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Chris LoCurto

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January 24, 2013

Required Reading For Team Members

January 24, 2013 | By | 78 Comments

Here is a great question that came in from the incredible community that thrives on this blog:

Books to read

I work at a medical clinic.  like many doctors, I have not always wanted to pay attention to the business side. That obviously was a mistake.

We are coming out of a phase of replacing team members who were “legacies”. That is, they were long term employees, before I came.  However, they were not capable of filling their roles. It took too long to let them go, but we knew we made the right choice within two weeks.

Now I am feeding myself on leadership and your podcast. I want to start required reading as a part of our team building.  What is the very first book you would recommend my whole staff to read?

Thanks so much for your time,

- Jon

Wow. Great question Jon. There are a ton of books that I think every team member should read. But since you are asking for the very first book, I would have to say QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, by John G. Miller.

The reason is, it’s about personal responsibility. If you’ve ever heard people say things like:

  • Why do we have to go through all this change?
  • Why can’t we find good people?
  • When will that department do its job right?
  • Who dropped the ball?

Then you know exactly how much of a pain in the back side these people are to deal with. Why? Because they never had a good leader to begin with. Therefore, they have what I call, force-of-habit-thinking!

QBQ gets them asking questions like:

  • What can I do to fix this problem?
  • How can I be a solution?
  • What are the steps necessary for me to…

In a new role like yours, with people who have been there with the last leader, I would focus on getting my team thinking about how we go forward, not pointing fingers about the things that are wrong.  I hope that answers your question Jon.

Question: What would you recommend as a first book for a leader in Jon’s position?

 

Tags
  • http://CorporateCultureRevolution.com/ Bob Winchester

    QBQ is a great suggestion!! Of course Entreleadership is also fantastic!!

    As a matter of fact, I agree with Matt McWilliams & J. Steele & Aaron Nelson .

    Haven’t read the Fred, so there you go. Thanks for that Lily Kreitinger; just downloaded. :)

  • http://twitter.com/jenhoverstad Jennifer Hoverstad

    We’ve decided to start our team with “The Secret” by Ken Blanchard/Mark Miller. Our leadership team started off with “Integrity” by Dr. Henry Cloud. However, we have a solid short list of books we recommend our leaders read, including “From Good to Great” by Jim Collins.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Haralson/100000209770542 Richard Haralson

    QBQ is a great book to start with as required reading. To me the question was toward what is great for the team to read so I’ll skip leadership books to mention. Some others have hit that. I would then toss out the idea of Who Moved My Cheese, Poke the Box. After that I do like some follow up ideas. I worked somewhere that in addition to reading the book we had to submit a book report on it – not bad. However, I would lean toward a different direction – my suggestion would be for monthly or quarterly readings with a follow-up group discussion. Just like a book club, talk about the book and its application to your organization, clients, customers, team members (both professionally and personally) and pick a new book for the next month/quarter. Anther possibility for these meetings is to watch a great video, like a TEDTalk – Simon Senteck is a great start for that.
    I tried suggesting this and pushing for it at my company and continued to get,”that wont work.” As QBQ author Miller said in his interview with Chris Locurto, At that point “Believe or leave.” Well, I’m outta there. Working on my exit plan now. In fact I have a third interview Saturday for a lunch interview. See post on January 25th.

  • Kris Sellers

    My team just finished reading The Oz Principle by Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hackman. It is a great read on personal accountability, especially in times of where the organization is already experiencing great change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.yost.96 Jon Yost

    Thanks to Chris for posting my question. I loved everyone’s book suggestions. I have pledged to read a book a month, and now have a few to share with my team as well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jon.yost.96 Jon Yost

      Love the humor of your replies too.

  • Amy Jones

    The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.

  • Steve Pate

    Because I surrounded my ears with Dave Ramsey and Pod cast, the first two books other than the Bible that really helped me stop whining about others was, QBQ, then later I did and read Strengths Finder 2.0. When I started to learn my team members strengths and how they liked to be communicated, my performance creativity, and positive attitude went through the roof.

  • kow

    Some of my favorites are “Raving Fans”, “Gung Ho” and any other books by Ken Blanchard…

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    The list of all the books that have been recommended so far is here. Let me know if it works or if you’re having issues with the link.

    I have to add a few to my reading list!

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ar?id=twdtkqFelfEU9KCphzU_8TA.05607543787647460346.6636618839546037904&action=1&tile=2&rpert=20&srow=0&erow=19&scol=0&ecol=3&fprt=false&tfe=ih_626&gsessionid=w8BMR_NDCKk

    • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

      Lily – you are incredible! Already have the list! Thank you.

  • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

    I also would’ve picked QBQ. It’s fast and foundational.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      just like your comment

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    The Fred Factor (Fred 2.0 is coming out in March, btw), You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader and Up, Down or Sideways… all by Mark Sanborn. If people realize that they can serve because it’s the right thing to do, they can assume their leadership independently of their role or their title. Jon will nurture a culture of doing simple things in their ordinary tasks that may have extraordinary effects for the team and their patients. The rewards of building such a team will exceed the need for power, position or a bigger paycheck.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Amen!

    • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

      I totally agree Lily! I think QBQ first and then Fred Factor – what an awesome combination!

  • MrTravisScott

    Totally agree that QBQ would be the book Jon should use for required reading by his team….I would follow that up with 21 Irrefutable Laws of Teamwork (Maxwell), and then follow that up with the classic How to Win Freinds and Influence People. I think if Jon could get his team to read these three books in the next year, then it would make his job much easier!

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      How to Win Friends is fantastic. I read that like once every 6 months!

      • http://www.epicenterlanguages.com.mx Aaron Nelson

        Agreed – haven’t read it all yet, but lots of value.

      • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

        That explains a lot…

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I love it. That really covers a lot!

  • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

    I would have to go with the classic: “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Leaders”. Here’s the reason: The seven habits that Dr. Covey outlines are eternal principles. Once you recognize them, every other book you and your team read, you will identify those principles in them and have a framework for all you learn.
    It is, by far, the best book I’ve ever read of leadership, business and life.
    That being said, EntreLeadership is a close second! You could swap and read this one first and “7 Habits” second if you wanted. Both are amazing.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      True dat!

      • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

        wurd….

  • http://twitter.com/T60Productions T60 Productions

    I’ll echo the “Entreleadership” endorsement of others. The first impression might be that it’s a book for business owners or people in leadership positions, but really it’s a good read even for team members.

    Besides that… “Linchpin” by Seth Godin. This is a great one for team members because it shows them how they can become indispensable at their company/organization.

    –Tony Gnau

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Wurd!

  • Robert

    It’s so obvious! Dave Ramsey’s book EntreLeadership! I am re-reading it for the 4th or 5th time right now. It covers all of these topics and mentions all of these other books. After that you could start reading through these other great books everyone is mentioning!
    I’m just saying!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      hahaha…you make a great point Robert!

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    Wow picking a FIRST book is like picking a baby’s first song they should ever listen to.

    EntreLeadership is probably the best overall book. So many of the others suggested and ones I thought of are incredible but more narrowly focused.

    I think the great thing about the EL book is that it spends a lot of time at the 30,000 foot level. It occasionally and effectively dips down under 10,000 feet, but doesn’t spend too much time there.

    So that is why I suggest it as a first book. Then work from there with books like:

    The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
    Leadership and Self-Deception (this one will mess you up for a while)
    Good to Great
    The E-Myth
    Countless other books by Maxwell, Lencioni, Collins, and others.

    Personally, I think the important thing is to not make your reading a solo effort. Do it as a part of book club at work or with a group of fellow leaders. Yes, read plenty on your own as well, but pick 3-12 great books a year and read those with your group.

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      I dont know if “mess you up for awhile” is really what he’s looking for Matt…just sayin. I’ve made a list of your recommendations though and the next time I want to be messed up, I’ll pass on the hard narcotics and go straight to that book ;)

      • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

        Say not to crack, but not crackin’ a book. I’m really sorry that I actually wrote AND posted that!

        • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

          haha, the fact that you posted a comment with the words “say no to crack” is awesome. i’m more likely to follow your blog now haha

  • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

    I was going to be putting together a master list of books I need to read. I’ll probably go back and put a list of ones I’ve already read, too. These comments provide great suggestions!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      hahaha…good idea.

    • Steve Pate

      you know, I’ve decided to take a small break from leadership books and right know I’m reading a super fast novel called, “The River” by Michael Neal. It’s like giving my brain a chance to go play out side and stretch it’s legs a bit. But a list is a great idea.

      • http://www.epicenterlanguages.com.mx Aaron Nelson

        LOL – I’m actually reading like 4 books at the same time – but my recess book is The Hobbit. It gives my brain a nice long stretch with J.R. ;)

  • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

    QBQ would definitely be the best book to read first…and second…and third…

    EntreLeadership would, of course, be a top choice.

    5 Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell is a must-read also (or a must-listen – I “cheated” and did the audio book first). Gives great perspective of your role as a leader and to develop yourself as a mentor.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Love the suggestions already thrown out. A couple of books that I would recommend for our leadership team are:

    Love Works by Joel Manby
    Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
    Leadership is Dead: How Influence is Reviving It by Jeremie Kubicek

    I also like several of the authors thrown out so far like: John Maxwell, Jon Gordon, and Jim Collins.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Wow! Execution rocked my world in 2003! Good stuff Jon.

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        Yes, I read Execution a few years ago. It’s probably time to go back and look at it again.

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      I just finished Love Works – that would be a great choice.

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        I’ve read Love Works a few months ago, but I’m blogging about it every Wednesday for the next several weeks. This weeks post was about being a PATIENT leader. Here’s the link to yesterday’s post: http://www.jonstolpe.com/2013/01/23/love-works-wednesday-link-up-week-2-patient/

      • http://www.epicenterlanguages.com.mx Aaron Nelson

        Agreed – there’s a whole lot of food for thought in that book. Great stuff.

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      Ooohhhh, I LOVED “Love Works” what a great leadership book!

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        Agreed. See my comment above in response to Joshua Rivers. I’ve been linking up with Bill Grandi to post about Love Works every Wednesday for the next several weeks. So far, it’s been a great discussion.

    • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

      I’m reading Love Works now and am wowed by it!

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        Stop by my blog or Bill Grandi’s blog for the next several Wednesdays. We’ve been linking up to discuss Love Works. So far, it’s been a great discussion.

        • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

          Great – will take a look. Thanks for the heads up.

  • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

    For “ordinary” team members, Linchpin by Seth Godin.

    For leaders with a focus on strategic initiative, anything by Jim Collins.

    For leaders with a focus on functional teams, Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan.

    And for everyone to get along, either Strengthsfinder 2.0 or Strength Based Leadership by Tom Rath.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      All great!

      • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

        Whenever you publish your book, “Where Leadership & Food Intersect,” I can add it to the list.

        • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

          HAHAHA….I’m close…so close.

          • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

            Better title: “BAH! Wins”

            • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

              subtitle: “Aaaaaammmmeeeennn!”

        • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

          “Leadership: Are you hungry for it?”

          • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

            Ha! love this one Josh!

        • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

          “A Seven-Course Leadership Feast” by Chris LoCurto

  • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

    For “ordinary” team members, Linchpin by Seth Godin.

    For leaders with a focus on strategic initiative, anything by Jim Collins.

    For leaders with a focus on functional teams, Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan.

    And for everyone to get along, either Strengthsfinder 2.0 or Strength Based Leadership by Tom Rath.

  • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

    Totally agree with QBQ – it’s such a great basis for anything else. It all starts with personal accountability with everyone on the team at any level. We had all our team members read this a couple of years ago, but we’ve got a practically new team now – need to suggest we read it again. Great reminder, Chris.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Absolutely! Especially when you work with volunteers. What do you think?

      • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

        Yes – especially when working with volunteers!

  • Wade_Thorson

    As the first book besides EntreLeadership, I agree with your recommendation of QBQ. After that there are several, a book by John Maxwell would be a good choice. A book that really got me looking at developing my team was “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni. As a person is really starting to develop their team this helped show me some focus areas and then other books I read supported the development in each of these areas.
    The books by Jon Gordon are good as well, just finished the Energy Bus. This may be a good read for someone trying to get the team energized after some changes as mentioned.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Great ideas! Five Dysfunctions will rock a team’s world!

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.sebast Eric Sebast

    This post is perfectly timed! We are just about to start reading a book a month with my team. We are planning on starting with the “No Complaining Rule” by Jon Gordon. Can’t wait to see what everyone’s suggestions are!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      hahaha…I know where you’re coming from Eric!

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      I gotta get that one still – I loved that EL episode!

  • Maris

    Seth godin books are great.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Great idea! Which one and why?

      • http://www.facebook.com/mikeschnell Mike Schnell

        Chris, I think Linchpin is the book I would recommend from Seth Godin. As it says on his site it brings all of his ideas together.

  • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

    Thanks for the book idea. I am going to start this with my team. Book ideas? Hmm. That’s a great question, and I’m not really sure. I really enjoyed LOVE WORKS by Joel Manby.

    And anything by John Maxwell…is great. Developing the Leader Within You – John Maxwell is one of my favorites. (Great focus on influence.)

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Fantastic book. I don’t think John has put out a book I don’t like. :-)

      • http://www.epicenterlanguages.com.mx Aaron Nelson

        Nope, me either. Great reading always. What I found with that book was how FULL each chapter was. I’d find myself reading a chapter – or just a few pages, then shutting the book and feeling….WHOA. There’s so much to this.

        I still think the focus on influence in “Developing the Leader Within” was so powerful and sobering.

        • Steve Pate

          I love Joel’s interview on Andy Stanley’s leadership pod cast. Looking forward to reading his book.

        • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

          That was a good one. And it’s appropriate for any level of team member – good choice!

  • http://twitter.com/steelegoing J. Steele

    The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – Everyone can benefit from a dose of John Maxwell. Of course Entreleadership is up there as well, but that seems like a gimme…

    • http://twitter.com/epicenterone Aaron Nelson

      Totally agree J. Love those books!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Law of the Lid for the leaders – a MUST!!

    • http://JaredLatigo.com/ Jared Latigo

      Definitely hands down from the ones I’ve read. Haven’t read QBQ yet though.