Pile of great books

As an Executive Search and Staffing firm specializing in senior-level IT Leadership talent, we understand the importance of continuous learning and self-improvement. Reading is an essential way for professionals to stay on top of industry trends, hone their leadership skills, and grow personally and professionally.

We have curated a list of must-read books that touch on various topics – from industry-specific knowledge to leadership, employment, economics, and personal development.

These books are guaranteed to inspire and empower you to reach new heights in your career.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Written by two former U.S. Navy SEAL officers, “Extreme Ownership” provides valuable insights into leadership and team management by drawing on their experiences in combat. The authors present the concept of taking complete responsibility for one’s actions and decisions, which translates seamlessly into a corporate setting, fostering accountability and improving performance.

Jocko emphasizes the importance of the “no bad teams, only bad leaders” principle, suggesting that a strong leader can turn any team into a high-performing one with a mutual sense of “extreme ownership”.

The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win – Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

As a sequel to “Extreme Ownership,” this book delves deeper into the challenges leaders face while implementing the principles of extreme ownership. It provides practical guidance on balancing the need for control with empowering team members, making this a must-read for executives looking to enhance their leadership skills.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones – James Clear

“Atomic Habits” offers a comprehensive guide to habit formation and breaking. James Clear presents an accessible framework that helps readers understand the mechanics of habits and implement small changes that lead to significant improvements in both professional and personal life.

The book introduces the Four Laws of Behavior Change, which are: Make it Obvious, Make it Attractive, Make it Easy, and Make it Satisfying.

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” – James Clear

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It – Chris Voss

Authored by a former FBI hostage negotiator, this book provides practical negotiation techniques that can be applied in various professional settings. With a focus on empathy and understanding, Voss’s approach to negotiation is both effective and human-centered, making it a valuable read for leaders in any field.

Chris Voss emphasizes the “Accusation Audit” technique, which involves addressing potential objections before they arise in negotiations.

EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches – Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey shares his experience and wisdom in building successful businesses by combining sound leadership principles with practical business strategies. “EntreLeadership” is an essential read for those looking to improve their leadership skills and drive their teams and businesses to success.

“People matter. People on your team matter. What we do is not as important as who we do it with.” – Dave Ramsey

The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win – Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford

This novel provides a relatable and engaging story that highlights the importance of DevOps and efficient IT practices in modern business. “The Phoenix Project” is an entertaining way to gain insights into the world of software development and infrastructure management.

The novel introduces the Three Ways, a set of principles that guide the implementation of DevOps: Systems Thinking, Amplify Feedback Loops, and a Culture of Continual Experimentation and Learning.

“Improving daily work is even more important than doing daily work.” – Gene Kim

The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data – Gene Kim

As a companion to “The Phoenix Project,” “The Unicorn Project” explores the struggles and triumphs of a team of software developers working on a critical project. This novel offers valuable lessons on innovation, teamwork, and the power of digital transformation.

The book highlights the Five Ideals, which are Locality and Simplicity, Focus, Flow and Joy, Improvement of Daily Work, and Psychological Safety

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time – Jeff Sutherland

Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, shares his insights into the world of Agile project management. This book offers a comprehensive guide to implementing Scrum methodology, leading to increased efficiency and productivity in software development and infrastructure projects.

Jeff Sutherland introduces the concept of “velocity,” which helps teams measure their productivity and adapt their workloads accordingly.  He also demonstrates how the principles of Scrum can be applied to projects outside of work (ie. House renovations, wedding planning, etc.)

Reading is a powerful tool for personal and professional development, especially for senior-level Software and Infrastructure Engineers. By embracing the insights and strategies shared in these books, you can hone your leadership skills, improve team performance, and navigate the ever-evolving world of software and infrastructure engineering.

We encourage you to explore these essential reads and incorporate the lessons learned into your daily work and leadership style.

Have some suggestions you want to share or want to connect with top talent in the software and engineering field? Contact us here.



About Spinnaker Group

Spinnaker Search Group is dedicated to cultivating meaningful relationships that grow companies and advance careers. We strive to provide value in every interaction and are driven to be viewed as a trusted recruiting partner by our clients. Our team is fueled by our desire to exceed expectations in all that we do.