In my first posting I started a discussion on leadership and what it can mean to testers. I want to share Teri Charles article called “Be the Leader You Want in Your Life”. Teri shares some great insight that I completely agree with so I hope you will take some time to read her article. I am impressed how Teri is always learning to improve her testing skills and knowledge.
There is a whole industry of leadership books, videos, and seminars describing or led by inspirational leaders to help you develop your leadership abilities. It can be rather overwhelming to sift through all the potential opportunities. Over the next few postings, I will discuss a few books that influenced my career.
Personally, I enjoy reading about leaders from different disciplines to challenge my own leadership style and approaches. A couple of books I read earlier in my career includes: “The CEO and the Monk” and “Gung Ho! Turn on the People in Any Organization”. Plus when there is time I enjoy reading Harvard Business Review, which can provide guidance on handling conflict, problems, team building, and other valuable advice. I like how they present different sides of a problem that you can analyze and decide what would you do if you were in that situation. Then different business leaders provide their insight.
Currently I am reading John C. Maxwell’s 10th anniversary edition of “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You”. Remember that leadership is not a static action – like testing you are always learning and developing your leadership skills. As such John published a 10th anniversary of his book to share with his readers what he has learned since its original publication.
From a broader development perspective, I am a fan of actionable models. There are several books that I have found beneficial. They include:
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton
- Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham
I usually take my time reading these books since I like to read a chapter, let it sink in a bit, and see how I can apply what I am learning to my leadership style. I tend to take notes or outline the concepts to help me work through the material. I might write a brief plan on how I will handle situations differently. My books tend to have sections highlighted and I use small sticky notes to tag important pages. I tend to purchase them in a physical book format instead of for my Kindle. I like that you can highlight text on the Kindle but a physical book allows me to quickly flip between pages.
Do you have any favorite leadership books? Do you prefer a physical book or reading on your Kindle?