What is your favourite strategy and leadership book?

What is your favourite strategy and leadership book?

Will the upcoming holiday season provide you with the rare opportunity to catch up on some reading ? Our experience in working with senior teams in professional service firms has shown us that this time of year is often when leaders take time out to reflect and think about the execution of their strategy and plans for the new year ahead.


With that in mind, this week’s update includes out top 10 recommended books on leadership, innovation and thinking differently…..


If you have a favourite book, please do not hesitate to let us know!


1. The Business Playground: Where Creativity and Commerce Collide

Dave Stewart & Mark Simmons


In business, anyone can compete on quality, price and timing. This book focuses on creativity and how it can be the secret weapon to give the all important edge over competitors. The authors use games and stories to show you how to discover your creativity in order to bring your workplace back to life. It’s not about teaching creativity, it’s about showing people how to be creative – something that we believe is the missing link in many professional services firms, as they often obstruct creative behaviour. This is a different business book, creative in fact!


2. How Google Works

Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg


An easy read, and a great insight into what it’s like to work at one of the world most successful organisations. A book close to our hearts as it has a real focus on people including how to hire, train, motivate, organise and reward talent; whilst also covering strategy, culture, decision-making, communication & innovation. A fun read which offers more than just a peek inside google, with lessons that everyone can use.


3. The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Sean Covey


The Four Disciplines of Execution is about a simple, proven formula for reaching the goals you want to achieve as a firm and/or individual. Covey talks about the “whirlwind.” The thing that most undermines the ability to execute goals, those urgent tasks that must be done simply to keep an business alive; and which get in the way of exciting  new, important goals. We use this in our business development programmes with proven success that it works!


4. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Sheryl Sandberg


Sheryl Sandberg is COO of Facebook and cited as one of the most powerful women in business. In this book she draws on her own experiences of working in some of the world’s most successful businesses and looks at what small changes women can do to help themselves. Learning to ‘lean in’ is about tackling the anxieties and preconceptions that stop women reaching the top. A very topical book, especially for those in the professional services sector with diversity at the top of the people agenda. If you enjoy Sheryl Sandberg’s TEDTalk on why we have too few women leaders, then this book is definitely for you.


5. Mind Games: Inspirational Lessons from the World’s Finest Sports Stars

Jeff Grout & Sarah Perrin


We have used Jeff as a key note speaker at a number of international conferences; where, like in this book, he uses lessons from the world of sport to look at what makes a winner in business. Mind Games looks into the mental processes of sporting stars, identifying the attitudes and approaches that enable them to achieve peak performance, every time, and applies them specifically to the world of business.


6. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Susan Cain


The introvert/extrovert divide is one of the fundamental dimensions of personality, with some of the world’s most talented people being introverts, yet some of their qualities such as shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as being negative. In this book, the author shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs and gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths. Full of lots of research and real stories which bring it to life. We would recommend anyone that manages people to read this,  a very thought provoking and relevant book for anyone working in the professional services sector, that will change the way they think about introverts.


7. The Power of Focus

Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Les Hewitt


A lack of focus has been cited as one of the main reasons for stopping people getting what they want. This book looks at the specific focusing strategies used by the world’s most successful men and women which have helped them to flourish. This is a very practical book with each chapter including an exercise to encourage implementation, which we have used on a number of our self-development programmes.


8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change

Charles Duhigg


This book explains why habits exist and how they can be changed. The authors use well known people, businesses and stories from everyday life to help the reader understand why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight.


9. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Malcolm Gladwell


The ‘tipping point’ is that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behaviour cross a threshold, tip and spread like wildfire. In this book the author takes a look behind the surface of many familiar experiences to explain the fascinating social dynamics that cause rapid change.


10. Why Should Anyone Be Led By You? What It Takes To Be An Authentic Leader

Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones


In our work we often see businesses that aren’t run by leaders, and aren’t inspiring their people to achieve exceptional results. In this book the authors explore how great leaders deploy individual strengths to engage followers’ hearts, minds, and souls. A must read for any leader to develop, and practice the art of leadership by looking at it through the eyes of the follower – an engaging book that will help any leader review, develop and enhance their own leadership style.



We have struggled to keep this list to just ten, to find out more about our recommended reads and how we could help you and your firm please complete an enquiry form, get in touch on 01892 610060 or email hello@thegrogroup.com.


theGrogroup is a specialist consultancy that helps Professional Services Firms win in a competitive marketplace. Our bespoke solutions are designed to align people with an effective strategy. This ensures key areas such as business development, client advisory, commerciality, leadership and practice succession effectively support business goals in an environment where people are empowered to drive results and create a winning firm.