I recently shared a selfie from my office and a friend emailed me to ask what books I had on the book shelf behind me. I tend to keep multiple copies of a set of books in my office and I happily give them to anyone that wants a copy. The books that I keep in there change slowly over time, but this is what I’m stocking today and why. These are in no particular order.
Measure What Matters by John Doerr
This is a great introduction to OKR’s. Wether you adopt OKR’s formally or informally, it is worth reading to understand the mechanics and how various organizations have used this framework.
An Elegant Puzzle by Will Larson
This is a thorough and complete writeup of many topics related to managing and leading technology teams. Well written and useful information. As an added bonus, it’s an incredibly well designed and produced book.
Inspired by Marty Cagan
Insightful book that covers on the critical aspects of creating great products. Covers all of the aspects, not just building the software.
Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
Wonderful book that highlights the power of checklists. Highlights what makes a good checklist and why. Must read.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
I’ve been using the GTD method for over a decade and routinely recommend it to people as a way to manage not just their work, but their whole life.
Agile Software Development with Scrum by Schwaber and Beedle
I have probably bought over 100 copies of this book over the years. I still reference it for those that want to learn about Agile and Scrum. I don’t remember how I was introduced to this book, but I’m very thankful I read it early on.
The New Leaders 100 Day Action Plan by George B. Bradt, Jayme A. Check, John A. Lawler
This book was recommended to me by a friend when I joined SPS Commerce. It served as a great roadmap and absolutely helped me be more successful as I started as a new leader. I give this book to every Director and up that we hire!
Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle
The story of Bill Campbell who coached some of the biggest technology companies in the world. This book provides some great insight into the role of a coach in business. By reading it, I think you can be a better coach too.
Accelerate by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim
Great overview of how a modern technology organization should run and deliver value.
Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows
System thinking is one of the most critical things for growing and changing companies to keep in mind. As managers you are often designing systems that people and processes operate in and around. This is a good entry level discussion of the topic, and will make you a better designer of those systems.
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
I enjoyed this book for it’s approach to candid conversations in the workplace and how to approach them.
Leadership Pipeline by Stephen Drotter, Jim Noel, and Ram Charan
Good book on thinking about leadership development from entry level manager to functional leader and enterprise leader. I like how this book is structured and the critical questions it asks the reader to consider.
The Goal: A Business Graphic Novel based on The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt with Jeff Cox, adapted by Dwight Jon Zimmerman and Dean Motter
The Goal is a classic book, and the concepts in it are one that many technology leaders may not have front of mind. The graphic novel is a fun way to make it even more approachable.
The Change Monster by Jeanie Daniel Duck
This book is a simple way to think about organizational change, and how to lead your organizations through it. I found this book when I was doing a lot of mergers and it was helpful to think about the process and the emotions associated with it.
The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within by Edward R. Tufte
I share this with people who want more information on why I’m so suspect of bullet lists and “PowerPoint thinking.”