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Leadership Reading List

Overview

The following reading list provides book titles to help both new and seasoned leaders gain new perspectives and develop their skills in leadership and personnel management.

Books

First 90 Days in Government: Critical Success Strategies for New Public Managers at All Levels – Peter H. Daly and Michael Watkins: This concise, practical book provides a roadmap to help new government leaders at all levels accelerate their transitions by overcoming nine transition challenges, ranging from clarifying expectations to defining goals to building a team to managing personal stress.

Dare to Lead – Brené Brown: The ultimate playbook for developing brave leaders and courageous cultures. Daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100% teachable. It’s learning and practice that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart.

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership: Access a year’s worth of management wisdom, all in one place. We’ve reviewed the ideas, insights, and best practices from the past year of Harvard Business Review to keep you up-to-date on the most cutting-edge, influential thinking driving business today. This volume brings the most current and important management conversations right to your fingertips.

Mindful Leadership: The 9 Ways to Self-Awareness, Transforming Yourself, and Inspiring Others – Maria Gonzalez: This book opens up a world of meditation exercises that can be done anywhere, anytime (no chanting or patchouli required!) and that are the gateway to improved judgment and decision making, improved time management, enhanced team effectiveness, greater productivity, and more on-the-job inspiration and innovation.

High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way – Brendon Burchard: To become a high performer, you must seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and demonstrate courage. This book is about the art and science of how to practice these proven habits.

Whether you want to get more done, lead others better, develop skill faster, or dramatically increase your sense of joy and confidence, the habits in this book will help you achieve it. Each of the six habits is illustrated by powerful vignettes, cutting-edge science, thought-provoking exercises, and real-world daily practices you can implement right now.

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know – Katty Kay and Claire Shipman: This book deconstructs confidence – an essential, elusive, and misunderstood quality – and offers a blueprint to bring more of it into our lives.

Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell: Take an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. Gladwell asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership – Colin Powell: Powell reveals the principles that have shaped his life and career in this inspiring and engrossing memoir. It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership is a trove of wisdom for anyone hoping to achieve their goals and turn their dreams into reality.

Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team – Simon Sinek:  This easy-to-follow guide starts with discovering your personal WHY, and then expands to articulating your organization’s WHY. Whether you’re entry level or a CEO, whether your team is run by the founder or a recent hire, these simple steps will lead you on a path to a more fulfilling life and long-term success for you and your colleagues.

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers – Tim Ferriss: This book contains distilled tools and tactics gleaned from Ferriss’ business/interview podcast which features guests ranging from celebrities and athletes to Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists.

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity – Kim Scott: A guide for those bewildered or exhausted by management, written for bosses and those who manage bosses. Taken from years of Scott’s experience, and distilled clearly giving actionable lessons to the reader; it shows managers how to be successful while retaining their humanity, finding meaning in their job, and creating an environment where people both love their work and their colleagues.

The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything – Steven Covey: Take an unprecedented and eminently practical look at exactly how trust functions in our every transaction and relationships—from the most personal to the broadest, most indirect interaction. This book specifically demonstrates how to establish trust intentionally so that you and your organization can forego the time-killing, bureaucratic check-and-balance processes so often deployed in lieu of actual trust.

Reflection

Have you read one or more of these books? Or, do you have another book(s) that have helped you become a better leader? How have you implemented what you’ve learned?

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