Recent events have prompted an increase in baking, Zooming and reflecting. This post marks the third summer I’m sharing my top leadership books and reading recommendations. These seven books will help you learn, laugh or get lost in ideas that are every bit as timely as today’s headlines.
The Splendid and the Vile
by Erik Larson
Winston Churchill told people “the very worst” while lifting them up, filling them with courage and inspiring them to do their best. This book examines in detail the year following Churchill’s appointment as Prime Minister during England’s darkest days. This is what leadership looks like.
The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne Frank
The coming-of-age observations of a young Jewish girl confined with her family in an 815 square-foot hiding place for 784 days during World War II documents evil at its most nightmarish while offering hope to all. In her Foreword to Anne’s book, Eleanor Roosevelt describes Anne’s story as “one of the wisest and most moving commentaries on war and its impact on human beings that I have ever read.”
Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, & Alan Eagle
If you’re a leader, you’re a coach. Google’s two founders and its current CEO share the principles and practices that made Bill Campbell the go-to executive coach for Silicon Valley’s Who’s Who of successful leaders. A quick read with dozens of practical tips.
On Managing Yourself
by Peter Drucker et al
From the very first essay that asks “How Will You Measure Your Life?” to Peter Drucker’s classic “Managing Oneself,” these 10 must-read articles compiled by Harvard Business Review make for ideal reading at a time when leadership has never been more important and the nature of leadership has rarely been more difficult.
The Captain Class
by Sam Walker
The 17 most dominant teams in sports history had one thing in common: Each employed the same type of captain—a singular leader with an unconventional set of skills. And each of those leaders possessed one single trait that was more powerful than athletic ability. “It’s the notion that the most crucial ingredient in a team that achieves and sustains historic greatness,” writes Walker, “is the character of the player who leads it.”
Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture
by Greg Bustin
The difference between high-performing organizations and all the rest is the mindset leaders bring to the idea of accountability. When leaders view accountability as a choice and not punishment…as a support system for winners and not the blame game…as coaching and not scolding…high performance follows.
The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker
Edited by Robert Mankoff
Humor changes our perspective and improves our physical and mental well-being. See my blog “No Fooling: The Importance of Laughter in the Workplace.” Or just take my word for it. Purchase any of the New Yorker’s cartoon anthologies and start your day with a smile.
I hope you enjoy my top leadership books for this summer!
To dive even deeper into the topic of accountability, I invite you to purchase a copy of my bestselling book, “Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture.”
Business schools teach case studies. Hollywood blockbusters are inspired by true events.
Exceptional leaders are students of history. Decision-making comes with the territory.