Note: Beware bullshit and propaganda. Remember that most of the great heroes have feet of clay. Particularly avoid anything that promises 'the secrets of' (great hero) or 'the 7 steps to greatness' and the like. Invariably such stuff is inaccurate and misleading.
- The Dilbert Principle. Scott Adams. Harper Business, London. The best antidote to management-speak and bullshit ever. Takes the piss out of portentous bosses, consultants, management-speak and espouses the cause of the common(sense) employee. Most of his material comes from real stories by real employees, the best research medium. Very funny too.
- Built to Last. J. Collins and J.Porras. Random House, London, 1995. Revealing study on what really makes companies good. Antidote to the creative destruction merchants.
- Decision-making at the top. G. Donaldson, J. Lorsch. Basic Books, New York, 1983. Their research proves that good leadership is timeless - alas, fads and fashions keep detracting us from timeless verities.
- H. Mintzberg. Managers, not MBA's. Barrett - Koehler, 2004. Mintzberg is one of the great observers of management practise - in other words, he actually goes and looks at what people really do, rather than developing theories or spreading propaganda.
- The General Managers. J Kotter. Free Press, New York, 1982. Another researcher who carefully observed what good managers actually do and found that it wasn't rocket science.
- Having Their Cake, Don Young and Pat Scott. Chapter 8 - 'So what is good?' Useful review of the research into good leadership, how it can be described and measured.