2012 Best Books on Leadership, Innovation and Strategy

It’s the season for lists and as 2012 begins to wind down, we thought we’d review what we’ve read this year and put together a list of our own. If you’ve had a chance to read any of the titles below, you’ve no doubt has a great year of personal and professional growth. If you haven’t there’s still time left in 2012 to dig into these great books.

David Burkus
David Burkus

How Will You Measure Your Life by Clay Christensen, James Allworth & Karen Murphy. Great leaders need solid foundations. Clay Christensen new book helps build that foundation by taking well-research business concepts and outlining how to apply them to your own life.

The Laws of Subtraction by Matthew May. The world is a busy place, especially for those in leadership. Instead of trying to do more with less, May outlines how leaders and their companies benefit from simple from doing less.

The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes & Barry Posner. This is the quintessential book on leadership with loads of empirical support. Technically, this isn’t a new book. In fact, 2012 celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the books release and this fifth edition comes with over 100 new case studies that further demonstrate Kouzes and Posner magnum opus.


Leapfrogging by Soren Kaplan. Okay. We’re biased. Soren is a LDRLB contributor but that shouldn’t disqualify him from making our list. Leapfrogging is a powerful book in how surprise powers innovative breakthroughs.

Kill The Company by Lisa Bodell. Besides being our pick for best book title of the year, Bodell’s debut book is packed with great exercises that will help your team think more deeply about how to break from the status quo and start what she calls an innovation revolution.

The Wide Lens by Ron Adner. It’s not enough just to think about the innovations your own organization is pursuing. Adner outlines the why and how behind examining the ecosystem your organization is a part of and how innovations across the system can determine your fate.


The Strategist by Cynthia Montgomery. Over the past few decades, strategy has been reduced to a system of analysis and the role of the leader has been downplayed. Montgomery puts leaders back into the equation and outlines how to be the strategist their organization needs.

The Strategy Book by Max McKeown. Through easy to read, bite-sized chapters, Max summarizes the bulk of strategy research and strategic models and demystifies the thinking process that separates leaders from managers.

Build, Borrow or Buy by Laurence Capron & Will Mitchell. Growing a company can be tricky. Capron and Mitchell examine the three main growth strategies and outline a model for how to choose the right solution to the growth dilemma.

Honorable Mention

To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink. Pink’s new book is being released on the last day of 2012. While sell is in the title make no mistake, this is not about sales…it’s about influence – something every leader could afford to brush up on. Pink’s book is an entertaining, evidence-based read on the power and process of influence.

David Burkus is a professor of management at Oral Roberts University and editor of LDRLB, an online think tank that offers insights from research on leadership, innovation and strategy.

Vendredi 21 Décembre 2012

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