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Career Advice

5 Leadership Books Every IT Manager Should Read

By Vlad De Ramos on December 12, 2015

With so much information one can get online, along with the technological developments such as phones, tablets, and e-books we have today, it seems that books are everyone’s last option when it comes to picking up new knowledge these days.

But, for book lovers, nothing can compare to the experience of reading physical books and being able to highlight or jot down notes on it—although these have also become possible with electronic books.

Then again, books can’t be replaced by blogs or any electronic equivalent in terms of its length, depth and quality of information. So, if you’re eager to learn new trends in Information Technology to find better IT jobs or climb the corporate ladder, we’ve listed down five books that are a must-read for IT managers serving in a variety of industries.

1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t (Jim Collins)


Good to Great by Jim CollinsTime)">

A must-read for IT professionals leading a team and those who want to lead someday, this book is about a five-year study on how 28 great companies succeeded and sustained their successes.

This book will help you understand every area of management strategy and practice, primarily what type of leadership is required to achieve greatness—which Collins refer to as Level 5 Leaders.

2. StrengthsFinder 2.0 (Tom Rath)


Strengths Finder by Tom RathAmazon)">

A reference book that you’ll use for decades, this book was introduced by Gallup as an online assessment to help people discover their top five talents.

A must-read for every professional, as this wouldn’t only help discover your strengths and change the way you look at yourself, but also gives you strategies on how you can apply your strengths to different aspects of yourself.

3. The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong (Laurence Peter and Raymond Hull)


The Peter Principle by Laurence Peter and Raymond HullAmazon)">

Laurence Peter tried answering the eternal question, “Why do things always go wrong?” and created a cultural phenomenon known as The Peter Principle.

One of the controversial theories of Peter is why incompetence is so rampant in the workplace. He discussed that people who he tagged as “super competent” will never make it past a certain point unless his boss or superior doesn’t see them as a threat.

He takes it further by saying that you stand to lose your job by being super competent because this plagues the workplace ever since—the need to maintain the hierarchy of incompetents.

Indeed a controversial book, this one will definitely ring a bell or two in every employee or manager proving that this is a must-read for self-awareness, as well as avoiding of falling into the pitfall of incompetence and egoism in the workplace.

4. The 11 Secrets of Highly Influential IT Leaders (Marc J. Schiller)


The 11 Secrets of Highly Influential IT LeadersAmazon)">

Marc Schiller says that influence, especially the senior management level, is the missing ingredient for so many IT leaders today.

He goes to say that the kind of power needed is not about getting your way, but rather having the right sway to ensure that the right things happen in the IT industry for which leaders are responsible for. This is the kind of influence that helps IT leaders successfully sell their ideas, projects, and budgets to senior management stakeholders.

This book is a practical roadmap and program that takes IT leaders on a journey of influence development, showcasing first-hand experiences, real-life case histories, and practical demonstrations of what it takes to have influence as an IT leader.

5. The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus (Eric Harvey)


The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus by Eric HarveyAmazon)">

An excellent book for every employee and manager, this emphasizes the advice to hire and surround yourself with quality people. This leadership book is all about simplicity—highlighting the fact that management is not complex, as it’s just all about treating people fairly. The challenge is how to do this consistently and following through even on hard decisions.

This is a compelling resource for leaders to help them “give” their employees clear goals, solid accountabilities, and ongoing feedback and recognition—all of which are traits that Santa Claus has in abundance.

These five items are useful references that every IT professional should read as these have explored the time-and-tested strategies that make a team click, develop great leaders, as well as keep you updated on the latest events and updates in the industry.

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