Evolutionizing the World One Leader At a Time™
Yes, I am aware that ‘evolutionizing’ isn’t a legitimate word…. yet. I choose to make it one since we verbify many words now like, googling a topic, wazing an address, or friending someone.
Evolutionizing is the process of accelerating growth in yourself, teams, and organization. As a student and practitioner in leadership development for over 30 years, I have seen how it has evolved. It’s an art and science…
The resources below are my book recommendations. However, for a short circuit to any of these, I recommend an accompanying Youtube or TED talk so you can get a feel for the author and content. Looking for an inspiring podcast? Want video coaching on a specific skill? Contact me for additional recommendations.
THE 15 COMMITMENTS OF CONSCIOUS LEADERSHIP: A NEW PARADIGM FOR SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS
Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, & Kaley Warner Klemp
This is a great catch-all book of leadership principles and practices. The authors have distilled the best of the best from top leadership experts and synthesize it into sensible and sustainable application, and simple enough to grasp as knowing whether we are behaving “above the line or below the line.” A good go-to book I give to many of my clients.
THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY: THE TIMELESS ART OF TURNING TRIALS INTO TRIUMPH
Ryan Holiday, a modern-day Stoic has a series of books I am enjoying, this being my top pick. To simply quote and capture the essence, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way, becomes the way.” Through the disciplines of perception, action, and will, the stories and tips guide a mind shift towards anything being possible.
ESSENTIALISM: THE DISCIPLINED PURSUIT OF LESS
The key to accomplishing anything is to put enough focus on it, which requires dedicating time and energy. To do that, means saying no to most of what otherwise can fill time and energy. This book helps determine what is important and gives strategies for being able to focus on that one thing.
LEADERS EAT LAST: WHY SOME TEAMS PULL TOGETHER AND OTHERS DON’T
Understanding leadership from a laymen biochemical perspective brings practical thinking and tools to improve individual and organizational performance. Sinek relates how our bodies respond to fears, motivators, and connections and how we can generate positive behaviors and outcomes by utilizing neuroscientific concepts.
RISING STRONG: HOW THE ABILITY TO RESET TRANSFORMS THE WAY WE LIVE, LOVE, PARENT AND LEAD
I am a Brene Brown fan and have read most of her books. I find this one to best encapsulate her research and integration into practice when it comes to taking risks, learning from failure, and being courageous in communication, relationships, and life. As all her books, I prefer to listen on Audible because she personally narrates and she appeals to the reader as if we are having a conversational chat over insightful topics of vulnerability, accountability, and self-advocacy.
EXTREME OWNERSHIP: HOW NAVY SEALs LEAD AND WIN
Recommended by one of my clients, I love how this book emphasizes personal accountability. There are great lessons to be learned from military practices, and the angle used here instills a sense of responsibility and discipline that requires us to look inside ourselves and not just outward on how to lead others. Leadership starts with self.
FOR ORGANIZATIONS & TEAMS
TRACTION: GET A GRIP ON YOUR BUSINESS
Many of my start-up and fast-growing companies have benefited from this simple and practical method known as The Entrepreneurial Operating System®, or EOS, created by Gino Wickman in this timeless book. The six key components are intuitive to understand, and easier to implement using this framework of integrating vision, people, data, issues, process, and traction.
DEATH BY MEETINGS: A LEADERSHIP FABLE…ABOUT SOLVING THE MOST PAINFUL PROBLEM IN BUSINESS
Patrick Lencioni is probably best known for his fable “5 Dysfunctions of a Team,” but I find this book to be most pragmatic for executives who constantly get stuck with their teams in the operations of the business over strategic thinking and execution. Establishing and committing to meeting rhythms is critical to keeping the executives aligned with visionary thinking and leading.
GREAT AT WORK: THE HIDDEN HABITS OF TOP PERFORMERS
Like all Jim Collins or Morten Hansen books (and co-authors of “Great By Choice”), this is backed with an abundance of interesting and inspiring data that illustrates how to achieve high performance, productivity, and fulfillment in the workplace. It highlights not just mastery of your own work, but mastery of working with others. Further, if you haven’t already indulged in Jim Collins’ “Good To Great,” make that your next read in this category.
THANKS FOR THE FEEDBACK: THE SCIENCE AND ART OF RECEIVING FEEDBACK WELL
Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen
My go-to book when coaching leaders on how to give and receive feedback, which can be challenging for even the most skilled communicators. What I like best is how the book gives a crisp understanding of feedback triggers, which in turn illustrates how to navigate difficult conversations with clarity and support.
NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION: A LANGUAGE OF LIFE
Many books on communication follow a similar rhythm of listening and communicating without judgement and walking in the other person’s shoes. Rosenberg captures it compassionately and directly, thereby showing how to diffuse conflicts and achieving collaboration by all parties to feel heard and understood.
GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT: A GUIDE FOR COUPLES
Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt
Along these lines of communication, the most fragile yet challenging relationships are those that are nearest and dearest to us because we have a lot at stake. While the book targets couples, the tools have utility in other close relationships like business partnerships, teams, and leaders.
INSIGHT: THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT HOW OTHERS SEE US, HOW WE SEE OURSELVES AND WHY THE ANSWERS MATTER MORE THAN WE THINK
Tasha Eurich captures many of the concepts I use with my own development as well as with my clients related to self-awareness. For one, understanding our intention in communication and the impact we have on others. And to this end, exploring through introspection enhances our self-awareness, yet we also need the support of feedback from others to uncover blind spots to further enhance our understanding of self. Great research and anecdotes.
THE 100 YEAR LIFE: LIVING AND WORKING IN AN AGE OF LONGEVITY
Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott
This book illuminated my thinking to our long-term life trajectory, that we could potentially have an 80-year runway for an active career. As a society, we are migrating from a three-stage life of education, work, and retirement, to a multi-stage life with no clear path as generations before us have known. The first few chapters are filled with interesting research and theories by renowned demographers, with the subsequent chapters providing a playbook for navigating the path.
YOUR BODY IS YOUR BRAIN: LEVERAGE YOUR SOMATIC INTELLIGENCE TO FIND PURPOSE, BUILD RESILIENCE DEEPEN RELATIONSHIPS AND LEAD MORE POWERFULLY
Our body is an antenna and memory vault for all our life stories, actions and emotions. Through somatic practices, Mandy Blake demonstrates how to use our body to strengthen our emotional and social intelligence that connect the mind and body for wholehearted interactions and integrative leadership.
POSITIVE INTELLIGENCE: WHY ONLY 20% OF TEAMS AND INDIVIDUALS ACHIEVE THEIR TRUE POTENTIAL AND HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOURS
I have used Shirzad’s work with many clients who often get caught in a loop of self-sabotage. Through assessing our key saboteurs, we can identify how we get in our own way and how to positively turn around our belief systems to be more productive and fulfilled by tapping into our sage version of self.
WORKING IDENTITY: UNCONVENTIONAL STRATEGIES FOR REINVENTING YOUR CAREER
Several of my clients in career transitions have found great value in this book that takes a deeper dive inwards to find a path with more fulfillment. It also has a thoughtful and useful process for gaining insight and clarity to ourselves, while actively seeking that next move.
NON-FICTION MUST READS
THE CHOICE: ESCAPING THE PAST AND EMBRACING THE POSSIBLE
Dr. Edith Eva Eger
My favorite book to date (edging out the similarly themed classic, “Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl). Dr. Edith Eger, Holocaust survivor turned Psychiatrist, penned her first book at 90 years old and had left an indelible mark on me that I achieved my quest to meet her (October 2019) and committed to help get her message out to the world. A must-read about survival, resilience, and transformation. She is currently working on her second book (now at age 92), called “The Gift” which is using Auschwitz as her classroom.
EDUCATED: A MEMOIR
An inspiring, and yet sometimes troubling memoir about a woman raised in an evangelical world that continued to limit and haunt her throughout her life, and appears to still do so today. Tara was plagued with beliefs instilled by her family that were contrary to her inner spirit and drive to excel. Her story reminds us how powerful our childhood influences are and how challenging it can be to unwire those stories when they no longer serve us
LIVING THE DREAM: ONE FAMILY’S EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD
Many people have ambitious dreams, but how many actually make them come true? Listen to how Kim and her family made this vision real:
Here are some creek-side, narrated audio recordings to help you get grounded. These are great to play at the beginning of a meeting to help turn off the “monkey mind” and be present in the room. The update centering clip is specific for forums and groups who prepare updates as part of their meetings.
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