Top 5 HR Books You Must Read

Google estimates there are about 130 million books published worldwide, about 750,000 in the U.S. alone per year.  Forbes estimates there are 11,000 business books published every year.

So, if you read a business book every day, you would only read a tiny fraction of what there is available to read published in the current year alone!

I read about 45 books/year and have done so for several decades.  While there are lots of good books out there, here’s my curated list of books that I think every leader of people needs to read:

  1. Top 5 HR books you must read book #1 The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
  2. Top 5 HR books you must read book #2 The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team
  3. Top 5 HR books you must read book #3 How to Win Friends and Influence People
  4. Top 5 HR books you must read book #4 Who
  5. Top 5 HR books you must read book #5 The Power of People Skills

 

Top 5 HR books you must read book #1 The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Written by John Maxwell, and published by Thomas Nelson, this is one of the best-selling business books of all time.

Maxwell pulls his list of ‘laws’ together from a variety of sources.  Some he made himself, some are adapted from teachers of the past like Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn.

Some of his key laws include: The law of the lid, the law of influence, and the law of the inner circle.

There’s a lot of truth in the book and everyone who deals with people should read it.

See the 21 Irrefutable Law of Leadership here:

https://www.amazon.com/21-Irrefutable-Laws-Leadership-Anniversary-ebook/dp/B001ECQK9S

Top 5 HR books you must read book #2 The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Written by Patrick Lencioni and published by Jossey-Bass, this book is in the form of a ‘business fable.’  It is story that explores why teams fail and what to do about it.

Lencioni uses a very simple 5 step pyramid model describing each dysfunction, and how they play out on any team.

The dysfunctions include: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.

The model has been widely used on sports teams and has been adopted by several team in the NFL (National Football League).

See the Five Dysfunctions of a Team here:

https://www.amazon.com/Five-Dysfunctions-Team-Leadership-2009-12-24-dp-B01MY26JWF/dp/B01MY26JWF/ref=mt_other?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1595364182

 

Top 5 HR books you must read book #3 How to Win Friends and Influence People

Written decades ago (1936) by Dale Carnegie and published by Simon and Schuster, How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the best-selling books of any kind of all time, selling over 30 million copies to date.

The book is an adaptation of a course that Carnegie taught that was formatted for publication.

Here are samples of the kinds of advice Carnegie gives:

  • Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation
  • Become genuinely interested in other people
  • Be a good listener
  • Make the other person feel important

If you haven’t read this book, put it on your list.  It’s a must for anyone who deals with people.

See How to Win Friends and Influence People here:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=how+to+win+friends&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

Top 5 HR books you must read book #4 Who

Written by Geoff Smart and Randy Street, and published by Ballantine Books, Who is a simple summary of how to hire great people.

I include it on this list because it’s simple, easy to read, and gives you all the tools you’ll need to make a great hire in it’s pages.

It includes lists of questions to ask when screening and interviewing, and how to do great reference checks.

Who should be on the bookshelf of everyone who works in human resources, because we all have to hire well, and none of us were every properly taught how to do it.

See Who here:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=who&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

Top 5 HR books you must read book #5 The Power of People Skills

Written by Trevor Throness and published by Career Press, The Power of People Skills is a simple guide that helps you cure your chronic people problems

Much has been made of the concept of ‘getting the right people on the bus.’  This phrase is popularized in Good to Great, written by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras.

But how do you do it?  How do you get the right people on the bus, and move the wrong people off the bus?

In the book, I describe how to find and secure the right people, how to give them regular feedback, and how to build a culture that retains them and attacts more just like them.

The Power of People Skills is a practical guide to fixing your people problems forever.

See The Power of People Skills here:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=the+power+of+people+skills&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

 

In summary:

There are about 11,000 business books published in the U.S. every year.  Finding the ones that are right for you is a challenge!  Having read a lot of them, here are my recommendations of the five books that everyone who deals with people should have in their library:

  1. Top 5 HR books you must read book #1 The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
  2. Top 5 HR books you must read book #2 The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team
  3. Top 5 HR books you must read book #3 How to Win Friends and Influence People
  4. Top 5 HR books you must read book #4 Who
  5. Top 5 HR books you must read book #5 The Power of People Skills

 

Additional resources

Thanks for reading this article on ‘Top Five HR books you must read.’  Below are additional resources from Getting People Right, the global provider of online human resources and leadership tools:

 

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at gettingpeopleright.com https://gettingpeopleright.com/

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Skills-Dramatically-Performance/dp/1632651068

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