My Favorite Books for Bosses

Good Boss, Bad Boss is officially appearing on September 7th, but it is already beginning to appear in stores and I notice that Amazon is already selling it and will start mailing out copies next week. In thinking about the process of writing the book, and more broadly, about the set of books that I believe every boss should read, I came up with a list of my favorites. I tried to limit it to a dozen, but couldn’t bring myself to delete any of these, so here is my list of 16:

Joker One

Joker One, Donovan Campbell

Orbiting the Giant Hairball, by Gordon MacKenzie

Narcissistic Leaders, by Michael Maccoby

Up the Organization, by Robert Townsend

Rivethead, by Ben Hamper

Personal History, Katherine Graham,

The Pixar Touch, by David Price

1776, by David McCullough


Peter Principle

Peter Principle, by Laurence Petter and Raymond Hull

Influence, by Robert Cialdini

Power, by Jeffrey Pfeffer

Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath

Collaboration, by Morten Hansen

Men and Women of the Corporation, by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Notes on Directing, by Frank Hauser and Russell Reich

Leading Teams, by J. Richard Hackman

I am sure I missed a lot of great ones. Which ones would you add?

Reprinted from Work Matters

Robert I. Sutton, PhD is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. His most recent book is The New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. His next book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best…and Survive the Worst, will be published September 2010. Follow him at