Ray's Reading Room
A significant contribution to life-long personal success and growth is the learning and knowledge gained through experience combined with private time reading. Reading and contemplation on the application of gained knowledge builds breadth and depth of capabilities for technologists and business professionals alike.
Here are recommendations on a few books selected for their impact on my career and personal life (with a growing personal library of over 1,000 books, there's lots to choose from):
1) FOR TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVES
It has always been my concern that the most senior executive responsible for information technology (i.e. CIO/CTO etc.) be part of the leadership team of an organization. That these executives 'lead' and not simply 'manage' their situations. Many technology leaders feel that waiting for "the business" before aligning I.T. seems practical and safe, but such a conservative approach fails to unlock true competitive advantage. As a full contributing part of the executive leadership team the I.T. leader will unlock exceptional value that the business would otherwise not know is possible. Alignment of I.T. must be performed "with" the business and not "following" the business.
In their book "The New CIO Leader", Broadbent and Kitzis (2005) define the 'new CIO' as a leader, "...not by being the Lone Ranger, but by persuasion and with strong executive relationships." (p. 7) Their discussion of Credibility suggests that there is a CIO Credibility Cycle to be effective at obtaining resources to deliver desired results. "Credibility... comes from... delivering results that your enterprise leadership cares about." - it does not come from your knowledge, experience, tenure, or how you met milestones for your projects. (p. 20) Their book provides effective strategies that will help establish success for any "new CIO".
2) FOR ANY BUSINESS EXECUTIVE (INCLUDING I.T.)
Assistance that is quickly obtained and easily understood is very powerful. Jeffrey J. Fox is such an author that develops leadership books for Marketing, Sales, and general managing. Most of his books contain very short examples and can be periodically browsed to provide reminders of best practice behaviours for leaders at any level. Proven success is behind all Jeff's recommendations and his writing style incorporates brevity as a unique attribute for self-help books.
"How to become CEO" might be Jeff's most recognized book, but others will be highlighted here including "How to become a Great Boss". Anyone looking for advancement needs to follow the advice in this book. Whether for professional - self - or career growth, the behaviours emphasized in this book will only help you on your way!
Great news! In summer 2015 Jeffrey updated and re-released his 3 fundamental leadership books: How to Become CEO, How to Become a Great Boss, and Rain Maker.
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