Slideshow 15 Summer Must-Reads for IT & Business Leaders

  • August 18 2015, 6:50am EDT
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15 Summer Must-Reads for IT & Business Leaders

Summer vacation is a great time to recharge your body -- and your mind. To achieve that latter goal, check out these 15 must-reads, which we culled from the Society for Information Management, plus faculty and administration members from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. Here’s the lineup and a description of each tome.

1. Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time By Bill McGowan with Alisa Bowman 2014

An award-winning news correspondent turned media/communications coach offers advice on how to be 'pitch-perfect'—i.e., more effective at communicating across a variety of common career-related circumstances, according to Kathryn Bartol, professor of management and organization, University of Maryland.

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2. The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth's Future By Paul Sabin 2014

The Bet describes “the opposing views of Paul Ehrlich, who focused on the limits of natural resources and economic growth, and Julian Simon, who felt that market forces and innovation would overcome any potential shortages,” according to Curt Grimm, professor and Charles A Taff Chair of Economics and Strategy, University of Maryland. Read the book to learn who won the bet…

3. Your Bain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, By David Rock, 2009

Put down your phone for a minute. Consultant Rock has something important to say. Through the tale of Emily and Paul, a fictional couple, he demonstrates how we get buried in a blizzard of emails, text messages, phone calls, meetings and more – and how we can dig ourselves out. Did you hear any of that?

4. Are You Fully Charged?: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life By Tom Rath 2015

“The book describes three aspects (meaning, social interactions and energy) that we all need to enhance, and provides suggestions for how to do that,” says Joyce Russell, vice dean, University of Maryland’s School of Business. “Once again, as in his other books, his advice is based on sound research and offers us steps we can take starting tomorrow.”

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5. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer By Siddhartha Mukherjee 2011

"The book provides a detailed and rich account of the progress of science and the research enterprise – and how social forces, government policy and pure serendipity affect the search for truth," says Ritu Agarwal, professor and Dean’s Chair of Information Systems, University of Maryland.

6. True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, By Bill George with Peter Sims

George, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, wrote this as a sequel to his bestselling book, Authentic Leadership. Here, he aims to help managers locate the internal compass that can guide them successfully through life. He also explores why leaders lose their way, what motivates leaders, and how to magnetize your support team.

7. Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead By Laszlo Bock 2015

"It is an evidence-based practical guide for effective approaches to recruiting, motivating, leading, training, assessing and compensating people,” says Mark Wellman, clinical professor of management and organization, University of Maryland. “The book should be mandatory reading for every student that desires to be a leader or entrepreneur."

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8. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion By Jonathan Haidt 2013

"It is not often that a book changes one's mind about how to view right and wrong, and why good people disagree about what is right," says Brent Goldfarb, associate professor of management and organization. "This book is the first reasonable explanation I have found of why the capitalist/progressive right/left dialogue is so acrimonious. Whether you align left, right or somewhere in between, do not read this book if you wish to remain smug in your own positions."

9. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable By Patrick Lencioni 2002

In the first part of this book, Lencioni presents the fable of a manager who tries to unit a team in disarray. And in the second part, he presents the model, and an assessment, that readers can use to apply the fable’s lessons to their own teams.

10. Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values By Lawrence A. Cunningham 2014

"The central theme of this book,” says David Kass, clinical professor of finance, University of Maryland, “is that the culture instilled within Berkshire, along with its outstanding financial performance over the past 50 years under the leadership of Mr. Buffett, should continue long after the octogenarian (age 84) is no longer the CEO.

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11. The New One Minute Manager By Ken Blanchard and Johnson Spencer 2015

"In this rapidly changing world, is an effective manager one who focuses on results or people?” Frank Alt, associate professor of management science and statistics. Read the book for new clues.

12. Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, And Why People Follow, Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, 2009

What makes leadership tick? To find out, Gallop researchers studied more than 1 million work teams interviewing over 20,000 leaders – and 10,000 of their subordinates. Working with these Gallup findings, Rath and Conchie have identified three keys to effective leadership: investing in your strength, maximizing your team, and understanding why people follow.

13. Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread-The Lessons from a New Science by Alex "Sandy" Pentland 2014

"Sandy Pentland takes a look at the new world of understanding how we can model social behavior and understand social changes through big data," says Bill Rand, assistant professor of marketing, University of Maryland.

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14. More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places By Michael J. Mauboussin 2007

While aimed at professional investors, the book looks at investing philosophies, the psychology behind investing and how scientific methods can apply to investing,” says Susan White, clinical professor of finance, University of Maryland.

15. Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace

MacKenzie defines a corporate hairball as any bureaucratic procedure that stifles creativity and imagination. He knows of what he speaks, having worked with Hallmark Cards for 30 years. But MacKenzie also knows that for a business to succeed, creativity and the drive for profits must somehow coexist. His irreverently charming book, originally self-published, has become something of a cult favorite.

Thank You And More

For more detailed accounts of each book and for a look at some bonus recommendations, visit the University of Maryland’s complete recommended list and the Society of Information Management’s Regional Leadership ) Forum 2015 Book List. Plus, visit here for more Information Management slideshows.