Slideshow 8 Must-Read Management Books for the Holidays

  • December 18 2012, 10:03am EST

All book selections and why they’re important were adapted from a blog post by Petty.

The Next Level by Scott Eblin

“Scott Eblin offers up perhaps the best book I’ve yet come across on successfully advancing into senior management and leadership roles. The book helps the reader understand what behaviors are critical for success at this new level and what mid-level management behaviors to leave behind. Buy the book … and don’t forget to check out the ‘Leadership Caffeine podcast with Scott.’” Click here to buy the book.

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The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

“For anyone involved in leading sales teams or interested in growing as a sales professional, this research-based book offers some important ideas on how buyer behaviors have changed in the post-crash world and how effective salespeople are adapting to these new approaches. Whether you are a sales manager or an aspiring sales professional involved in complex sales, understanding what it means to ‘Teach, Tailor and Take Control’ is priceless!” Click here to buy the book.

Beyond Performance-How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage by Scott Keller and Colin Price

“Backed by one of the most exhaustive research-studies to date, Keller and Price suggest a causal relationship (not just correlation) to their version of “Organizational Health” and financial performance. This is by far one of the most substantive studies and books, and Keller and Price do a great job not only summarizing the findings, but offering ideas for managers striving to build competitive advantage.” Click here to buy the book.

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy-The Difference and Why it Matters by George Rumelt

“Far and away the best book I’ve consumed on strategy, Rumelt’s experience-based perspective on the difference between good and bad strategy and his practical advice on how to move towards simplicity in pursuit of the strategy kernel, is one to own in hardback and to carry with you on the e-reader.” Click here to buy the book.

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Escape Velocity by Geoffrey Moore

“While I offer high praise for Rumelt’s book above, Geoffrey Moore is the one strategy guru who truly makes me think about how to create value and position to win. In ‘Escape Velocity,’ Moore tackles the topic faced by nearly every organization: how to escape the gravitational pull of the past in pursuit of creating new value. His ‘framework of frameworks’ here in ‘Escape Velocity’ is safely housed on my bookshelf and carried with on my e-reader. Powerful and immediately applicable! Here’s a link to the Leadership Caffeine podcast with Geoffrey.” Click here to buy the book.

The Great Leadership Development and Succession Planning Kit-Part 1 by Dan McCarthy

“Dan is the author and proprietor at the blog, Great Leadership, and this ‘best of’ collection offers up great ideas and great advice in Dan’s easy-flowing style.” Click here to buy the book.

The Character Based Leader-Instigating a Leadership Revolution One Person at a Time by members of the Lead Change Group

“I know a good number of these great professionals, and this is most definitely an outstanding collection of fresh content from some of the most inspirational and practical leadership teachers of our day.” Click here to buy the book.

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The Cultural Intelligence Difference by David Livermore, Ph.D.

“Developing cultural awareness and cultivating the skills to adapt to and succeed in different cultural settings are critical capabilities for today’s global leader. Livermore offers up some immediately usable guidance on strengthening your cultural intelligence.” Click here to buy the book.

For more management advice ...

Read Art Petty’s regular leadership guidance blogs at For a follow-up list of recommended biography reading from Art, click here. Click here to subscribe to Art’s “Leadership Caffeine” newsletter and follow him at Twitter via @artpetty. This list originally appeared as a blog at Cover slide image used with permission from ThinkStock.