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18 books IT leaders should read this summer
Each year, participants in the Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forums read and discuss more than two dozen books throughout the course of the 9 month program. The selections may be just the thing to boost any IT leadership career.
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A Leader’s Legacy
By James M. Kouzens and Barry Z. Posner

(Jossey-Bass, 2006, 208 pages, hardcover)

In this book, Kouzes and Posner examine the critical issues all leaders must address in order to leave a lasting impact in their organization, with essays centered around the topics of significance, relationships, aspirations and courage.
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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

By Kerry Patterson

(McGraw-Hill, 2002, 256 pages, paperback)

According to Kerry Patterson, when stakes are high, opinions vary and emotions can run strong. She provides readers with tools "to step up to life's most difficult and important conversations, say what's on your mind, and achieve the positive resolutions you want," according to the book's description on Amazon.
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Emotional Intelligence 2.0
By Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

(TalentSmart; Har Dol En edition, 2009, 255 pages, hardcover)

In Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradbury and Jean Greaves deliver a step-by-step program for increasing EQ using four core skills that enable readers to achieve their fullest potential: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.
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Leadership Is An Art
By Max Dupree

(Crown Business, 2004, 148 pages, paperback)

De Pree looks at leadership as "a kind of stewardship, stressing the importance of building relationships, initiating ideas, and creating a lasting value system within an organization," notes the book's description on Amazon. Rather than focusing on the “hows” of corporate life, he explains the “whys.”
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Leadership Passages: The Personal and Professional Transitions That Make Or Break a Leader
By David Dotlich

(Jossey-Bass, 2004, 240 pages, hardcover)

This book lays out 13 specific “leadership passages,” including: taking a first leadership role, overcoming failure, losing a job, experiencing a merger or acquisition, as well as the importance of family, children and friends, and events such as divorce, illness and death.
Leading With Soul
By Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal

(Jossey-Basss, 2011, 304 pages, hardcover)

This book focuses on what is traditionally a deeply personal journey to leadership. In this new and revised edition, the authors update their spiritual message in the light of the recent social and world events such as recession, the spread of global terrorism and ethics scandals.
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Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change (25th Anniversary Edition)
By William Bridges

(Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2017, 208 pages, paperback)

William Bridges explains how to best achieve success when employees "have a purpose, a plan and a part to play," notes the book's description on Amazon. Directed at managers at all levels, this expanded edition provides practical, step-by-step strategies for minimizing disruptions and navigating uncertain times.
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Man’s Search for Meaning
By Viktor E. Frankl

(Beacon Press, 2006, 184 pages, paperback)

Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother and pregnant wife all died. He uses his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, to argue that "we learn how to cope with suffering, find meaning in it and move forward with renewed purpose," Amazon notes in its description of the book.
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Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow
By Tom Rath

(Gallup Press, 2008, 266 pages, hardcover)

This book identifies three keys to being a more effective leader: knowing your strengths and investing in the strengths of others; getting individuals with the right strengths on your team; and meeting the four basic needs of those who look to you for leadership.
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The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All
By Michael Useem

(Crown Business, 1999, 336 pages, paperback)

This book profiles a variety of individuals that have shown great leadership in their respective fields or circumstances. Among the individuals profiled are: "Merck's Roy Vagelos, who commits millions of dollars to develop a drug needed only by people who can't afford it; Eugene Kranz struggles to bring the Apollo 13 astronauts home after an explosion rips through their spacecraft; and Arlene Blum organizes the first women's ascent of one of the world's most dangerous mountains," Amazon says in its description of the book.
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The Nibble Theory and the Kernel of Power: A book About Leadship, Self-Improvement and Personal Growth
By Kaleel Jamison

(Paulist Press, 2004, 75 pages, paperback)

The late Kaleel Jamison was one of the first female managementt consultants. She experienced what she described as "nibbles" - little bites that life takes out of you. The Nibble Theory is "a process for dealing with the world that moves the reader toward personal power and growth arising out of the unique values and strengths of each person," according to the Amazon book description.
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The Old Man and the Sea
By Ernest Hemmingway

(Scribner, 1995, 128 pages, paperback)

This is Hemmingway’s classic story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. In this book, which won the Noble prize for literature, "Hemingway recasts the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss," Amazon says in its description of the book.
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The Post American World: Release 2.0
By Fareed Zakaria

(W. W. Norton & Company, 2012, 336 pages, paperback)

“This is not a book about the decline of America, but rather about the rise of everyone else.” So begins Fareed Zakaria’s blockbuster on the United States in the 21st century, Amazon explains in its book description. In the book Zakaria poses the question, how might the nation continue to thrive in a truly global era?
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The Prince
By Niccolo Machiavelli

(CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017, 88 pages, paperback)

The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise. According to the Amazon description, "It has the general theme of accepting that the aims of princes—such as glory and survival—can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends."
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The Theft of the Spirit: A Journey to Spiritual Healing
By Carl Hammerschlag

(Touchstone, 1994, 176 pages, paperback)

"Using Native American experience as an example, the author provides advice on living wisely, well, and spiritually in an increasingly materialistic world," Amazon says in its description of the book.
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The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction
By Rebecca Z. Shafir

(Quest Books, 2003, 272 pages, paperback)

In ths book, readers will learn to focus intently on a speaker and how that improves the relationship, increases attention span and helps develop negotiating skills. They will also learn the causes of misunderstanding, how to listen to themselves, how to listen under stress and how to boost memory.
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Discover Your True North
By Bill George

(Jossey-Bass, 2015, 320 pages, hardcover)

Originally based on first-person interviews with 125 leaders, this book has been expanded and updated to introduce 48 new leaders and new learning about what it takes to be a leader in the modern age.

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Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival (20th Anniversary Edition)
By Velma Wallis

(Harper Perennial, 2013, 160 pages, paperback)

Based on an Athabascan Indian legend, this story concerns two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine, and how they now must either survive on their own or die trying.