While this list is by no means exhaustive, the titles named here are those that I have personally found to be the most timeless, relevant and enjoyable reads…
Agile Coaching by Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley
Whether you are a member of an agile team, coaching one, or worriedly watching those weirdos from afar, this book provides a real-life experience-driven immersion into the best practices of agile teams. The book is filled with stories and examples that are easy to relate to, simplifying agile team building concepts without sacrificing depth.
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
What makes one team more successful than another? The answer, according to a recent MIT study, is not diversity or depth of knowledge. It’s emotional intelligence – and it can be learned.
Tribal Leadership by by
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
For anyone who has (like myself) chosen to follow their passion in life, this book validates what you have probably intuitively known already: You are most motivated when you can experience the sheer joy of doing what you love. Times have changed, and what used to motivate people even twenty years ago no longer does. Knowing what does motivate us helps us as leaders to learn how to effectively motivate those around us. This essentially comes down to our sense of having autonomy, mastery and purpose. The TED talk is a great precursor to the book; the book also comes with a robust toolkit!
Liftoff: Launching Agile Projects & Teams by Diana Larsen and Ainsley Nies
A thoughtful compilation of advice and real life experience that illustrates how and why we formally lift off / kick off (or re-align) an agile team. Includes supremely valuable sections on agile project chartering.
Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby
I was tempted to put this book under the Essentials list because retrospectives are personally my favorite activity to facilitate. Invigorate your team by showing them what a well-facilitated, purposeful retrospective can provide! If you are still boring your teams to tears by doing the good old stop/start/continue, read this book immediately. It is filled with easy to understand techniques that can be adapted to address a variety of issues, achieve specific team development goals, and accommodate unique team configurations.
The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, Devops, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford
Fast-paced and entertaining, The Phoenix Project tells a DevOps success story in a way that anyone who has worked in or with IT will understand and relate to (even if you don’t yet know the Toyota Kata or have any intention of earning your Six Sigma black belt). Valuable on many levels, it creatively shows the reader what DevOps is and how it can transform a dysfunctional organization.
Just Start – Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future by Leonard A. Schlesinger, Charles F. Kiefer with contributions by Paul B. Brown
Greater benefit can be gained by starting down a “wrong” path than taking too long to start or never starting at all. We live in the era of survival of the fastest: The first to fail, learn and adapt wins.