Saint Louis University

M.A. in Leadership & Organizational Development

Reading List for First Year Students

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Books Worth Reading Before Starting the Program (as suggested by faculty and current students)

Faculty and current students within the Leadership & Organizational Development (LOD) Program identified resources that new students could benefit from reviewing before starting the program. These are not required readings, by any stretch of the imagination. However, these were some books that our faculty and current students thought could help new students get a head start on developing their thinking in the areas of leadership and organizational development. So, we put together a summer reading list for you. It’s not really your first assignment, but if you haven’t read any of the books on the list, you try picking one or two for some light summer reading.

Once you enter the program and have completed the first year of classes, please feel free to expand this list by submitting your ideas to the Program Director, who will update the list for future students.

  • Buckingham, M., & Clifton, D. O. (2001). Now discover your strengths. New York: The Free Press. ISBN-10: 0743201140; ISBN-13: 978-0743201148
  • Collins, J. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap…and others don’t. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN-10: 0066620996; ISBN-13: 978-0066620992
  • Lencioni, P. (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team: A leadership fable. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN-10: 0787960756; ISBN-13: 978-0787960759
  • Messick, D. M., & Kramer, R. M. (Eds.). (2005). The psychology of leadership: New perspectives and research. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN: 0-8058-4095-8
  • Pink, D. H. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. New York: Riverhead Books. ISBN-10: 1594488843; ISBN-13: 978-1594488849
  • Pritchard, R., & Ashwood, E. (2008). Managing motivation: A manager’s guide to diagnosing and improving motivation. New York: Routledge. ISBN-10: 1841697893; ISBN-13: 978-1841697895
  • Tzu, S. (2005). The art of war (T. Cleary, Trans.). Boston: Shambhala. ISBN: 1-59030-225-7

Additional Useful Resources to Have Before You Start the Program

These books and resources are things we believe students will find some value in acquiring. Some of the books are required for the program, and others can provide you guidance and suggestions for self-management that might aid you in successfully completing a graduate program as a working professional.

  • American Psychological Association. (2010). Concise rules of APA style (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. ISBN: 1-4338-0560-X*
  • Ball, J. R., & Kuchta, J. A. (2006). It’s about time! 5 steps to true time management. United States: The Goals Institute. ISBN: 1-887570-09-8**
  • Daft, R. L. (2008). Organization theory & design (10th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. ISBN: 978-0324598896***
  • Loehr, J. E., & McCormack, M. H. (1998). Stress for success. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN-10: 0812930096; ISBN-13: 978-0812930092**
  • Weston, A. (2009). A rulebook for arguments (4th ed.). Indianapolis: Hackett. ISBN: 978-0-87220-954-1*

*This book will be required throughout the program, so acquiring it and getting familiar with it is probably a good idea.
** This book provides some helpful suggestions that you may find useful when figuring out how to manage your time as you pursue a Master’s Degree
*** This book will be required in your first class (ORLD 500 Organizational Dynamics), so you may want to acquire this book early.

10 Things New Students Should Know Before Starting the Leadership & OD Program

We asked current students what advice they would share with new students that are getting ready to begin their foray into our graduate program. Here are some of their suggestions:

  1. In each of your classes, make sure you review all the weekly information the day the week starts. If you don't, you'll find yourself short on time the last day or two... and if you do, you'll be able to plan your week accordingly. Also, try to do a little every day. That way, your class work never has the chance to pile up too much.
  2. Don't be afraid to participate in the discussion and say what you’re thinking, because if it’s wrong, either your instructor or your fellow students will correct you (professionally, of course).
  3. Reach out to your professor if you're confused. Seems obvious, but it can be hard to do...
  4. Find a fellow classmate to help keep you on track and focused. Each class is different, and having someone to go through the syllabus with you at the beginning of each term is invaluable.
  5. Get up early and make your discussion board contributions before you go to work. Make it your coffee routine. Key word: routine.
  6. Take every single edit/suggestion from papers early in a course and apply those suggestions to the final paper/project. You need to show that you've learned something, and it's frustrating for professors to edit the same error over and over again.
  7. If you can, participate in the blended class meetings. It gives you more designated one-on-one time with the material. If you can’t attend class (either because of work or life time constraints or geographic location), jot down specific questions of things you’d like to discuss with you instructor and arrange times to meet in person or virtually (e.g., telephone, Skype).
  8. Find a coworker/confidante at work you can share some of the things you're learning about. If it's your boss - even better. I've been able to have great conversations about what I'm learning with my boss. Not only is it helpful to reinforce what you're learning (by having to explain it to someone else) but it also helps you sort out some of the theories in a more practical manner. What would that look like here? How would you go about doing that in the workplace? Where would you start?
  9. Make sure you have reliable tools and know how to use them. Most of the courses will require you to have a reliable and relatively up to date computer and a microphone. Some courses will even request that you use a web cam if you have one. And you will want to have access to the Microsoft Office Suite specifically for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel (or something comparable). And, you can’t just have the hardware and software, you need to have a decent understanding how to use them. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting valuable time “catching up” rather than spending time engaging the course material.
  10. Remember that online courses are not synonymous with easy courses. The courses are demanding and require you to invest a great deal of time and energy. Because they’re online, you will also have to self-initiate and self-regulate. Nobody is going to be there to remind you to go into the virtual classroom, and no one is going to pester you until you have written that final paper. You need to be prepared to keep yourself motivated and on track.


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