Peer CIO-recommended books on leadership, business and technology for 2014.

Readers of The Heller Report have once again stepped up and provided us all with a list books they recommend on leadership, business and technology. Feel free to add your own recommendations to this list using the Comments section below.

Recommended CIO BooksThe Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win, by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford
"Without a doubt, the book of the year should be The Phoenix Project."

Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl
"A riveting reminder that our main drive or motivation in life is meaning: purposeful work, love, and courage in the face of difficulty."

The Breakthrough Imperative: How the Best Managers Get Outstanding Results, by Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert
"...describes a few straightforward principles which are vital for success, information technology as a major enabler to implement these principles and makes IT very relevant in today’s day and age, and in the executive management teams."

The Design of Everyday Things, by Don Norman
Introduces basic design concepts to be used in anything from software development to architecture. After reading this book, I look at software reviews differently -- how user friendly is it? This is required in the time of consumerization of IT services."

The Circle, by Dave Eggers
"It’s a fictional story that takes place in the near future where a new social network has been created which disintermediates all of the other Web 2.0 sites (Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and thus becomes the most powerful company in the world. Reading it causes one to think about whether business executives are headed towards some sort of an ethical crises in terms of balancing the benefits of big data against individual’s right to privacy."

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, by Adam M. Grant Ph.D.
"...very insightful and helpful for anyone that wishes to become a better leader. The author puts forth the concept that most people operate as either takers, matches or givers. What is most interesting is which of the modes of operation is most and least successful. The book highlights what effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills have in common. The results will surprise you. "

How Will You Measure Your Life?, by Clayton M. Christensen
"Seeking the appropriate balance in life by examining your priorities, focusing on opportunities and optimizing your valuable resources (time, talent and money) to what is most important to you. It will lead you from being successful to being successful and happy."

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Ries
"This book applies science to entrepreneurship, and has many concepts we can use in our corporate IT environments."

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling, by Edgar H. Schein 
I just ordered copies for all of my direct reports. I generally don’t buy books as gifts because it implies an “order” to read something specific, but in this case the book is so compelling and so meaningful to one’s personal life, as well as to one’s professional life, I decided an exception was okay this year."

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done, by Peter F. Drucker
"I just finished the The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker for the third time. I learn something every time I read it, which is ever few years now.  It brings home the reason why doing the right things is not enough. As a leader and manager, we have to do the right things, at the right time, and do them in the right way."

Double Your Profits: In Six Months or Less, by Bob Fifer
"It is the simple philosophy which many of the P/E companies use to maximize profitability. (Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital are apparently disciples…). It’s a good read for a CIO because it will either piss off, scare the scrap out of, or mobilize  profitability thinking."

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead, by Max Brooks
"My favorite line, “Zombies aren’t afraid. You shouldn’t be either.”  Perfect advice for those pre-Board room jitters."

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution, by Fred Vogelstein
"A well-researched book. The story outlines how companies like Apple and Google not only attempted to predict the future, but also made it possible."

Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, by Dan Senor
Insights on why the Israeli economy is so innovative and successful despite (or is it because of?) the historical and geopolitical challenges the nation faces. I've worked with Israelis directly and this book rings very true."

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't, by Robert I. Sutton
"While this is a simple book, the message is powerful. I have 2 very simple  principles when it comes to staff: attitude and apptitude. This book explains why these people can destroy corporate cultures and what leaders must do to ensure the integrity of the work place.  Overall the book conveys a very serious message, but it's communicated in a very light hearted way. I require all my managers to read this book."

The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell, by Oren Harari

Rumsfeld's Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life, by Donald Rumsfeld
"Putting the politics aside, it is a fascinating read about life in some very high circles and great advice about leadership. Worth the time."

Once an Eagle, by Anton Myrer
"Best leadership fiction ever written IMHO."

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't, by Nate Silver
"For CIO's spearheading a data-driven, decision-centric business transformation."

Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?, by Michael Schrage
"Especially for CIOs and CTOS who are focused on revenue and customer service."

The Greatest Secret in the World, by Og Mandino

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg
"A superb read!"

Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success, by Rick Newman

Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less, Joseph McCormack

From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership, by Harry M. Kraemer
"An excellent read!"

EGO vs. EQ: How Top Leaders Beat 8 Ego Traps with Emotional Intelligence, by Jen Shirkani

The U.S. Technology Skills Gap: What Every Technology Executive Must Know to Save America's Future, by Gary J. Beach

Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia

Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results, by Judith Glaser

The Smart Way to Buy Information Technology: How to Maximize Value and Avoid Costly Pitfalls, by Brad L. Peterson and Diane M. Carco
- P.O.

Leadership: Plain and Simple, by Steve Radcliffe

View last year's (2013) recommended reading list

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