Radical Candor by Kim Scott
As coaches, we often say that "feedback is a gift." This book provides both a rationale and a methodology for providing appropriately challenging feedback in the context of an authentically caring relationship. Drawing on her experience as an employee, a manager, an executive and a trainer, Scott provides numerous examples with transferable lessons and straight-forward guidance and tools for implementing Radical Candor. For an introduction, see this YouTube video or the website.
Reframing Academic Leadership by Lee Bolman and Joan Gallos
Students of leadership may be familiar with Bolman and Deal's "Reframing Organizations" which provided four different perspectives from which organizations can be understood. In "Reframing Academic Leadership," Bolman and Gallos ably customize the earlier work to the unique characteristics of academia. I'd particularly recommend this for leaders moving from corporate environments to higher ed.
Difficult Conversation: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
Stone, Patton and Heen have taken their work at the Harvard Project on Negotiation and presented insights and lessons on communications in a way that is engaging and immediately applicable. Personally, I find this book resonates with my approach to communications, and builds on the same influences from the field, more than any other book I’ve read.
The Department Chair Primer: What Chairs Need to Know and Do to Make a Difference by Don Chu
A good, basic primer for new academic leaders. Short and to the point with appropriate case studies.
Leadership Agility: Five Levels of Mastery for Anticipating and Initiating Change by Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs
It was a revelation in graduate school to learn that adults move through developmental stages just like kids! This book does the best of any I know to identify what is most useful to those who wish to apply this work to their own leadership journey.
Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization by Robert Kegan, Lisa Laskow Lahey
Kegan and Lahey have created a process and a tool for getting us “unstuck” when it seems that making real change is impossible.