2011 Women Of The Channel: Recommended Reading4:00 PM EST Fri. Jul. 22, 2011
They might not qualify as “beach reads,” but the following books have been inspirational, instructional -- or a combination of both -- to this year’s Women of the Channel. Here's a look at the books that pointed the way for 10 of our women in IT.
I am an avid reader and have found the book entitled "The 100 Best Business Books of All Time" by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten to be an invaluable resource. I have read the majority of the books on the list and love how the 100 titles are segmented into subcategories such as Leadership, Strategy, Management and Entrepreneurship, to name a few.
EMC recently published a book written by EMC working mothers primarily for EMC working mothers. It’s a compilation of honest, inspiring, heartfelt stories from a cross-section of EMC women around the globe. In their own words, these women share personal anecdotes and best practices that provide a real-life picture of the working mothers thriving at EMC.
“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni: This book talks about how every manager faces many struggles, and it goes through how individuals handle different issues or "dysfunctions." Even if people seem so put together, even the best will struggle throughout their career. The important part is how you handle and get through your struggles to keep you and your team going and be successful to overcome those hurdles. Some things will come easy and some you'll have to work very hard for, it’s how you get there.
One book that really inspired me and helped me was “Now Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. What struck me was that strengths aren’t necessarily what you do well and weaknesses what you don’t -- strengths are those things that energize and engage you -- focusing on those things enables you to become a stronger and more effective leader. I have really focused on finding those things that do energize me, and I have directed my career aspirations toward those things.
“The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey” by Kenneth Blanchard: In support of work/life balance you need to make time for family.
“Behind the Cloud” by Marc Benioff: “Behind the Cloud” helped me understand our strategic partners’ culture and priorities.
“Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done” by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan: Execution is "the missing link between aspirations and results," and as such, making it happen is the business leader's most important job.
One of the books that has helped me look at the big picture is "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap ... And Others Don’t” by Jim Collins. This book examines common traits of 11 very successful companies. The focus on corporate culture within these companies concludes that we all have influence in our company’s success.
A book that inspired my career is “Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Murphy Guyer. The book gives solid advice on how to remove personal aspects from negotiation, along with strategies to strike balance in deals to acquire a mutual win.
“Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink: As a manager, it helps to understand and address these three key areas:
• Autonomy: People want to have control over their work.
• Mastery: People want to get better at what they do.
• Purpose: People want to be part of something that is bigger than they are.
In most highly effective workplaces, it’s the manager that is the most important force in creating an environment where intrinsic motivation can happen.
“Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell, has inspired me both personally and professionally. The book describes that success is not about being the brightest, but about being given a chance. The “outliers” are those who recognize unique opportunities and are prudent enough to seize them as opportunities to learn, grow and prosper.
Years back, I would have pointed to “Principle Centered Leadership” by Stephen R. Covey because it helped me balance and prioritize my time more effectively at a time when I needed that the most. I just recently read “Break Points” by Larry Kesslin and Chris Winter; the book is quite enjoyable, as it is written in fable-style and helps solution providers (and other SMB-like businesses) to identify and overcome obstacles preventing growth and success.