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Written by Elizabeth Eyre on 1 April 2013 in Review

A library of management development books was recommended by members of the TJ Forum this month. Elizabeth Eyre reports

"Inspirational and excellent" books on the subject of management development were top of the list for TJ Forum members this month.

Jennifer Grice asked for their help in compiling a list of books that she could add to her organisation's management development library.

She said: "I am looking for some fantastic books that people would really rate as worth a read. If you have read a book in this topic area, which has inspired you or you have thought was really excellent, I would appreciate the recommendation.

"The sorts of topics we want to cover include coaching, performance management, motivation, change management, influencing skills, delegation, giving feedback, problem solving and being strategic."

Stella Collins replied that she too loves great books and provided a "quick list" of some of her favourite titles relating to the topics listed by Grice: "First Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman; Drive: The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us by Daniel Pink; Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini and Entitled to Respect by Suzanne and Conrad Potts.

"And the Management Pocketbook series for those people who aren't so keen on reading - all those topics you suggest will be covered in the series and they have an intro to management."

Andy Smith also recommended Daniel Pink's book on motivation, saying it was one that "I really rate and [has] changed the way I thought about things". Susan Scott's book on giving feedback - Fierce Conversations - was also worth reading.

Drive, First Break all the Rules and Fierce Conversations also got the thumbs up from Sharon Green, who added: "Steve McDermott's How to be a complete an utter failure in life and everything you do: 49 and a half steps to lasting underachievement (or something similar) has to win for best title and the reverse psychology and useful tools in the book are very accessible and memorable."

John Graham was also a fan of Drive and recommended Tony Schwartz's Be Excellent at Anything as containing "a lot of interesting points".

His favourite current book, which offered "a fresh way of looking at things" in a number of Grice's topics, was Clarity by Jamie Smart. "Personally I'm an advocate of 3 principles and Stillpower by Garrett Kramer is a great book that looks at sport performance and coaching (but can be related to personal living and people management) using 3 principle theory.

"These are the books I keep coming back to for another read at the moment."

Dorothy Nesbit recommended a long list of relevant titles, including Good to Great by Jim Collins, Tim Gallwey's The Inner Game of Tennis, Daniel Goleman et al's The New Leaders and Emotional Intelligence, and Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore.

She also suggested looking at the TED talks.

Margaret Dix's favourite management development book is Dee Hock's Birth of the Chaordic Age. She described it as "life-changing" and said: "Hock explores the management lessons he has learned and used to create one of the biggest business shifts of our lifetime - the introduction of VISA credit cards.

"This is the book I give to newly promoted managers. It's on my 'if you only read one management book, make it this one' list."

David Cotton's reply was short and to the point: "Like - Jo Owen: Management Stripped Bare; Henry Mintzberg et al: Strategy Bites Back.

"Don't much like - Daniel Goleman: Emotional Intelligence; Daniel Pink: Drive.

"Cannot bear - Stephen Covey: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."

Shirley Gaston said: "I'm a fan of Drive, First Break All the Rules, Punished by Rewards, Coaching for Performance and Fierce Conversations too. All books I have gone back to at least ten times each!

"Others that are brilliant include The Jelly Effect by Andy Bounds (communication), The Inner Game of Work by Timothy Gallwey and Time to Think by Nancy Kline."

Anne-Marie Hearne added Bounce by Matthew Syed, which is about the importance of practice and self-belief.

"The Challenger Spirit by Kurshed Dehnugara and Claire Genkai Breeze gives great insight into how organisations can disturb the status quo. My best read last year!" she added.

And Mike Clayton recommended Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman; The Wisdom of Crowds (Why the many are smarter than the few) by James Surowiecki; Positive Psychology at Work by Sarah Lewis and 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman.


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