Reading List

CMI’s recommended list of books and articles will help you produce a high-performance work culture.

Book Reviews

Extreme Ownership:  How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. One of the most provocative leadership books that I have recently read is Extreme Ownership:  How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.  While the message of the book is not foreign to me, how the authors delivered the message and explained it was.  Read more of Bruce’s book review.

Discovering Execution by Miles Kierson and Gary Tomlinson. Execution and generating results are topics that we all deal with in business. In Discovering Execution these topics have been served up in a refreshing way. Check out more on Bruce’s recent book review on Discovering Execution.

The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni, takes another insightful view into the world of how you perform with others and how others perform. The book answers the question of why do some employees fit in and make it and why others do not.  Read more on Bruce’s book review.

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni Recently we have been integrating a team building tool; The Behaviors of a Cohesive Team with the reading of the book The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. I have found that this has been quite useful for leadership teams that we are working with. One of the key points of the book is that a key component of having a healthy organization is to have a viable leadership team. Read The Advantage summary 

The Transformational Power of Executive Team Alignment by Miles Kierson describes a methodology for CEOs to getting their team to understand and be a partner in fulfilling their ideas.  Read Gary Tomlinson’s book report.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman outlines 6 aspects of a business that make up the Entrepreneurial Operations System (EOS) and provides tools and a framework for realizing and achieving the vision of your company. Read Gary Tomlinson’s summary of Traction.

Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath is about creating change at the individual, organizational and society level.  The authors offer a fairly simple model of how to create and master change. View a visual based on this model created by CMI’s very own client Ruthie Meldon.


Who doesn’t want a deeper sense of purpose? Shelly Prevost asks four questions to help you discover more meaningful work in “How to Know If You’re Working (and Living) with Purpose

Corey Blake outlines six key lessons learned from Robin Sharma’s new book The Leader Who Had No Title in his article “How to Lead from a Place of Gratitude

Are goals really necessary? Leo Babauto argues not in “Achieving without Goals

Mistaking strategy execution for an organizational’s foundation material (vision, mission, core values, annual initiatives) can set their strategy adrift.  Read more in Ken Favare’s article “How Leaders Mistake Execution for Strategy (and Why That Damages Both).”

Lack of executive alignment can create serious problems deep within an organization.  Read John Kotter’s article “The Disastrous Effects of a ‘Mostly Aligned’ Executive Team” to learn how you can avoid this common risk.

How can a single behavior elevate an entire organization? Read Lisa Earle McLeod’s article “The One-Minute Change That Will Transform Your Company” to find out.

Study finds that the leadership strategy is the main driver of enduring business performance. Josh Bersin explores the findings in “It’s Not The CEO, It’s The Leadership Strategy That Matters.”

Why are high-performance cultures important for a company’s success and how do you build a high-performance work culture? In “Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch,” Shawn Parr describes the benefits and offers building blocks for creating a high-performance work culture.

Email, Web-Conferences, Smart Phones, with all of these technical distractions how can you focus and get work done? Read this New York Times Business Article by David Allan for some powerful tips.

Getting “teams at the top” to really perform can be a difficult challenge but crucial to an organization’s success. If your top
leadership group needs a boost read “Making Teams at the Top Work” by Jon Katzenbach and “Teams at the Top” by Jon Katzenbach and Doug Schmitt
Science backs up the long-held belief that story is the most powerful means of communicating a message.  In “Why Story Telling is the Ultimate Weapon” Jonathan Gottschall explains the facts.