Reading for Success: My top three business and management books for a team that’s built to win. - DMA Group
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For any company that has been around for so long, change can be difficult. After all, why change the core of a business which has stood the test of time for so long? But therein is the trap that so many organisations fall into.

An issue with our industry is that over time it has developed a poor reputation characterised by low service levels and systemic inefficiency. Having been around for so long, we are aware that we are part of this problem, and that we must reverse this reputation. The only way to do so is to impart change. We like to be creative about expressing problems and solutions, but in a way that will benefit our entire industry. We are thinking of the big picture.

This year we have penned a business book in the form of a fable, The Tale of the Forgotten Building and the Three Engineers which tells the story of how the UK’s built environment is being failed by the traditional approaches of the maintenance industry. I’d like to take this opportunity to share a listicle of the management and leadership books that have inspired me throughout my career.

Leadership: Plain and Simple by Steve Radcliffe

Behind every great leader is an inherent will to learn. When I was promoted from Finance Strategist to CEO, I picked up Radcliffe’s no-nonsense guide to leadership. The Future Engage Deliver (FED) model outlined in the book stuck with me. Having a vision, communicating it engagingly and delivering on your promises is a strong base for great leadership. Interestingly, it was on the holiday where I read this book that the idea for our BiO® platform was born. Radcliffe’s simple but effective approach helped guide me through my beginnings as a leader.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

A leader is only as strong as their team. Lencioni provides breakthrough insights on how individual vulnerability can impact a team. He follows through with solutions and exercises to overcome the challenges that can arise from these vulnerabilities. Some of the lessons in this book are fundamental to our team. We’ve all read it and we put it to use, and we ask our new recruits to read it too. Leadership is about quickly realising and then unleashing your team’s potential, and this book helped me do that.

Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson

You might have heard of this one. Through the unique personality of his characters, Dr. Johnson outlines the importance and benefits of adaptability. Portraying such a complex lesson through storytelling was part of what inspired us to write our fable. I really enjoy discussing this book with my peers, the different perspectives and interpretations of Johnson’s writing are part of why this book marked me.

A very honourable mention: Winning! by Clive Woodward

Woodward built the English Rugby side that won the World Cup in 2003, and the lessons he breaks down in this book are directly applicable to business. Building a winning culture, relentlessly adapting, and embracing the diversity in your team. These values apply to the field of play just as much as the board room.

Nothing taught me the essence of teamwork quite like playing sports. Sports harnessed my confidence in leadership and a winning mentality which is necessary to lead the our team’s ambitions.

We’ve all got something about us, and it’s through combining those something’s when true value is created. Simply put, if we’re all after the same thing, then anything is possible.