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Leadership Reading List

22 January 2007

Bob Schatz
Agile Infusion, LLC

Bill Wake
Industrial Logic, Inc.

Leadership is important, but it doesn’t just happen. You can improve your leadership skills through study and practice. Just as there are books such as Design Patterns that we expect developers to be familiar with, there are books and articles that aspiring leaders will want to study as well. We’ve suggested some key ones below.

On Becoming a Leader , by Warren Bennis. ISBN 0738208175.

Confessions Of An UnManager: Ten Steps To Jump Start Company Performance By Getting Others To Accept Accountability , by Debra Boggan and Anna Versteeg. ISBN 1892538148

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, by William Bridges. ISBN 0738208248

The One Thing You Need to Know: ... About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success, by Marcus Buckingham. ISBN 0743261658

Resolving Conflicts at Work: Eight Strategies for Everyone on the Job, by Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith. ISBN 0787980242

"Situational Leadership for Agile Software Development," by Mike Cohn. Cutter IT Journal, June 2004

Leadership Passages: The Personal and Professional Transitions that Make or Break a Leader, by David L. Dotlich, James L. Noel, and Norman Walker. ISBN 0787974277

Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership, by Howard Gardner with Emma Laskin. ISBN 0006381235

Leading Geeks: How to Manage and Lead the People Who Deliver Technology, by Paul Glen. ISBN 0787961485

Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman, Annie McKee, and Richard E. Boyatzis. ISBN 157851486X

Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, by Robert Greenleaf. ISBN 0809105543

Leading Change, by John Kotter. ISBN 0875847471

The Leadership Challenge, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. ISBN 0787968331

The Ropes to Skip and the Ropes to Know: Studies in Organizational Behavior, by R. Richard Ritti and Steven Levy. ISBN 0471736465

High Performance Leadership: Creating, Leading and Living in a High Performance World, by Graham Winter. ISBN 0470820810

The Next Level: Essential Strategies for Achieving Breakthrough Growth, by James B. Wood. ISBN 0738201596

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

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Martine Devos, CST,CSM,CSPO,REP, 2/13/2007 11:35:10 AM
Here are some more from Martine Devos:

The Fifth Discipline, by Peter Senge

Leading Through Conflict, by Mark Gerzon (very! good)

Leadership Divided (what emerging leaders need and why you might be missing), by Ron A. Carucci (interesting for the context of a scrummaster in traditional environment)
Anonymous, 2/26/2007 8:53:54 AM
A wanna-be Scrum Maste won't forget to read carefully "Managing with the Wisdom of Love" by Dorothy Marcic, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997. ISBN 0-7879-0173-3, 190 pages. In her own words, 'Managing With The Wisdom Of Love speaks directly to executives and managers about the ethical and spiritual principles that are indeed key to the long-term success of a company.' With these principles kept in mind the success is almost impossible to avoid.
Keith Sader, CSM, 8/1/2007 3:20:29 PM
If you're going to lead software teams through scrum or any other means, then Peopleware ISBN:0932633439 is mandatory.
Mary Beijleveld, CSM,CSPO, 4/20/2008 9:31:28 AM
I wonder why the book "Good to Great" by Jim Collins
isn't mentioned. Is it because the principles from this
book apply more in general than on just on "agile"
leadership? I think you should add this to the list!
And i recomment everyone to read it.
Kind regards,

Alicia McLain, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 5/5/2008 5:13:39 PM
IMHO the "5 Dysfunctions of a team: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick Lencione can assist leaders with insight into identifying signs and finding solutions to addressing these dysfunctions. As practitioners, coaches and mentors we can all say we've seen a little or a lot of all of the following dysfunctions: #1 Absence of Trust, #2 Fear of Conflict, #3 Lack of Commitment, #4 Avoidance of Accountability & #5 Inattention to results. A good easy to read book (and series) that might help you find some tools to increase you bench strength. ISBN-13: 978-0787960759
Pam Rostal, CSM, 10/1/2008 9:04:09 AM
"Leadership is an Art" by Max DePree applies servant leadership at Hermann Miller and identifies questions that managers need to ask themselves about their value to the organization and to the people they lead.

For a broad overview of leadership models and a valuable tool for framing situations, my favorite book is Robert W. Terry's "Authentic Leadership: Courage in Action". He followed it up with "7 Zones for Leadership", which is much more practical for applying authentic leadership via the action wheel, but I love the metaphors, models, and mnemonics from the first. The 2nd book was designed to align with "Good to Great," mentioned above.
Stephen Palmer, CSM, 11/3/2008 7:00:59 AM
As background reading on the topic, I like Gerald Weinberg's Quality Software Management books (his other books are well-worth reading too).
Glen Wang, CSM, 7/30/2013 9:29:08 PM
A great list. I may start to read.

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