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The SGR Bookstore provides a few carefully selected choices of the very best business books on each of the 19 strategic leadership competencies identified in SGR’s 4th Dimension Leadership development model. To buy the book, just select the book graphic and you will be taken directly to the Amazon page for that specific title.

SGR 4th Dimension Leadership Level Quick Links:

  1. Relational Leadership
  2. Operational Leadership
  3. Systems Leadership
  4. Strategic Leadership
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Relational Leadership

Relational leadership is the first dimension of leadership.  At this level, people follow you because of how you treat them. Relational leadership competency encompasses Human Relations and Customer Service and provides an essential foundation for leadership competencies in the three succeeding dimensions.  

Personal Development The Other 90%: How to Unlock Your Vast Untapped Potential for Leadership and Life by Robert Cooper. Dr. Robert Cooper, a neuroscience pioneer and leadership advisor, urges us to take a radically different view of human capacity. We are mostly unused potential, he says, employing less than 10 percent of our brilliance or hidden talents. In easy-to-follow steps, he explains how to develop and apply the art and science of your hidden capacity.

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements will provide you with a holistic view of what contributes to your wellbeing over a lifetime. Written in a conversational style by #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and bestselling author Jim Harter, Ph.D., this book is filled with fascinating research and novel ideas for boosting your wellbeing in each of these five areas: Career, Social, Financial, Physical, and Community.

 Well Being

Advocacy and Interpersonal Communication

In Words That Work, Luntz offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the tactical use of words and phrases affects what we buy, who we vote for, and even what we believe in. With chapters like "The Ten Rules of Successful Communication" and "The 21 Words and Phrases for the 21st Century," he examines how choosing the right words is essential for sweeping change in the many conversations we share. 

Words That Work

  Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas–business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others–struggle to make their ideas “stick.” Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators Chip and Dan Heath tackle  these vexing questions head-on. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the “human scale principle,” using the “Velcro Theory of Memory,” and creating “curiosity gaps.”  Made to Stick
Diversity Management In Womenomics, journalists Shipman and Kay deal in facts, not stereotypes, providing a fresh perspective on the largely hidden power that women have in today's marketplace. Why? Companies with more women managers are more profitable. Women do more of the buying. A talent shortage looms. Younger generations want to work flexibly, too. It all adds up to a workplace revolution that is great news for professional women—not to mention men and businesses as well.
Team Leadership

Multipliers - In this engaging and highly practical book, leadership expert Liz Wiseman and management consultant Greg McKeown explore these two leadership styles, persuasively showing how Multipliers can have a resoundingly positive and profitable effect on organizations— getting more done with fewer resources, developing and attracting talent, and cultivating new ideas and energy to drive organizational change and innovation.

SGR also offers an executive book briefing on this book as part of our Strategic Leadership series inside the SGR Learning Management System. For more information, e-mail .   

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Operational Leadership

Operational Leadership is the second dimension of leadership.  At this level, people follow you because of positional and intellectual authority.  Operational Leadership encompasses Supervisory and Managerial skills and provides essential predecessor competencies to the two succeeding leadership dimensions.  
Performance Measurement / Management and Quality Assurance With a title like The Checklist Manifesto, it would be natural to expect that Atul Gawande is bent on revolutionizing that most loved-hated activity of workers the world over: the to-do list. But it's not the list itself he wants to change; there are no programmatic steps or tables here to help you reshuffle daily tasks. What you'll find instead is a remarkably liberating and persuasive inquiry into what it takes to work successfully and with a personal sense of satisfaction. - Anne Bartholomew  
Coaching/Mentoring All too often, simple acts of human kindness are often overlooked and under utilized by people in leadership roles. Advising mutual respect and recognition of accomplishments, Encouraging the Heart shows us how true leaders encourage and motivate those they work with by helping them find their voice and making them feel like heroes. Recognized experts in the field of leadership, authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner show us that, through love, leaders can encourage, and indeed allow those around them to be their very best. Encouraging the Heart
Team Leadership In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams. Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Empowerment and Delegation If you think leadership is for other people, think again—leaders come in surprising packages. All they have in common is the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead. If you ignore this opportunity, you risk turning into a “sheepwalker”—someone who fights to protect the status quo at all costs, never asking if obedience is doing you (or your organization) any good. Sheepwalkers don’t do very well these days. Tribes will make you think (really think) about the opportunities in leading your fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers. . . It’s not easy, but it’s easier than you think.  Tribes
Citizen Service

In 1999, Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) sold LinkExchange, the company he co-founded, to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined Zappos as an adviser and investor, and eventually became CEO. In 2009, Zappos was listed as one of Fortune magazine's top 25 companies to work for and was acquired by Amazon later that year in a deal valued at over $1.2 billion on the day of closing. In his first book, Delivering Happiness Tony shares the different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and pizza business through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Ultimately, he shows how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion, and purpose both in business and in life.  

Delivering Happiness

This is America. From restaurant booths to voting booths, pollster Frank Luntz has studied our private habits, our public interests, and our hopes and fears. What are the five things Americans want the most? What do we really want from our government? For our families? From companies? For our future? And how does understanding what Americans really want allow businesses to thrive? In this fascinating book, based on a decade of face-to-face interviews with 25,000 people and telephone polls with one million more, Luntz disassembles the preconceived notions we have about one another and lays all the pieces of the American condition out in front of us, openly and honestly. What Americans Really Want . . . Really is a real, if sometimes scary, discussion of Americans' secret hopes, fears, wants, and needs.

 What Americans Really Want
Change Management Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Switch authors Chip and Dan Heath. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.  Switch

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Systems Leadership

Systems Leadership is the third dimension of leadership.  At this level, people follow you because they have a high degree of trust in the systems you have created. Systems Leadership encompasses both Trust Building and Systems Building and is an essential predecessor competency to strategic leadership.

Technological Literacy Charlene Li is one of the foremost experts on social media and technologies. In Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, she skillfully crafts an essential guide for leaders who want to use social media to be "open" while maintaining control.  Open Leadership by Li
  The first e-mail was sent less than forty years ago; by 2011, there will be 3.2 billion e-mail users. The average corporate worker now receives upwards of two hundred e-mails per day. The flood of messages is ceaseless and follows us everywhere. In The Tyranny of E-mail, John Freeman takes an entertaining look at the unrelenting nature of correspondence through the ages. Put down your smart phone and consider the consequences. As the toll of e-mail mounts, reducing our time for leisure and contemplation and separating us in an unending and lonely battle with the overfull inbox, John Freeman—one of America’s preeminent literary critics—enters a plea for communication that is more selective and nuanced and, above all, more sociable.  The Tyranny of Email
Human Resources Systems - Developing Your People Three-time New York Times bestselling authors Roger Connors and Tom Smith show how leaders can achieve record-breaking results by quickly and effectively shaping their organizational culture to capitalize on their greatest asset-their people. Change the Culture, Change the Game joins their classic book, The Oz Principle, and their recent bestseller, How Did That Happen?, to complete the most comprehensive series ever written on workplace accountability. Based on an earlier book, Journey to the Emerald City, this fully revised installment captures what the authors have learned while working with the hundreds of thousands of people on using organizational culture as a strategic advantage.   Change the Culture
  Topgrading, is an incredibly valuable study of how to hire top performing executives.  Every local government senior manager should read this book.  Of particular note, Dr. Bradford D. Smart's analysis concludes that one of the most clear predictors of “A” level performers is that they read an average of 24 books each year!  If you want to create more “A” level performers one easy way to start is to insist that they read more. It is one of the most effective ways to lead your team into engaging in cutting-edge thinking.   If you don’t think you have time to read 24 books per year… SGR also offers our executive book briefings.     
Integrity - Personal, Professional, and Organizational Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money--the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink in Drive. In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction--at work, at school, and at home--is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.  Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does-and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation--autonomy, mastery, and purpose--and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.  Drive by Daniel Pink
Facilitative Leadership

"Collaborators aren't born, they're made. or, to be more precise, built, one day at a time, through practice, through attention, through discipline, through passion and commitment - and, most of all, through habit... Like creativity, collaboration is a habit - and one I encourage you to develop." So notes Twyla Tharp in her best selling book, The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together. Tharp takes readers through the most common varieties of collaborations, including working with a partner, with institutions and middlemen, outside your expertise, in a virtual partnership, with a friend, with someone who outranks you, plus how to deal with toxic collaborators, and much more.

 The Collaborative Habit

In Fierce Leadership, Susan Scott teaches us how to spot the worst “best” practices in our organizations using a technique she calls “squid eye”–the ability to see the “tells” or signs that we have fallen prey to disastrous behaviors by knowing what to look for. Only then, she says, can we apply the antidote..

Informed by over a decade of conversations with Fortune 500 executives, this book is that antidote. With fierce new approaches to everything from employee feedback to corporate diversity to customer relations, Scott offers fresh and surprising alternatives to six of the so-called “best” practices permeating today’s businesses. This refreshingly candid book is a must-read for any manager or leader at any level who is ready to take a long hard look at what trouble might be lurking in their organization - and do something about it.

Financial Analysis All the Devils Are Here by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, two of America's most acclaimed business journalists, goes back several decades to weave the hidden history of the financial crisis in a way no previous book has done. It explores the motivations of everyone from famous CEOs, cabinet secretaries, and politicians to anonymous lenders, borrowers, analysts, and Wall Street traders. It delves into the powerful American mythology of homeownership. And it proves that the crisis ultimately wasn't about finance at all; it was about human nature.  All the Devils are Here

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Strategic Leadership

Strategic Leadership is the fourth dimension of leadership.  At this level, the leader’s focus shifts from making the organization better at what they do, to helping the organization transform itself into what it aspires to become.  Strategic Leadership emphasizes understanding the external forces shaping the future, articulating a strategic vision for what the organization wants to become, and developing a tangible plan for how to get from here to there. 

Mediation and Negotiation In their groundbreaking book, Women Don’t Ask, Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever uncovered a startling fact: even women who negotiate brilliantly on behalf of others often falter when it comes to asking for themselves. Now they’ve developed the action plan that women all over the country requested—a guide to negotiation that starts before you get to the bargaining table.  In Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want, Babcock and Laschever’s share compelling stories of real women that will help you recognize how much more you deserve—whether it’s a raise, that overdue promotion, an exciting new assignment, or even extra help around the house.  Ask for It
Vision, Creativity, and Innovation There isn't a business in America that doesn't want to be more creative in its thinking, products, and processes. At many companies, being first with a concept and first to market are critical just to survive. In The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelley, general manager of the Silicon Valley based design firm IDEO, takes readers behind the scenes of this wildly imaginative and energized company to reveal the strategies and secrets it uses to turn out hit after hit.   The Art of Innovation
  We live in an era when business cycles are measured in months, not years. The only way to sustain long term innovation and growth is through creativity-at all levels of an organization. Disciplined Dreaming shows you how to create profitable new ideas, empower all your employees to be creative, and sustain your competitive advantage over the long term. Linkner distills his years of experience in business and jazz — as well as hundreds of interviews with CEOs, entrepreneurs, and artists — into a 5-step process that will make creativity easy for you and your organization. The methodology is simple, backed by proven results.   Disciplined Dreaming
Strategic Planning Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish - What are the underlying handful of fundamentals that haven't changed for over a hundred years? From Harnish's famous "Mastering a One Page Strategic Plan" process that has been a best-selling article on the web to his concise outline of eight practical actions you can take to strengthen your culture, this book is a compilation of best practices adapted from some of the best-run firms on the planet. Included is an instructive chapter co-authored by Rich Russakoff, revealing winning tactics to get banks to finance your business. Lastly, there are case studies demonstrating the validity of Harnish's practical approaches.  

 SGR Also Recommends:

Mark Rohr's book, Joplin: The Miracle of the Human Spirit, provides an honest, day-to-day account of the responsibilities and decisions he had to make as Joplin's City Manager, including his personal role in assisting victims of the storm. The book is also a tribute to the 161 lives lost due to the storm and is a heartfelt 'thank you' to the thousands of volunteers who came and continue to come to Joplin. Some said it would take a miracle for Joplin to rise again. The citizens of Joplin showed the world what miracles look like in the form of real courage, determination, and compassion Joplin is a miracle of the human spirit.

"City Manager, Mark Rohr's book, Joplin: The Miracle of the Human Spirit, vividly recounts the quick thinking, the recovery process, and plan of rebuilding that was necessary to secure Joplin's future." Kit Bond, US Senator (Ret), Missouri

The style of the Associated Press is the gold standard for news writing. With The Associated Press Stylebook in hand, you can learn how to write and edit with the clarity and professionalism for which they are famous. Fully revised and updated, this new edition contains more than 3,000 A to Z entries—including more than 200 new ones—detailing the AP’s rules on grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviation, and word and numeral usage. You’ll find answers to such wide-ranging questions as:
  • When should the names of government bodies be spelled out and when should they be abbreviated?
  • What are the general definitions of the major religious movements?
  • Which companies do the big media conglomerates own?
  • Who are all the members of the British Commonwealth?
  • How should box scores for baseball games be filed?
  • What constitutes “fair use”?
  • What exactly does the Freedom of Information Act cover?
 With invaluable additional sections on the unique guidelines for business and sports reporting and on how you can guard against libel and copyright infringement, The AP Stylebook is the one reference that all writers, editors, and students cannot afford to be without.
  William Strunk's The Elements of Style is a must have desk reference for those who want to increase their writing aptitude and ability.  Whether you are a student or a seasoned professional, Strunk's insights will challenge and motivate you to more effectively represent your thoughts and ideas through writing. 
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