Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Five Must Read Books for Army Company Commanders

If you are a Company Commander, or will be in the future, I think you should make a conscious decision to improve your leadership skills. One of the best ways to learn new skills is to read books. In the paragraphs below, I would like to share five influential books that would benefit any Company Commander.

1. Small Unit Leadership by Dan Malone - Without a doubt this is my favorite military leadership book of all time. This book explains all the "nitty-gritty" details about how to lead your troops and prepare them for combat. Dan Malone is a retired Army Colonel. His writing style is to the point and no-nonsense. I give this book a 9 of 10.

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie - Let's face it; as leaders we are influencers. Of course, our job is to lead troops. But we also have to learn how to develop and cultivate relationships. This book will teach you to think from the other person's perspective and will help you improve your communication skills. This is one of the top 3 "all-time" books that shaped my life.

3. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard: This classic by Ken Blanchard is a must read book. In this book, you will learn the three secrets to effective leadership. They are goals, reprimands and praise. This book will teach you how to lead others. You will learn how to manage others so they can become effective on their own.

4. Situational Leadership and The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard - This book is another gem. You will learn the art of situational leadership and you will discover how to lead different people in different situations. We all know there is no cookie cutter approach to leadership. This book offers practical solutions to your leadership challenges. I give this a 9 of 10 also.

5. First Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham - In this book, you will learn what effective leaders and companies have done to improve employee performance. This is a study of 80,000 managers in 400 different companies. You will learn everything you need to know about how to be an effective leader.

Of course, there are many other great books as well. But, I do believe that these are five must read books for any Active Duty or part-time Company Commanders. Once you've read these five books you can branch off and read additional books.

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