I love the beginning of a new semester. There is an increased level of energy by students and professors alike. At The College at Southeastern in Wake Forest, NC, it is no different. And I, like other teachers, am ready to get class rolling. This semester, I teach Organizational Behavior. I am thrilled.
As I consider Organizational Behavior, I am reminded of the great books written on the topic. Let me give you four of my favorites. They can be beneficial to any leader of any organization.
- Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Jim Collins and Jerry Porras). I believe organizational health begins with a clear understanding of who you are as an organization and where you are going. In this book, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras unpack their strategic vision framework. This framework is used and adapted by organizational behavior experts across the nation. If you lead an organization, you need to have knowledge of this framework.
- The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business (Patrick Lencioni). Our class will be walking through this book over the semester. In this somewhat recent release, Lencioni argues the greatest competitive advantage your organization can have is organizational health. He walks readers through four disciplines:
– Discipline 1: Build a Cohesive Leadership Team
– Discipline 2: Create Clarity
– Discipline 3: Overcommunicate Clarity
– Discipline 4: Reinforce Clarity
You will find some similar thoughts found in Collins’ book regarding vision that allows The Advantage to be an excellent compliment to Built to Last.
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High (Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer). What is a crucial conversation? A crucial conversation is a discussion between two or more people where stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. Sound familiar? We have all been there. How we manage crucial conversations can either excel or dramatically hinder our organizations. This classic work demonstrates how to hold crucial conversations well.
- HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Collaboration. I love these Harvard Business Review compilations. This book gathers foundational articles on the topic of collaboration. Healthy organizations have team members that are eager to work with one another. These articles will encourage you to create an environment where silos are torn down and collaboration thrives.
Since it is the beginning of the semester, I ask that you pray for the students of The College at Southeastern and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Undoubtedly, they will be stretched and challenged not just academically, but also to follow God’s calling on their life, wherever it may take them. Students come to Southeastern so they will be trained and equipped to go and fulfill the Great Commission Jesus gave us. So may do that. Pray that they will take this time to be fully trained and equipped. And then pray that they will go.
If you will join me in praying for these students, feel free to share the tweet below.
What about you? What are some of your favorite books on organizational behavior? Share them with us in the comment section below.