance. They’ve shared these disciplines with their corporate clients and have now distilled their breakthrough findings into a succinct, engaging guide for business leaders everywhere. Gostick and Elton offer practical ways to address the real challenges today’s managers are facing, such as the rise of the Millennials, the increasing speed of change, the growing number of global and virtual teams, and the friction created by working cross-functionally.

This is a must-read for anyone looking to maximize performance at work, from two of the most successful corporate consultants of their generation, whom The New York Times called “creative and refreshing.”

17. Virtual Selling | By Jeb Blount

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And just like that, everything changed . . .

A global pandemic. Panic. Social distancing. Working from home.

In a heartbeat, we went from happy hours to virtual happy hours. From conferences to virtual conferences. From selling to virtual selling.

To remain competitive, sales and business professionals were required to shift the way they engaged prospects and customers.

Overnight, virtual selling became the new normal. Now, it is here to stay.

Virtual selling can be challenging. It’s more difficult to make human-to-human connections. It’s natural to feel intimidated by technology and digital tools. Few of us haven’t felt the wave of insecurity the instant a video camera is pointed in our direction.

Yet, virtual selling is powerful because it allows you to engage more prospects and customers, in less time, at a lower cost, while reducing the sales cycle.

Virtual Selling is the definitive guide to leveraging video-based technology and virtual communication channels to engage prospects, advance pipeline opportunities and seal the deal. You’ll learn a complete system for blending video, phone, text, live chat, social media, and direct messaging into your sales process to increase productivity and reduce sales cycles.

Jeb Blount, one of the most celebrated sales trainers of our generation, teaches you:

  1. How to leverage human psychology to gain more influence on video calls
  2. The seven technical elements of impactful video sales calls
  3. The five human elements of highly effective video sales calls
  4. How to overcome your fear of the camera and always be video ready
  5. How to deliver engaging and impactful virtual demos and presentations
  6. Powerful video messaging strategies for engaging hard to reach stakeholders
  7. The Four-Step Video Prospecting Framework
  8. The Five-Step Telephone Prospecting Framework
  9. The LDA Method for handling telephone prospecting objections
  10. Advanced email prospecting strategies and frameworks
  11. How to leverage text messaging for prospecting and down pipeline communication
  12. The law of familiarity and how it takes the friction out of virtual selling
  13. The 5C’s of Social Selling
  14. Why it is imperative to become proficient with reactive and proactive chat
  15. Strategies for direct messaging – the “Swiss Army Knife” of virtual selling
  16. How to leverage a blended virtual/physical selling approach to close deals faster

As you dive into these powerful insights, and with each new chapter, you’ll gain greater and greater confidence in your ability to effectively engage prospects and customers through virtual communication channels. And, with this newfound confidence, your success and income will soar.

Following in the footsteps of his blockbuster bestsellers People Buy YouFanatical ProspectingSales EQObjections, and Inked, Jeb Blount’s Virtual Selling puts the same strategies employed by his clients—a who’s who of the world’s most prestigious organizations—right into your hands.

18. Wake Up and Smell the Coffee | By Simon Mac Rory

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The deconstruction of the traditional workplace hierarchy, the abandonment of performance appraisal, and the impact of millennials/generations Y and Z all point to a substantial revival of teams and teamwork for the first time in more than 20 years. Leading companies are pushing towards a team-centric model but, for many others, team development remains ad hoc as they fail to recognize that teams hold the answers to increased effectiveness. Delivering improved team effectiveness across an organization does not have to be time-consuming. The Team Diagnostic Profiler (TDP) is a methodology and process that is easy to use, self-administering, and can deliver 10 to 20% improvement in team effectiveness when deployed in a corporate team strategy. This book is based on the TDP methodology and the years of research completed by the author.

19. The Manager’s Answer Book | By Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem

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Winner of the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book in the Career category!
Congratulations, you’re a manager! You’ve earned this role because you’re an expert in your field. But what about everything else you need to know? Things like:

  • Getting started with setting goals, managing projects and resources, and much more.
  • Developing management skills you didn’t know you needed.
  • Building and managing your team from hiring, firing, and everything in between.
  • Creating your personal brand by building credibility for yourself and your team.
  • Managing up, down, and around the organization.
  • Avoiding potential land mines of conflict, change, and risk.
  • Navigating the potential legal pitfalls.

In question-and-answer format, this award-winning book provides information on many aspects of managing for the new manager and the seasoned manager faced with a new situation. Sold around the world, The Manager’s Answer Book has also been translated into simplified Chinese, because management challenges are universal.

20. Pulling Together | By John J. Murphy

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A must-read for the leader of any team, Pulling Together is the ultimate list of advice for achieving greatness on a team. From “Respecting Diversity” to “Building Trust,” the rules for teamwork compiled here will inspire camaraderie and demand excellence.

What makes this book unique is its depth of content paired with its gift-sized packaging. Each rule for “pulling together” is complemented with photographs, quotations, thought-provoking questions, and smart insight. However, it’s the perfect size to be given as a gift to each person on the team! This book could be given as a gift to coaches, athletes, business leaders, or coworkers.

21. The Ideal Team Player | By Patrick Lencioni

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In his classic book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni laid out a groundbreaking approach for tackling the perilous group behaviors that destroy teamwork. Here he turns his focus to the individual, revealing the three indispensable virtues of an ideal team player.

In The Ideal Team Player, Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader desperate to save his uncle’s company by restoring its cultural commitment to teamwork. Jeff must crack the code on the virtues that real team players possess, and then build a culture of hiring and development around those virtues.

Beyond the fable, Lencioni presents a practical framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring and developing ideal team players.  Whether you’re a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork, a staffing professional looking to hire real team players, or a team player wanting to improve yourself, this book will prove to be as useful as it is compelling.

22. Thrive | By Dr. Mark Smutny

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Each chapter contains practical insights and accessible stories that transform meetings from dull to dynamic. Readers will learn how to create effective agendas, keep meetings task-oriented but collegial, and facilitate effectively in polarized or conflicted settings. Thrive includes chapters on privilege and power, multi-lingual meetings, and full inclusion of persons with disabilities. Whether skilled practitioner or new to leadership, readers will gain learn techniques for facilitating more effective, inclusive and energizing meetings.

23. Extreme Team | By Robert Bruce Shaw

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Do you face the challenge of building and leading a new team?  Revitalizing a stagnant one?

Extreme Teams examines the team practices driving growth in seven of the world’s most cutting-edge firms. They do this by challenging conventional wisdom and doing things differently.  The book takes you inside these bold companies and examines the teamwork approaches powering their results, including how: 

  • Pixar’s teams use rapid-cycle feedback and no-holds debate to transform initially flawed films into billion-dollar hits
  • A culture of radical “freedom and responsibility” helps Netflix execute on the next big thing and transform its industry
  • Whole Food’s super-autonomous teams embrace tough metrics and friendly competition to drive performance
  • Zappos embraces the weirdness and fun that sustains its success
Times change, and so must teams. Designing and managing high-performance teams requires upgrading outdated beliefs and behaviors, and creating in your company the level of intensity and collaboration needed to face down any challenge.

24. The Power of Virtual Distance | By Richard R. Reilly and Karen Soel Lojeski

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This still-evolving Digital Age conundrum continues to present new complications. The rise of remote work which rests on increasing reliance on electronic communication and the overall growth of virtual interactions has led to the escalation of a phenomenon called Virtual Distance. Virtual Distance, which influences our behavior through three components Physical Distance, Operational Distance, and Affinity Distance affects not only how we relate to others thousands of miles away but even to co-workers sitting right next to each other!  Perhaps even more problematic, Virtual Distance causes measurable malfunctions in teamwork, innovation, leader effectiveness, and overall performance.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Power of Virtual Distance offers specific, proven, and predictable solutions that can reverse these trends and turn Virtual Distance into a unification strategy to capture untapped competitive advantage.

Surprised?

The Power of Virtual Distance, 2nd Edition is a must-read for leaders who want to understand the true and quantifiable costs of the virtual workplace.  For the first time ever, readers can take the guesswork out of managing the virtual workforce by applying a mathematical approach derived from the extensive Virtual Distance data set:  The Virtual Distance Ratio.   The Virtual Distance Ratio can precisely pinpoint the particular impacts of Virtual Distance on the organization’s critical success factors.  Beyond business metrics, Virtual Distance solutions also detail ways to restore meaningfulness and well-being into people’s experience of work, enhancing life lived in the Digital Age. The Power of Virtual Distance reveals an updated set of data, including the first award-winning analysis, collected from an extended range of executives to individual contributors, that represent situations and solutions in more than 36 industries in 55 countries across the globe. Readers will get a “first look” at the data and its revelations on how to be less isolated and more integrated.

Helping managers globally, this book:

  • Offers new, real-world case studies and a chance for readers to participate in thought experiments to help with personal performance, group synergy and by extension, relationship dynamics of all kinds
  • Demonstrates (with statistically significant trend analyses) that Virtual Distance is growing at exponential rates in every corner of communities worldwide
  • Offers expert advice on how to manage the “unintended human consequences” of today’s digital technologies

Companies that successfully harness the power of Virtual Distance demonstrate better performance. The second edition of The Power of Virtual Distance is a valuable, one-of-a-kind resource for everyone – from the C-suite to human resource professionals; from divisional leaders to project managers.  Everyone in the organization can benefit by discovering how to improve financials, innovation, trust, employee engagement, satisfaction, organizational citizenship, and other key performance indicators.  And perhaps best of all, by following the prescriptions on how to reduce Virtual Distance, the entire workforce will have the tools they need to bring about a revival of meaning, purpose, and an enlivened sense of “humanhood” back into everyday work and everyday life.

25. Leading Self-Directed Work Team | By Kimball Fisher

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A new edition of the book that leads the self-directed work teams revolution. Leading Self-Directed Work Teams is one of the best-selling books on teams ever published. Now, the perfect guide for any team leader has been revised and expanded to reflect the new realities of team-based organizations. By explaining how team leaders differ from conventional supervisors, this informative volume which is based on the author’s successful seminars and workshops is especially useful for those managers who move from hierarchical to participatory structures.

This edition features more practical examples and techniques than in the previous edition, new research, dozens of tips and checklists, case studies, and valuable training exercises. It has been used and praised by experts at Motorola, M.I.T., AT&T, and many other organizations.

26. The Courage Solution | By Mindy Mackenzie

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Are there things you’d like to change at your company? Have you found yourself wishing your boss would change? Or your peers? What about the team you lead?

Everyone in the corporate world, from the CEO to the security guard out front, wants to change something about their company. That’s the human condition at work. Where you can get stuck, however, is thinking that things will improve when the ”other guy” changes–and waiting for that to happen first.

In The Courage Solution, author, speaker, and CEO advisor Mindy Mackenzie shows us that the conventional approach is wrong. You can’t wait for the ”other guy” to change. For true change to occur and for companies to perform better, we must all embrace one simple truth: The only thing you can reliably change or control is yourself. With truth-telling the commodity in the shortest supply in corporate America today, The Courage Solution challenges business professionals of any level to take actions that are deceptively simple yet require vulnerability and courage. The result? Improved impact on the job, and increased happiness and fulfillment. Drawing on 20 years of demanding executive roles at global corporations, Mindy Mackenzie reveals sharply focused, quick-read strategies in four key areas:

– Part 1, You First: Taking ownership and accountability to create a career and life you love.
– Part 2, Lead Your Boss: Transforming your relationship with your boss.
– Part 3, Lead Your Peers: Accelerating positive peer relationships to improve business results.
– Part 4, Lead Your Team: Building the most effective teams and having fun while doing it.

Whether you’re a seasoned leader or just starting out in your career, The Courage Solution will help you create instant, lasting change and achieve the success you desire at work.

27. The Art of Gathering | By Priya Parker

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From the host of the New York Times podcast Together Apart, an exciting new approach to how we gather will transform the ways we spend our time together—at home, at work, in our communities, and beyond.

In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker argues that the gatherings in our lives are lackluster and unproductive–which they don’t have to be. We rely too much on routine and the conventions of gatherings when we should focus on distinctiveness and the people involved. At a time when coming together is more important than ever, Parker sets forth a human-centered approach to gathering that will help everyone create meaningful, memorable experiences, large and small, for work and for play.

Drawing on her expertise as a facilitator of high-powered gatherings around the world, Parker takes us inside events of all kinds to show what works, what doesn’t, and why. She investigates a wide array of gatherings–conferences, meetings, a courtroom, a flash-mob party, an Arab-Israeli summer camp–and explains how simple, specific changes can invigorate any group experience.

The result is a book that’s both journey and guide, full of exciting ideas with real-world applications. The Art of Gathering will forever alter the way you look at your next meeting, industry conference, dinner party, and backyard barbecue–and how you host and attend them.

28. Making Remote Work Work | By Gil Gildner

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Making Remote Work Work is a pragmatic, realistic approach to building effective remote teams, and finding your way into a remote role that works for you.

Whether you’re a leader in a company trying to build a remote team, or an individual looking for a remote job, Making Remote Work Work will lay out a blueprint for long-term success using author Gil Gildner’s decades-long experience in remote work, after managing, hiring, starting companies, and working remotely from over 45 countries.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • How to find & attract remote workers to your team
  • Best practices for communication and scheduling
  • The importance of independence and self-driven team members
  • Warning signs and red flags during remote interviews
  • How to use tools for effective remote work
  • How to make your resume stand out when you’re looking for a remote job

You’ll also learn some common problems that both remote teams and the employees that work within them run into, including:

  • Time zones and scheduling
  • Salary discrepancies
  • Cultural differences within teams
  • Career networking & advancement
  • Managing your time

29. The Surprising Science of Meetings | By Steven G. Rogelberg

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One of the ten Leadership books to watch in 2019 —The Washington Post ⧫ One of the top business books everybody will be reading in 2019 — Business Insider ⧫ As seen on “CBS This Morning”⧫ “In workplaces around the world, meetings are where productivity and creativity go to die. Steven Rogelberg is the world’s leading expert on how to fix them, and here he shares the best evidence on how we can stop wasting time and falling victim to groupthink.” —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Giving and Take A recent estimate suggests that employees endure a staggering 55 million meetings a day in the United States. This tremendous time investment yields only modest returns. No organization made up of human beings is immune from the all-too-common meeting gripes: those that fail to engage, those that inadvertently encourage participants to tune out, and those that blatantly disregard participants’ time. Most companies and leaders view poor meetings as an inevitable cost of doing business. But managers can take heart: researchers now have a clear understanding of the key drivers that make meetings successful. In The Surprising Science of Meetings, Steven G. Rogelberg, researcher and consultant to some of the world’s most successful companies, draws from extensive research, analytics, and data mining, and survey interviews with over 5,000 employees across a range of industries to share the proven practices and techniques that help managers and employees enhance the quality of their meetings. For those who lead and participate in meetings, Rogelberg provides immediate direction, guidance, and relief, offering a how-to guide to change your working life starting today.

30. The Unashamed Guide to Virtual Management | By Ben Bisbee and Kathy Wisniewski

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Manage Virtual Teams for Maximum Results.

Working remotely is a reality of today’s and tomorrow’s workforce. With organizations switching from a model of only on-site employees to on-site and virtual employees working globally, managers need guidance on how to address the traditional and not-so-traditional issues that occur when staff is not collocated.

The Unashamed Guide to Virtual Management provides that direction for topics such as onboarding new staff and delivering performance reviews as well as for the more offbeat issues like handling office romance and doing laundry on the job.

Using short chapters and a fun, whimsical, yet straightforward style, Ben Bisbee and Kathy Wisniewski answer the critical questions about how to manage virtual teams. No matter your problem, you’ll be able to evaluate what went wrong, determine how the solution fits within your organizational personality, and implement a process to make it stick. Rather than scrambling to figure out how to handle an unexpected situation, virtual managers can consult the authors’ advice on more than 30 topics, including:

• time zones, flexible schedules, and privacy
• hiring and interviews, onboarding, and professional development
• team building, morale, and celebrations
• interruptive pets and children, errands, and meetings from the bathroom.

From the mundane to the awkward, this book covers it all―because you will have to manage it from wherever you are!

31. Global Teams | By Jo Owen

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Working for a matrix international organization, with its ensuing diverse global teams, based in a variety of geographic locations is a fact of life for most leaders and managers today. These teams may be permanent, or they may come together temporarily to deliver a specific project.  The challenges of making decisions, setting goals, communicating, building trust, and managing the team are far harder when you are separated by time, language, culture, and priorities. Global Teams will enable leaders, teams, and organization to deal with the challenges they face:

·    How can you ensure that your global team delivers results?

·    How do I trade off our local goals and priorities versus the global priorities?

·    How do I find out what is really going on and how it will affect me?

·    Can I trust top management to support my agenda and me personally?

·    How can I lead people who I do not see and are not like me? 

Based on original research with some of the world’s leading companies, Global Teams is the definitive, practical guide on making the sharp end of globalization work for you and your organization.

32. Improve Your Virtual Meetings | By John Arthur

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Would you like to get better at virtual meetings and master your conference call and video meeting effectiveness?
Would you like to be more engaging and impactful in your interactions whether you are working from your bedroom or the beach?
Would you like to collaborate successfully with people all over the world, when you are not able to meet with them physically?
If any of these apply, this is the book for you! There are many business books available that can teach you how to be a better leader, how to think about the strategy of your business, or how to manage people. This book, instead, drills down into one specific niche that is increasingly important for workers today: How can you be more effective on your videoconferences and conference calls.
You might be working at home more than you used to, or perhaps you are collaborating with people in an office thousands of miles away. You might be a free agent who is contracting with organizations across the country or a digital nomad who works with people across the globe.
I wrote this book because I started to see everyone in my industry conducting more meetings by conference call and video conference, and noticed that there was a major opportunity for improvement. People were not effective in these virtual meetings, and organizations were losing significant effectiveness and momentum as a result. By being one of the people who “get” how to get the most from virtual meetings, you will not only be more impactful for your organization. You will be in a position to see disproportionate career success because you are more capable to take full advantage of these channels.
This book will give you tips and guidance to be more effective on your video and audio conference calls.

33. FRICTION | By Roger Dooley

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If you’re a business leader, these statistics should give you nightmares. According to science-based marketing and business expert Roger Dooley, they illustrate the real and growing threat of “friction,” which he defines as the unnecessary expenditure of time, effort, or money in performing a task. 

In today’s high-speed, customer-empowered world, the levels of swiftness and efficiency of business transactions will determine ultimate success or failure. In this groundbreaking guide, Dooley helps you spot the inevitable points of friction in your organization, and he provides the tools and insight you need to eliminate them. By truly understanding the impact friction can have, you’ll be able to establish positive habits and eliminate negative ones―all with the end result of building a company that’s the envy of your industry. Friction takes you step-by-step through the process of:

 Empowering frank conversations
 Guiding individual and team behaviors
 Getting ahead of friction 
 Optimizing the customer experience 
 Building a frictionless corporate culture

Combining scientific research with real-life examples of leaders who have conquered business friction, Dooley teaches you how to identify roadblocks, alter them for the benefit of both business and customer, and create positive, lasting change.

If you’re in a leadership position, now is the time to declare war on friction―before your competitors do. Stamp out ridiculous rules, pointless procedures, and meaningless meetings. Become a relentless advocate for the customer and for minimizing customer effort. Lubricate every point of friction and make your company run like a well-oiled machine. 

Friction provides the know-how you need to lead your company to industry dominance. 

34. Work Together Anywhere | By Lisette Sutherland and Kirsten Janene-Nelson

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N TODAY’S MODERN GLOBAL ECONOMY, companies and organizations in all sectors are embracing the game-changing benefits of the remote workplace. Managers benefit by saving money and resources and by having access to talent outside their zip codes, while employees enjoy greater job opportunities, productivity, independence, and work-life satisfaction. But in this new digital arena, companies need a plan for supporting efficiency and fostering streamlined, engaging teamwork.

In Work Together Anywhere, Lisette Sutherland, an international champion of virtual-team strategies, offers a complete blueprint for optimizing team success by supporting every member of every team, including:

  • EMPLOYEES advocating for work-from-home options
  • MANAGERS seeking to maximize productivity and profitability
  • TEAMS collaborating over complex projects and long-term goals
  • ORGANIZATIONS reliant on sharing confidential documents and data
  • COMPANY OWNERS striving to save money and attract the best brainpower

Packed with hands-on materials and actionable advice for cultivating agility, camaraderie, and collaboration, Work Together Anywhere is a thorough and inspiring must-have guide for getting ahead in today’s remote-working world.

35. Organizing Genius | By Patricia Ward Biederman and Warren Bennis

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Uncovers the elements of creative collaboration by examining six of the century’s most extraordinary groups and distill their successful practices into lessons that virtually any organization can learn and commit to in order to transform its own management into a collaborative and successful group of leaders. Paper. DLC: Organizational effectiveness – Case studies.

36. Disciplined Collaboration | By Emmanuel Gobillot

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THE book to show you how you and your team can win with effective collaboration!

Ever wondered why your divisions are divided? Ever found yourself using the word silo when explaining sub-optimal results? Ever dreamt of having an organization that has both the efficiency of competition and the effectiveness of collaboration? If you’re tired of adding dotted lines on charts and hugging trees or colleagues on an away-day, disciplined collaboration is for you. In this engaging, thoughtful, and well-researched book, global speaker, consultant, and leadership expert Emmanuel Gobillot identifies the real barriers to collaboration and proposes a disciplined approach to removing them. He identifies the 4 fears that no amount of dotted lines or team-building exercises will ever address. Combining the latest psychological and organizational research with pragmatic real-world application, Disciplined Collaboration shows you how to make your divisions add up again. This book will help you: Diagnose the issues that get in the way of collaboration in your organization. Discover how to master the changing nature of influence from competition to collaboration. Learn how to deploy the 4 disciplines that will remove the fears of collaboration in your team. Find practical tools to help you reconnect individuals and teams. Be inspired by stories drawn from a breathtaking number of fields from business to history to medicine via tailoring and comedy! Described as ‘the first leadership guru for the digital generation’ and ‘the freshest voice in leadership today, Emmanuel Gobillot, has over 15 years of experience in helping organizations and audiences globally rethink the way they build and run organizations. He has applied his mantra of ‘there must be a better way and together we can find it’ to solving issues alongside leaders of some of the world’s largest organizations and smallest startups. Before setting up his own boutique consultancy, Emmanuel was a Director at HayGroup where he led both the consumer sector and leadership services practices.

37. The Long-Distance Leader | By Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel

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Leadership First, Locations Second. As more organizations adopt a remote workforce, the challenges of leading at a distance become more urgent than ever. The cofounders of the Remote Leadership Institute, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, show leaders how to guide their teams by recalling the foundational principles of leadership whether their teams are scattered globally or just working from home a few days a week.

The authors’ “Three-O” Model refocuses leaders to think about outcomes, others, and ourselves–elements of leadership that remain unchanged, whether employees are down the hall or halfway around the world. By pairing it with the Remote Leadership Model, which emphasizes using technology as a tool and not a distraction, leaders can navigate the terrain of managing teams wherever they are. Filled with exercises that ensure projects stay on track, keep productivity and morale high, and build lasting relationships, this book is the go-to guide for leading effectively, no matter where people work.

38. Taking Minutes of Meetings | By Joanna Gutmann

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Taking Minutes of Meetings guides you through the entire process of minute taking: arranging the meeting; writing the agenda; creating the optimum environment; structuring the meeting and writing notes up accurately. The often misunderstood role of a minute-taker is one of the most important and powerful in a meeting, and this book will help you excel at this crucial skill, allowing you to build your career and credibility.

Taking Minutes of Meetings is an easy-to-read dip-in, dip-out’ guide, providing hands-on advice about the sections of a meeting as well as tips on how to create an agenda, personal preparation, best practice advice on taking notes, and how to improve your accuracy. Fully updated for 2019, this 5th edition now features even more practical exercises, useful templates, and top tips, as well as guidance on using technology effectively and minutes for different types of meetings.

The Creating Success series of books…
Unlock vital skills, power up your performance, and get ahead with the bestselling Creating Success series. Written by experts for new and aspiring managers and leaders, this million-selling collection of accessible and empowering guides will get you up to speed in no time. Packed with clever thinking, smart advice, and the kind of winning techniques that really get results, you’ll make fast progress, quickly reach your goals and create lasting success in your career.

39. Making the Matrix Work | Kevan Hall

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Global customers, supply chains, and more integrated business functions mean that work now cuts across the traditional vertical silos of country and function. But the ‘solution’ of the matrix structure also brings multiple bosses, competing goals, and higher levels of complexity. Traditional management training prioritizes clarity, predictability, and control.

In a matrix, we need to be able to balance this with the ability to tolerate ambiguity, manage uncertainty, and decentralize control. Managers need an expanded toolkit to help them move from the hard to the soft, from the concrete to the ambiguous, and back again depending on the situation. Making the Matrix Work introduces some new ideas and practical tools in 3 key areas:

* Leading people beyond clarity to flexibility. A matrix trades clarity for flexibility. We need to create enough clarity on goals and roles and to align with others; but we also need to cope with ambiguity, manage complex trade-offs and dilemmas and deal with higher levels of conflict.

* Being connected and effective. We set up a matrix to improve cooperation and communication across the silos but be careful what you wish for! It is easy to become over-connected to poor-quality meetings, teams, and communication. More teamwork, meetings, and emails are not the answer.

* Creating control by giving it away. The complexity and diversity of the matrix can undermine trust and lead to an increase in central control and bureaucracy. We need to prevent this by building trust, empowering, and creating commitment. Accountability without control and influence without authority is the norm.

Kevan Hall’s new book will help you develop your matrix mindset and will show you how to establish and engage networks that do not depend on role, control, or authority to get things done. This book gives individuals working in the matrix the tools to take control of their own goals, role, and success and shows matrix managers how to lead others to make their matrix really work.

40. The Orange Revolution | By Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

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From New York Times, bestselling authors and renowned leadership consultants Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton come a groundbreaking guide to building high-performance teams.

What is the true driver of a thriving organization’s exceptional success? Is it a genius leader? An iron-clad business plan? Gostick and Elton shatter these preconceptions of corporate achievement. Their research shows that breakthrough success is guided by a particular breed of a high-performing team that generates its own momentum—and engaged group of colleagues in the trenches, working passionately together to pursue a shared vision. Their research also shows that only 20 percent of teams are working anywhere near this optimal capacity. How can your team become one of them?

Based on a groundbreaking 350,000-person study by the Best Companies Group, as well as extraordinary research into exceptional teams at leading companies, including Zappos.com, Pepsi Beverages Company, and Madison Square Garden, the authors have determined a key set of characteristics displayed by members of breakthrough teams, and have identified a set of rules great teams live by, which generate a culture of positive teamwork and lead to extraordinary results.

Using a wealth of specific stories from the breakthrough teams they studied, they reveal in detail how these teams operate and how managers can transform their own teams into such high performers by fostering:

-Stronger clarity of goals
-Greater trust among team members
-More open and honest dialogue
-Stronger accountability for all team members
-Purpose-based recognition of team members’ contributions

The remarkable stories they tell about these teams in action provide a simple and powerful step-by-step guide to taking your team to the breakthrough level, igniting the passion and vision to bring about an Orange Revolution.

41. Primal Teams | By Jackie Barretta

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Will your team work together with energy and enthusiasm, fear and frustration, or just go through the motions? With a proper understanding of how emotions work, the choice might just be up to you! Emotion, more than any million-dollar tool in your highly educated arsenal, spells the difference between stellar and mediocre team performance. Fear, anger, frustration, and other negative feelings can endanger a group’s dynamic. But positive emotions have the power to transform it into a high-performance engine. Their minds sharpen. They find creative solutions. Everyone operates at their peak. Drawing on the latest research, Primal Teams shows how anyone can control potentially damaging emotions while triggering the kind of passion and energy that supercharges performance. Illustrated with compelling examples, this groundbreaking guide reveals how to: • Transform fear and negativity• Energize primal emotional systems• Activate insight and intuition• Foster emotional bonds and team spirit• Connect the team to a deeper purpose• And more don’t let your team’s performance hinge on what side of the bed someone woke upon. With the array of insights and practical tools in this one-of-a-kind resource, you can learn how to inspire an unprecedented level of performance by harnessing the power of positive emotion.

42. Leadership Team Coaching | By Peter Hawkins

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Organizations are most effective when the teams responsible for their success function to the best of their ability. When the relationships within the teamwork well and all members have a clear focus, the team is able to achieve goals more easily. Leadership Team Coaching is a roadmap for those who have the responsibility of developing a leadership team. It provides a thorough explanation of the key elements of team coaching and is filled with practical tools and techniques to facilitate optimum performance across virtual teams, international teams, executive boards, and other teams.

The fully updated 3rd edition of Leadership Team Coaching brings together the latest research in leadership teams and team coaching along with numerous examples to illustrate how to develop people from disparate groups into a high-performing team. With new international case studies throughout as well as a new chapter on systemic coaching, the book covers the five disciplines of team performance, how to select team members, how the relationship of the coach and the team develops through stages, how CEOs can foster effective teams with shared leadership, how to choose the best team coach and more to facilitate effective leadership teams.

43. The Secret of Teams | By Mark Miller

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Teams are critical to the success of every organization. Departmental, interdepartmental, cross-functional, ad hoc, task-specific—teams do everything from planning the office party to setting the annual budget to establishing performance goals.

But what separates the teams that really deliver from the ones that simply spin their wheels? What is the secret of high-performance teams?

As he did in The Secret, Mark Miller uses a compelling business fable to reveal profound yet easily grasped truths that can dramatically transform any organization. Debbie Brewster, the heroine of The Secret, has been promoted and is now struggling with taking her new team to the next level. Her old mentor, Jeff Brown, the company’s CEO, sends her out to find the secret of teams. On her journey, she learns from three very different teams—the Special Forces, NASCAR, and a local restaurant.

Debbie and her team discover the three elements that all successful teams have in common. But that’s just the beginning. The devil is in the details, as the story of Debbie’s efforts to actually implement the three elements shows. You’ll learn how to change entrenched ways of thinking and acting, what you have to do to optimize each of the three elements of a successful team, how to measure your progress, and more.

Creating high-performance teams does more than just give your organization a competitive advantage. It can be a performance multiplier that significantly improves results while honoring and developing people. It may be the ultimate win-win-win that your organization is seeking.

44. 12 | By Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter

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12: The Elements of Great Managing is the 2006 sequel to 1999’s First, Break All the Rules, written by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. Based on Gallup’s proprietary Q12 survey from the mid-1990s, 12 follows great managers as they harness employee engagement to turn around a failing call center, save a struggling hotel, improve patient care in a hospital, maintain production through power outages, and successfully face a host of other challenges in settings around the world.

The authors weave Gallup insights from 1999 to 2006 with discoveries in the fields of neuroscience, game theory, psychology, sociology, and economics.

45. It’s Your Ship | By Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

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When Captain Abrashoff took over as commander of USS Benfold, it was like a business that had all the latest technology but only some of the productivity. Knowing that responsibility for improving performance rested with him, he realized he had to improve his own leadership skills before he could improve his ship. Within months, he created a crew of confident and inspired problem-solvers eager to take the initiative and responsibility for their actions. The slogan on board became “It’s your ship,” and Benfold was soon recognized far and wide as a model of naval efficiency. How did Abrashoff do it? Against the backdrop of today’s United States Navy, Abrashoff shares his secrets of successful management including:

  • See the ship through the eyes of the crew: By soliciting a sailor’s suggestions, Abrashoff drastically reduced tedious chores that provided little additional value.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate: The more Abrashoff communicated the plan, the better the crew’s performance. His crew eventually started calling him “Megaphone Mike,” since they heard from him so often.
  • Create discipline by focusing on purpose: Discipline skyrocketed when Abrashoff’s crew believed that what they were doing was important.
  • Listen aggressively: After learning that many sailors wanted to use the GI Bill, Abrashoff brought a test official aboard the ship-and held the SATs forty miles off the Iraqi coast.

From achieving amazing cost savings to winning the highest gunnery score in the Pacific Fleet, Captain Abrashoff’s extraordinary campaign sent shock waves through the U.S. Navy. It can help you change the course of your ship, no matter where your business battles are fought.

46. First Among Equals | By Patrick McKenna and David H. Maister

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Professional service gurus David Maister and Patrick McKenna have created a practical handbook on how to lead professional colleagues or peers when you lack formal authority. Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge calls it “a timely, easy to read work leavened with action plans and examples.”

Whether you have recently been appointed as a group leader or are a battle-scarred veteran, you know that managing professional people is difficult! In this unique handbook, Patrick J. McKenna and David H. Maister argue that leaders will best enable their people to achieve peak performance not by managing them, not by leading them, but by inspiring them.

The authors show you how to actually add value as a group leader or induce people to accept your guidance, even with intelligent professionals who are often free-agents accustomed to having autonomy to work on grueling assignments with little supervision. They also give advice on how to handle those oh-so-talented but oh-so-annoying professionals who exhibit attitude problems or are just exceedingly difficult to work with, when you need them but they tend to needle you.

The lessons and learning presented here will give you insights and action tips to help you provoke and inspire your people to their full potential.

47. Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team | By Patrick M. Lencioni

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In the years following the publication of Patrick Lencioni’s best seller The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, fans have been clamoring for more information on how to implement the ideas outlined in the book. In Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencioni offers more specific, practical guidance for overcoming the Five Dysfunctions―using tools, exercises, assessments, and real-world examples. He examines questions that all teams must ask themselves: Are we really a team? How are we currently performing? Are we prepared to invest the time and energy required to be a great team? Written concisely and to the point, this guide gives leaders, line managers, and consultants alike the tools they need to get their teams up and running quickly and effectively.

48. The Essential Wooden | By John Wooden and Steve Jamison

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The Essential Wooden is the ultimate collection of Wooden’s opinions and observations on achieving exceptional leadership in any organization, with 200 invaluable lessons for inspiring championship performance.

Coach Wooden offers his hard-won wisdom on building an organization that performs at its full potential under pressure, from preparing and training the team to instill personal drive and dedication. He takes his famous Pyramid of Success to the next level, filling the entire book with his straight-shooting personality and keen insight into human nature.

Wooden shares have rarely seen preseason letters to his players, revealing how he instilled productive attitudes and winning ways. He also includes previously unpublished analyses from former players and managers, including Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

From Wooden’s earliest days as a leader through his legendary UCLA dynasty, The Essential Wooden distills a lifetime of learning into the leadership playbook for the twenty-first century.

49. The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork | By John C. Maxwell

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Your go-to guide for building and maintaining champion-level teams and then leading your team to the peak level of success regardless of the field you’re in.

“There is no ‘i’ in “team.’” “No man is an island.” “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” You may roll your eyes at these age-old clichés, but you can’t afford to breeze over their point. Individual all-stars can only take you so far. Ultimately, success–whether in business, family, church, athletic teams, or any other organization–is entirely dependent on teamwork. But how does one build that team? Leadership expert and New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell knows that building and maintaining a successful team is no simple task. Even people who have taken their teams to the highest level in their field have difficulty recreating what accounted for their successes. So in The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, Maxwell shares the vital principles of team building that are necessary for success in any type of organization. In his practical, down-to-earth style, Dr. Maxwell shows how: • The Law of High Morale inspired a 50-year-old man who couldn’t even swim to train for the toughest triathlon in the world. • The Law of the Big Picture prompted a former US president to travel across the country by bus, sleep in a basement, and do manual labor. • Playing by The Law of the Scoreboard enabled one web-based company to keep growing and make money while thousands of other Internet businesses failed. • Ignoring The Law of the Price Tag caused one of the world’s largest retailers to close its doors after 128 years in business. • And so much more! Building a successful team has plagued leaders since the beginning of time. Is the key a strong work ethic? Is it “chemistry”? The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork will empower you–whether coach or player, teacher or student, CEO or non-profit volunteer–with the “how-tos“ and attitudes for building a successful team.

50. Wooden on Leadership | By John Wooden and Steve Jamison

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John Wooden’s goal in 41 years of coaching never changed; namely, to get maximum effort and peak performance from each of his players in the manner that best served the team. Wooden on Leadership explains step-by-step how he pursued and accomplished this goal. Focusing on Wooden’s 12 Lessons in Leadership and his acclaimed Pyramid of Success, it outlines the mental, emotional, and physical qualities essential to building a winning organization, and shows you how to develop the skill, confidence, and competitive fire to “be at your best when your best is needed”–and teach your organization to do the same.

51. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team | By Patrick Lencioni

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In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.

Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech’s CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni’s utterly gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight.

Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.

Final Thoughts on the Best Books on Leading Teams

Managers must learn to listen to their employees. Leaders must understand their team and the team must understand their leaders. If this communication is altered or misunderstood it may be unable to move forward to any direction of the organization. 

Happy reading!

Do you see a book that you think should be on the list? Let us know your feedback here.

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