Reading list 2019

Project and Change Book List 2019

As the holiday season is well and truly underway, it is the time that many are looking for books to read (or listen to) while they are aware.

Last year I provided a Holiday Reading List for 2018.   Therefore, I would like to share some thoughts on the books I have enjoyed and found useful in 2019.

You may also want to take a look at the post on “Keeping your projects on track during the summer holidays” for some practical tips.  So that all the rest and relaxation from your holiday is not wasted when you return from holiday.

So, here is my list for 2019

Black Box Thinking – Matthew Syed

Black Box Thinking book cover

I found this book very informative, especially as it uses real life examples to make the points.

The main takeaway is how an open, non-blame culture with a desire to learn and improve will out perform a closed culture with mistakes hidden.

What was alarming was that the 2 industries used to demonstrate this point was aviation and healthcare.  The aviation industry is open and looks to learn and improve from every accident.  Healthcare takes the opposite approach in that mistakes are hidden to blame that will be placed on those who make a mistake.

Good parallels into the project lessons learned process.


Trillion Dollar Coach – Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle

Trillion Dollar Coach book cover

This was an eye-opening book about Bill Campbell, who I had not heard of until I read this book.

A man who helped coach all of the titans of Silicon Valley including Steve Jobs.

His clarity of thinking, ability to make people feel at ease with a genuine care and helping them find the right answer, it is easy to understand while many of the great leaders sort his help.

To be so successful, have so much influence but to be so humble is an amazing quality.

Many take-aways to benefit from in your own career.


Creating Business Magic – David Morey, Eugene Burger, John E McLaughlin

Creating Business Magic book cover

This is an interesting approach to business, using the tested techniques of magicians to wow and amaze audiences and then translating into how this can work for business.

I like that the book includes real world business examples to demonstrate how it can work including the infamous “Skunkworks” at Lockheed.

Plus if you like magic and illusions, this really is the perfect good.


 12 Rules for Life – Jordan B Peterson

12 Rules for Life book cover

While work is important, so is life balance.

We all are working harder, longer in a constantly connected society.  This constantly being “on” is a dangerous habit.

This book can help you touch base with the real world and remember what is important.

These 12 rules can be implemented into your life and made into habits.  The result being a more meaningful life.

I particularly like 8. Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient and 9, try to tell the truth or a least do not lie.


The Penguin Lessons – Tom Michell

This is a great true story about a young man in his 20’s who goes to South America for adventure.

While he is taking a few days break from his teaching job, he saves a penguin from a beach.

 This is a wonderful story of the relationship between man and bird and a reminder how taking action CAN make a difference.

When you have finished the book, search the video clip on YouTube.  It is so wonderful to see in a few brief minutes this wonderful penguin.


 The PMO Manual – PM Majik

The PMO Manual by PM Majik

OK, I am biased and personally will not be reading this on the beach.

However, if you do want to use some of your time honing skills or learning about PMO set-up, you can take a paperback copy of my book with you 

There are many more books that I have enjoyed.  However, I thought this was a good mix of some of the ones that stand out for me.


You can check out the 2018 recommendations by visiting Project and Change Book List 2018.

Tip: if you do not like carrying or reading a book, many of these titles are available in audio format from Audible.  This means you can lay and get comfortable on the sun lounger without having to hold pages open.  It is also a great way to listen to books when you return from vacation and are on the daily commute as no book to juggle getting on or off public transport.

If you have a book that has inspired you in your change career, why not post in the comments below.

Have a great vacation…..

PM Majik