Recommended Reading List

Recommended Reading List

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Power and Influence

The Application of Power and Influence in Organizational Leadership, By Dr. Gene Klann, CGSC, 2010

This seminal work examines the relationship between six fundamental concepts foundational to the study of leadership: power, influence, commitment/compliance, influence tactics, emotional intelligence, and leadership styles.

Leadership in Organizations (6th Ed), Chapter 6: Power and Influence, by Gary Yukl

Chapter 6 contains an extensive treatise on the topics of power and influence that is foundational to an understanding of organizational-level leadership.

Leading Change

Leading Change, by John Kotter

This leadership classic by Harvard's John Kotter is a "must read" for all organizational leaders. It discusses the dynamics of change, the challenges of recognizing when change is necessary, and an eight-stage process for implement lasting organizational change.

Tipping Point Leadership, by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, Harvard Business Review, April 2003

The authors present a change process that focuses on overcoming four hurdles: cognitive, resource, motivational, and political. They describe how Police Commissioner Bill Bratton successfully employed these concepts during his 20 years as a police reformer and turnaround specialist.

The Work of Leadership, by Ronald Heifetz and Donald Laurie, Harvard Business Review, December 2001

Implementing change requires adaptive thinking within an organization. Leaders tend to default to technical solutions that are easy to implement but do little to create lasting change. This article explains the difference between technical problems and adaptive challenges, and provides a framework for changing attitudes and beliefs within an organization.

Leading in a Culture of Change, by Michael Fullan

Fullan provides a model for change built on five key components: Understanding Change, Relationship Building, Knowledge Creation and Sharing, Coherence Making, and Moral Purpose.

Organizational Culture and Climate

Organizational Culture and Leadership, by Edgar Schein

Schein teaches us that climate is a component of culture and leaders must first understand organizational culture to influence climate and bring about change within an organization.

Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, by Geert Hofstede and Gert Jan Hofstede

Hofstede's work provides important insights on leading others in a multicultural environment. He examines the relationship between personality, culture, and human nature as well as specific dimensions of national culture that allow one to identify unique characteristics of competing societies.

Toxic Leadership, by COL George Reed, Military Review, July-August 2004

This classic article examines destructive leadership styles in the military, focusing on the symptoms of what the author describes as "toxic leader syndrome."

Developing Ethical Organizations

Introduction to Military Ethics, by Bill Rhodes

Presents the philosophical and conceptual foundations of military ethics as applied during times of conflict and of peace, offering an excellent basis for exploration and discussion.

Achilles in Vietnam, by Jonathan Shay

Using the paradigm of Homer's Iliad, Shay relates that the roots of combat stress and PTSD can lie in the betrayal of duty by senior officers who failed to do "what's right," creating moral injury in their Soldiers. Shay proposes several excellent ways to develop moral leadership.

The Morality of War, by Brian Orend

A comprehensive book regarding the moral foundations for combat, Just War Theory, it deals comprehensively with and reviews the challenges of the conflict with terrorism. It concludes with a critical engagement with the major alternatives to just war thinking: pacifism and realism.

Organizational Stress

Resilience Under Military Operational Stress: Can Leaders Influence Hardiness?, by Colonel Paul T. Bartone, Military Psychology Journal, July 2006

This important article describes how effective leaders can increase hardy, resilient responses to stressful circumstances within their organizations by focusing on meaning making — empowering followers with commitment, control, and challenges.

How Resilience Works, by Diane L. Coutu, Harvard Business Review, May 2002

Based on analysis of multiple resilience theories, the author posits that resilient people possess three common characteristics: a staunch acceptance of reality, a values-based belief that life has meaning, and an ability to improvise or make do with whatever is at hand.

Building Organizational Teams

The Discipline of Teams, by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, Harvard Business Review, July-August 2005

The author draws a clear distinction between working groups and teams, highlighting the importance of determining which one is actually required for a given situation. He then discusses four elements associated with all successful teams: common commitment and purpose, performance goals, complementary skills, and mutual accountability.

Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, by Patrick Lencioni

This popular business book describes five pitfalls that teams face: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.

Learning Organizations

Is Yours a Learning Organization?, by David A. Garvin, Amy C. Edmondson, and Francesca Gino, Harvard Business Review, March 2008

According to Garvin, a learning organization is skilled at creating, acquiring, interpreting, transferring, and retaining knowledge to change the way work is done. It does this by creating a supportive learning environment, concrete learning processes and practices, and leadership that reinforces learning.

The Leader's New Work: Building Learning Organizations, by Peter Senge, Sloan Management Review Magazine, Fall 1990

This article is based on Senge's book, The Fifth Discipline. It summarizes the importance of learning organizations and the new roles, skills, and tools leaders require to succeed in these organizations.

Good to Great, by Jim Collins

This business classic by Jim Collins seeks to explain why a very small group of select companies was able to turn their organizations around and sustain long-term growth for a period of 15 or more years. He argues that a key ingredient is having a Level 5 leader—an executive in whom genuine personal humility blends with intense professional will.

Organizational Vision

The Fifth Discipline, Chapter 11: Shared Vision, by Peter Senge

Most leaders intuitively understand the importance of having a shared vision within an organization but have little insight into how to develop one. This authoritative chapter from Peter Senge’s book is one of the best resources available on how to build and share a vision.


Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher and William Ury

This is probably the most well-known book written on negotiations. It is an easy read and covers all the fundamentals.

Beyond Reason, by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro

This book builds on Getting to Yes by focusing on the role of emotions in negotiations.

On and Off the Record: Colosi on Negotiation, by Thomas Colosi

Operating within a bureaucratic framework is common to military organizations. Colosi explains how to negotiate within such a framework both within the organization (the internal dimension) and in subsequent negotiations with an outside party (the horizontal dimension).

Decision Making

The Hidden Traps in Decision Making, by John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney, and Howard Raiffa, Harvard Business Review, January 2006

Cognitive biases influence our ability to think critically and make decisions. The authors identify the most common psychological traps we face and provide techniques for overcoming them.

A Leader's Framework for Decision Making, by David Snowden and Mary E. Boone, Harvard Business Review, November 2007

The authors argue that leaders must adjust their approach to problem solving based on the nature of the causal relationships that frame a problem. They categorize five domains or categories of problems based on the cause and effect relationships that exist within the operational environment: simple, complicated, complex, chaotic, and disordered. This is an important article because it builds on the concepts from FM 5-0 and provides insight into identifying and addressing causal relationships, a prerequisite for exercising the operations process.

How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer

Using a populist writing style, Lehrer examines the role of emotions in decision making and the relationship between analytical (reasoning) and intuitive (emotional) thought processes.

Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions, by Gary Klein

Klein's book is the authoritative work on recognition-primed decision making, a term better known as intuition. He explains how intuition works, its pitfalls, and its relationship to analytical decision making.

Moral Courage

The Mystery of Courage, Chapter 11: Moral Courage and Civility, by William Ian Miller

Miller discusses the relationship of moral courage to physical courage, the challenges of overcoming shame and humiliation, and the risks in demonstrating moral courage.

Courage in the Military: Physical and Moral, by Peter Olsthoorn, Journal of Military Ethics, Vol 6, 2007

The author provides excellent background on the study of physical and moral courage. He contends that the military's emphasis on social cohesion encourages physical courage but detracts from moral courage because it requires one to go against group norms and behaviors.

Leader Development

On Becoming a Leader, by Warren Bennis

Bennis leads the reader through a self-discovery process of what it means to be a leader. Beginning with basic leadership principles, he moves from knowing oneself and one's environment to self-development, influencing others, and developing organizations.

Leadership and Self-Deception, by The Arbinger Institute

The authors use a story/parable format of a man struggling with problems at work and home to illustrate the challenges of understanding oneself and overcoming self-serving behavior to achieve a greater, more meaningful, purpose in one's life.


Managing Your Boss, by John Gabarro and John Kotter, Harvard Business Review, January 2005

The authors examine superior-subordinate relationships and the role each must play to work effectively together. They highlight the critical point that the responsibility for fixing a rocky relationship begins with the subordinate, not the boss.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillian, and Al Switzler

This popular best-seller is a hands-on guide for mastering crucial conversations, which the authors describe as discussions between two or more people where stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong.

Change the Way You Persuade, by Gary A. Williams and Robert B. Miller, Harvard Business Review, May 2002

The authors found that executives typically have a default style of decision making that falls into one of five distinct categories: charismatics, thinkers, skeptics, followers, and controllers. They provide recommendations on how to tailor presentations and discussions to persuade bosses for each decision making style.

Emotional Intelligence

What Makes a Leader?, by Daniel Goleman, Harvard Business Review, January 2004

Primal Leadership: The Hidden Drive of Great Performance, by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee, Harvard Business Review, January 2004

Leadership That Gets Results, by Daniel Goleman, Harvard Business Review, January 2004

Psychologist and author Daniel Goleman is well known for his work on emotional intelligence - the ability to manage oneself and one's relationships with others effectively. He brought the term to a wide audience with his 1995 book of the same name. These three articles summarize his most significant work. The first outlines the major components of emotional intelligence. The second article describes how these skills drive one's emotions and the emotions of others. In the third, he explains how leaders use six different leadership styles based on the components of emotional intelligence.