If you’re “one and done” with a great book, you only get a fraction of the value. That’s why I review valuable business books. I use Kindle Flashcards to make it easy and review the top value parts.
Here’s a list of my “superbooks.” I review them several times a year. There are three books each on personal productivity, improving team performance, and leading in today’s world. There’s a link to my review for each book and a link to Amazon.
Books on Personal Productivity
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with The New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. In my review I said: “If you’re looking for solid advice on improving your performance at anything in a healthy and sustainable way, Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with The New Science of Success is the book for you. It’s well-researched and well-written.”
Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear. In my review I said: “Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear is a practical, wide-ranging book that will help you create habits you want to create and abandon some you want to stop doing. It’s well-written, with helpful summaries, charts, and supplementary material. It’s deep and thorough enough that you’re likely to return to it in the years to come.”
Books on Improving Team Performance
The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling. In my review I said: “The material in this book can make a difference in your performance, your team’s performance, and your overall quality of work life. But beware: you’ve got to do the work and it won’t be easy.
The hard part isn’t understanding the concepts. The hard part is breaking some habits and changing some procedures and maintaining energy while you work through those changes. If you’re not willing to do that, don’t buy the book.
The second important point is that the book is about a system. You can adopt any one of the four disciplines, or improve the way you handle each one, but to get the best results, you’ve got to use them all in a coordinated way. If you’re not willing to do that, don’t buy the book.
One more thing. This book is not about principles or secrets or magic of any kind. It’s about disciplines. That’s good because it means that people like you and like me can make it work. It will take work and, well, discipline, but we can make it work.
If you are willing to do the work and take the time and make the changes, The 4 Disciplines of Execution is a book that will help you make a dramatic improvement in your performance and your quality of work life.”
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland. In my review I said: “This book is for you if you want to improve your project planning and execution, especially if you do most of your work in teams.”
Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, and Chris Fussell. In my review I said: “If you’re interested in or concerned about the ways organizations must change to be effective in a complex and fast-moving world, this book is must-read. If you want a good study of team dynamics, this book will be worth your time. It will also be a good read for you if you’re intrigued with the military aspects of this, how the Joint Special Operations Task Force adapted to be more effective in Iraq.”
Books about Leading in Today’s World
Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust by Edgar and Peter Schein. In my review I said: “If you want to become the best leader you can be, you should read Humble Leadership. You’ll be introduced to a system that will seem familiar because you already use it in your personal life. The humble leadership idea doesn’t require wholesale transformation of entire organizations. It doesn’t ask you to defy human nature by eliminating hierarchy. You can do it all without assuming the role of wild-eyed reformer.”
Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in The Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull. In my review I said: “Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in The Way of True Inspiration is a great book about creativity and about how to lead an organization. More importantly it is the very best book I’ve ever read about unleashing the initiative and creativity of people in an organization.”
Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead by Jim Mattis and Bing West. my review I said: “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead is an excellent book about one man’s leadership development. Whether you’re in the military or in business, there are lots of lessons for you. You’ll learn that direct leadership is different than executive leadership, what to do in each case, and how to adapt from one to the other. You’ll come away with dozens of notes, pithy quotes about leadership and life, and pointers to a boatload of resources. If you are serious about leadership, you must read this book.”
Add these books to your leadership library.
Review the books you get the most out of.
NOTE: All Amazon links are affiliate links.