For less than $200 these books are a great start to a powerful leadership library.
LEADERSHIP books that changed everything for me.
The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander. This is my most gifted, and all-time-favorite book. The Zanders teach 12 life and leadership lessons. Ideas like “Give an ‘A’” and “Rule #6” became core values of my company.
The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. You get to choose if you want to be a finite or infinite minded leader. If you are playing the infinite game, you are thinking of legacy and impact. Sinek also introduces the concept of a “Just Cause,” which is the single most exciting idea I’ve implemented in 2020.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. When do you ever get to read the private journal of a Roman emperor? This book was never intended to be published and is a collection of this Stoic’s musings on life and leadership. There is so much wisdom packed into the pages. It’s not uncommon for me to reference and reflect on these ideas on a weekly basis.
The foundation of PEAK PERFORMANCE starts here.
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. To create value and be productive it starts with emotional intelligence. This idea encompasses both internal and external awareness. You also get access to an EQ assessment which scores your self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Best of all are the practical exercises that will help you grow your emotional intelligence.
Deep Work by Cal Newport. This book taught me the value of blocking time and creating an ideal week. There is a difference between shallow work that allows you to maintain your job and deep work which makes you a linchpin for your organization. I guarantee you’ll be creating more value in your work if you take action on the ideas here.
Measure What Matters by John Doerr. This book teaches the ideas of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). I now organize all my goal-setting and measure my productivity through this system. Quarterly, I reflect on the quantitative results I accomplish and add a qualitative reflection that puts a story to the numbers.
Creativity, empathy, and the future are the foundations of CHANGE.
This is Marketing by Seth Godin. Honestly, you can read anything by Seth and start making change. This book connects so many of his ideas from over the years and is the playbook for making effective change for those you seek to serve. At the heart of the approach is empathy.
The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly. The sub-title is “Understanding the 12 technological forces that will shape our future.” You will more effectively make change if you understand how the future can likely play out.
One + One = Three by Dave Trott. The author touts this book as a “masterclass in creative thinking.” A catalyst for change is creativity. Trott is a master storyteller and is able to look at common situations in uncommon ways.
Becoming a better person: Why DIVERSITY & INCLUSION matters.
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. It’s a 2020 Orpah book club book, so there’s that. Wilkerson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author so it’s a safe bet it will be a great read. And it tackles the stories of a hidden caste system in America and is an unrelenting exploration of race and racism.
The Person You Mean to Be by Dolly Chugh. If you care about creating belonging and intentionally designing inclusive spaces, this book will show you how.
Overcoming Bias by Tiffany Jana and Matthew Freeman. This book helps explore a number of unconscious biases we have and provides 10 practical exercises to use with teams.
I love to write about books as a great investment into your leadership development. You can find more recommendations here.