Read Your Way Through Holiday Break

American college students looking ahead to a 3- or 4-week break over the holidays will likely cherish not studying or prepping a report during the break.

The time off is deserved, but frittering away your free time can also inhibit your business and management career objectives. Holiday periods are a great time to stay focused on long-term school and career objectives. If you are serious about striving toward your management degrees, then it’s time to start reading management and business books, and planning ahead for alternate college learning options.

But what to read? There are so many management books available in the online and printed marketplace. If you don’t have a list or you’re unsure where to start, we’re here to help!

Here are the top 20 Leadership books that ranked highest in a poll that asked “What’s the First Leadership Book You Would Give to a New Manager?” The poll was done in a 2011 LinkedIn group discussion, and was culled from nearly 700 book title recommendations.

The top-20 books are:

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
  2. Leadership and Self-Deception– Arbinger Institute
  3. The One Minute Manager– Kenneth H. Blanchard
  4. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership– John C. Maxwell
  5. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team– Patrick Lencioni
  6. First Break All the Rules– Marcus Buckingham
  7. The Leadership Challenge– Jim Kouzes
  8. The First 90 Days– Michael Watkins
  9. How to Win Friends and Influence People– Dale Carnegie
  10. Good to Great– Jim Collins
  11. It’s Your Ship– Michael Abrashoff
  12. The Speed of Trust– Stephen R. Covey
  13. Developing the Leader Within You– John C. Maxwell
  14. Who Moved My Cheese– Spencer Johnson
  15. Don’t Bring it to Work– Sylvia Lafair
  16. Leaders Without Borders– Doug Dickerson
  17. Leadership and the One Minute Manager– Kenneth H. Blanchard
  18. On Becoming a Leader– Warren Bennis
  19. The Anatomy of Peace– Arbinger Institute
  20. The Art of Possibility– Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Options for Management Students

For other students, the holiday period may also be a good time to evaluate your education, your finances, and your future. Some students are opting to gain best management practices at online universities instead of traditional institutions. As more online college credits are being accepted, there has been a growth in the number of organizations seeking to disrupt traditional college learning for students too.

At least three online college sites are gaining traction and helping to bolster the thinking that college degrees can be had without four years at an Ivy League institution. Here are three of them

  • A Washington, D.C.-based non-profit called offers 200 free, online college courses in 12 major tracks. There are no registrations or fees required to take our courses, and students will earn a completion certificate (but no accreditation) after finishing each course.
  • Another non-profit option called Peer-to-Peer University offers free, online courses and is supported by the Hewlett Foundation and Mozilla.
  • A third option is the University of the People, which is backed by the powers of the Clinton Global Initiative. University of the People charges students a one-time application fee and offers over 40 online courses.

Using your time wisely over the holidays can help bring about a fresh perspective for 2013 learning, and studying in your pursuit of a management degree.