Recommended Reading

A little light reading for the talent anarchist…

As we approach the end of another year, a lot of people are producing lists, so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. If you are looking for some good reading for the holidays or some books to keep in mind for your 2010 reading list, this list is for you. These are not books that came out this past year, but I think they are all very relevant and timely. I highly recommend each of these books.

The HALO Effect…and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers, by Phil Rosenzweig

If I had a must read list for anyone in management or Human Resource this book would definetly be on it and it might be at the very top. Rosenzweig does a great job of reality checking the consultants, speakers, authors and thought-leaders that run around claiming to have answers, solutions and facts. Don’t believe the hype. Read this book and share it with the people that you work with…it will increase your immunity to the consulting fad of the month.

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t, by Robert Sutton

I love Bob Sutton, and recommend that you visit his blog as well. This book is an easy and even an entertaining read, but also packed full of good info and research. I don’t know about you, but I have worked in an organization that went out of its way to protect assholes simply because they were high performing…this book shows what a reckless and costly practice that is.

Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense: Profiting From Evidence-Based Management, by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton

Another book that disproves much of what we think we know about organizations, people and performance. From the Amazon review:

The best organizations have the best talent. . . Financial incentives drive company performance. . . Firms must change or die. Popular axioms like these drive business decisions every day. Yet too much common management “wisdom” isn’t wise at all—but, instead, flawed knowledge based on “best practices” that are actually poor, incomplete, or outright obsolete. Worse, legions of managers use this dubious knowledge to make decisions that are hazardous to organizational health.

Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton show how companies can bolster performance and trump the competition through evidence-based management, an approach to decision-making and action that is driven by hard facts rather than half-truths or hype. This book guides managers in using this approach to dismantle six widely held—but ultimately flawed—management beliefs in core areas including leadership, strategy, change, talent, financial incentives, and work-life balance. The authors show managers how to find and apply the best practices for their companies, rather than blindly copy what seems to have worked elsewhere.

Jason, any recommendations you would like to add here? Happy Holidays!



  1. Joe,

    I would:

    – Brain Rules by John Medina
    – Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
    – Drive by Dan Pink (I'm halfway through it – it rocks!)

  2. Thanks for adding to the list Chris! I have not read Brain Rules, I will add it to my list. I agree on Presentation Zen and I have ordered Drive and am just waiting for it to arrive…have really dug everything from Pink so far. Thanks again, happy holiday!

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