With all the blogs, podcasts, books and content devoted to leadership topics these days, it’s difficult to sort through the clutter and find the resources that really help you to grow as a leader.
At Trevecca’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies, our faculty members live, breathe and teach about leadership topics, theories and best practices. So we asked Dr. Ricky Christman and Dr. Rick Mann to share a few thoughts on the best books, podcasts, apps and ideas to help you succeed as a leader wherever you serve.
Dr. Ricky Christman is the associate vice president and dean for the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies and also teaches courses in leadership studies.
Dr. Rick Mann is the director of graduate and professional studies. He teaches in Trevecca’s MBA program and teaches courses on leadership and strategy.
- Leading Change by John Kotter: “It’s a classic,” Mann says. He also recommends Kotter’s lesser-known book, A Force for Change, which focuses on the differences between leaders and managers.
- Built to Last by Jim Collins
- Leadership: Theory and Practice by Peter Northouse: Christman says he recommends this book to all of his students. “He not only explains theory,” Christman said of Norhouse, “but he creates case studies for students to apply and understand.” Christmas says this helps students to understand the theories in context.
- The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni: Mann is a fan of all of Lencioni’s books, but says this one combines all of the writer’s concepts into one volume. “It’s an easy read, but it’s so packed full of great leadership information,” he says.
- Leadership without Easy Answers by Ronald Heifetz. “If there was one more leadership that would go hear speak, it would be Ronald Heifetz. He provides a very broad understanding of leadership and how it’s developed and applied in an organizational setting.”
Organizational Apps and Approaches
- Evernote: An app designed for note-taking, organizing and archiving, Evernote allows users to create notes and sync them to all the devices they use. It makes the notes searchable and you can organize via categories or “notebooks,” so you can always easily find the information you need when you need it. “I use it every day,” Mann says. “My wife uses it. We use it as a family. I can use it for business, for academic work, for research and writing, as well as family life.”
- Omnifocus: An app designed for task and project management, Mann says Omnifocus is “a little more expensive and complex” but can be helpful for leaders managing large enterprises with many moving pieces.
- The Balanced Leadership Approach: A leadership model Christman developed through his own research and experience, the Balanced Leader Approach focuses on three key areas: learning leadership, engagement and teaching/training. “What I find is that learning and teaching without the experience really doesn’t give us a depth of knowledge,” Christman said. “When we learn and engage but don’t teach, we find that it’s selfish leadership. Investing in other people is essential. When we engage and teach, but don’t learn, we’re shallow. I believe that taking learning, engaging and teaching together develops a leadership approach that can be passed on to the next generation of leaders.”