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Gift guide: The 15 best books of 2015 for IT leaders

John Brandon | Dec. 10, 2015
Whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers for a friend, a Secret Santa gift for a coworker or even just a present for yourself, you can’t go wrong with one of these books for business-minded bibliophiles.

Pages: 272 (hardcover)
Publisher: Portfolio 

6. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life – Brian Grazer 

brian grazer curious mind

Every IT leader needs to read this book my mega-producer Brian Grazer. It’s filled with examples of how Grazer pursued innovative ideas – sometimes by tracking down the person who invented the idea in person and picking their brain. It encourages everyone to do the same. 

Pages: 320 (hardcover)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 

7. Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry – Jacquie McNish & Sean Silcoff 

jacquie mcnish losing the signal

If you have ever wondered why BlackBerry took such a dramatic nose-dive, make sure you read Losing the Signal. It chronicles the rise and fall of the iconic smartphone company by recounting highly detailed stories of key executives and the decisions they made. 

Pages: 288 (hardcover
Publisher: Flatiron Books 

8. Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words – Randall Munroe 

randall munroe thing explainer

There are two reasons to consider this book. One is that it’s includes fascinating explanations of complex subjects, such as how a microwave works. Seconds, it’s highly visual with detailed drawings you can study using a larger tablet like the iPad Pro or a Samsung Galaxy Tab. 

Pages: 64 (hardcover)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 

9. Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They're Real People – Rodd Wagner 

rodd wagner widgets

A treatise about how to treat employees more like actual humans rather than assets, this shorter book by Rodd Wagner contains highly practical tips for radically changing work culture. It suggests (gasp) that it’s OK to talk to employees about what they are thinking and feeling. 

Pages: 256 (hardcover)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education 

10. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future – Martin Ford 

martin ford rise of the robots

The coming robotic revolution – thinking machines capable of making intelligent decisions – could lead to vast economic prosperity...or an empty void that leads to more unemployment. This engaging examination asks tough questions about whether AI always means innovation. 

Pages: 352 (hardcover)
Publisher: Basic Books

11. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction – Philip E. Tetlock & Dan Gardner 

philip e tetlock superforecasting

Don’t confused this book about making more accurate predictions with anything weather-related. It’s really about good decision making after collecting enough information. (Something Steve Ballmer didn’t do when he predicted, in 2007, that the iPhone would fail.) 


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