In today’s article, I would like to share what I consider are four must read books for Army Platoon Leaders. These are four of the most “significant” books that impacted my leadership skills and helped me better a better military leader. I recommend you read these books before you become a PL. But, if that’s not possible, you should still check them out ASAP.
- Small Unit Leadership
This timeless classic book by Dan Malone is my favorite military leadership book of all time. It should be mandatory reading for all NCOs and Officers in the military. You will learn your “ultimate” purpose as a small unit leader. You will learn the art of leadership and what it takes to motivate your troops. This is a leadership classic. Once you read it, do yourself a favor and re-read it immediately. You will be absolutely amazed with the valuable information inside this book.
- The One Minute Manager
This best-seller by Ken Blanchard should be a must read for any new manager. The book will teach you how to be an effective manager. The thesis of the book is that a good manager provides one minute goals, one minute praise and one minute reprimands. It teaches you how to set goals with your followers, how to give them feedback and how to correct poor performance. I give the book a 10 of 10.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
This is hands down the best “relationship book” I have ever read. You will learn how to get along with people. This will help you get along with your peers and boss. It will also help you build strong professional relationships with your subordinates. You will learn how to think of things from the other person’s perspective. This is the best book on “human relations” that I could ever recommend.
- The Magic of Thinking Big
This book will teach you how to think big and accomplish extraordinary things. Once again, the book is not military related, but it will have a profound impact on your life. This is the most influential book I’ve ever read. I only wish I would have read it when I was younger, especially in my early 20s.
I understand that not all of these books are military related. But I believe the principles and lessons you learn in these books will shape you throughout your entire military career.