Recommended Books

The Conative Connection: Acting on Instinct

Kathy Kolbe

Understanding how we do things the way we do really allows us to make better choices about our work and improves our personal lives too. Kathy Kolbe explains how to harness, rather than work against, the tremendous power of our striving instincts. This is the best of her books and has provided incredible insight into my life. >> Buy Now

StrengthsFinder : A New and Upgraded Edition Of the Online Test From Gallup’s Now, Discover Your Strengths

Tom Rath

Do you do what you do best every day? Chances are, you don’t. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths. To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced StrengthsFinder in the 2001 management book “Now, Discover Your Strengths.” The book ignited a global conversation, while StrengthsFinder helped millions discover their top five talents. >> Buy Now

Now, Discover Your Strengths

Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton

Most of us have little sense of our talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Great people managers help their employees do what they do best. But how do you find out what “your best” is? The StrengthsFinder Profile identifies our top strengths of the 34 dominant “themes” discovered in this groundbreaking research. Included in each book is a code to complete the profile as well as in-depth explanations, examples, and suggestions on how to develop your strengths. >> Buy Now

First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman

Great people managers are vastly different in style but they share one thing in common, they do not focus on helping people overcome their weaknesses, they focus on how to help employees do what they do best. Based on a massive in-depth study of great managers across a wide variety of situations, the Gallup Organization shows how to turn talent into performance. This book outlines the best basics of managing people with clear, definable “rules” and how to get the best from people and yourself as a manager. The list of “Twelve Questions” on p. 28 has been used by the best organizations in the world to measure the pulse of their teams.>> Buy Now

Leading Change

John Kotter

What will it take to bring your organization successfully into the twenty-first century? The world’s foremost expert on business leadership distills twenty-five years of experience and wisdom based on lessons he has learned from scores of organizations and businesses to write this visionary guide. The result is a very personal book that is at once inspiring, clear-headed, and filled with important implications for the future. >> Buy Now

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels

Michael Watkins

The First 90 Days tackles the opportunities and challenges faced by people moving into new positions. The book provides guidelines for setting yourself up for success in those first critical 3 months. Key strategies include how to accelerate your learning, the importance of securing early wins, and effectively building your team and coalitions. Based on the premise that the actions you take during your first 90 days will largely determine whether you succeed or fail, the book is as much about transition acceleration as it is about failure prevention. >> Buy Now

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t

Jim Collins

Five years ago, Jim Collins asked the question, “Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?” In Good to Great Collins, the author of Built to Last, concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11–including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo—and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. >> Buy Now

Tribal Leadership: How Successful Groups Form Great Organizations

Dave Logan and John King

Every organization is composed of tribes–naturally occurring groups of between 20 and 150 people. Until now, only a few leaders could identify and develop their tribes, and those rare individuals were rewarded with loyalty, productivity, and industry-changing innovation. “Tribal Leadership” shows leaders how to assess, identify, and upgrade their tribes’ cultures, one stage at a time. The result is an organization that can thrive in any economy. >> Buy Now

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Patrick Lencioni

Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech’s CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni”s utterly gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight. Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders. >> Buy Now

The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform an Entire Organization

Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

What is the true driver of a thriving Organization’s exceptional success? Is it a genius leader? An iron-clad business plan? Gostick and Elton shatter these preconceptions of corporate achievement. Their research shows that breakthrough success is guided by a breed of high-performing team that generates its own momentum. How can your team become one of them? Based on a groundbreaking 350,000-person study, they’ve determined a key set of characteristics displayed by members of breakthrough teams, and identified a set of rules great teams live by, which generate a culture of positive teamwork and lead to extraordinary results. The remarkable stories about these teams in action provide a simple and powerful step-by-step guide to taking your team to the breakthrough level. >>Buy Now

Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow

Chip Conley

After fifteen years of rising to the pinnacle of the hospitality industry, Chip Conley’s company was suddenly undercapitalized and overexposed in the post-dot.com, post-9/11 economy. This book explores how Conley’s company “the second largest boutique hotelier in the world” overcame the storm that hit the travel industry by applying Maslow’s theory to what Conley identifies as the key Relationship Truths in business with Employees, Customers and Investors. >> Buy Now

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

Gino Wickman

Do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you? Don’t let common problems and frustrations run you and your business. Get a grip and gain control with the Entrepreneurial Operating System. Inside Traction, you’ll learn the secrets of strengthening the Six Key Components of your business. You’ll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your company that will give you and your leadership team more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. >> Buy Now

MadeToStickMade to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Getting your ideas the attention they (and you!) deserve only happens if people remember them. The Heath brothers (a professor and a marketing consultant) outline an invaluable 6-point SUCCESs formula to help you avoid the Curse of Knowledge and make your ideas “sticky”. The content is easy to read—and remember. The included five-page reference guide is worth the price of the whole book. >> Buy Now

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Marshall Goldsmith

Subtle nuances make all the difference, according to America’s most sought-after executive coach, who now shows how to climb the last few rungs of the corporate ladder. >> Buy Now

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time

Susan Scott

Interpersonal difficulties at work and at home are a direct result of our inability to communicate well. Learn how to conduct your conversations more dynamically and ultimately more effectively, to improve your relationships. Stories and practical exercises are combined to create more robust and honest discourses. Based around seven principles, this is concrete advice and confidence-building counsel that should help even the most reticent improve their communication skills dramatically. >>Buy Now

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

Susan Jeffers

Based on a course taught at the New School for Social Research, this book offers readers a clear-cut plan for action that, when followed, should help them unlearn their misconceptions about of fear and replace them with attitudes of strength and conviction. By mixing positive thinking with situational exercises that examine basic fear responses, psychologist Jeffers shows that fear is what you make of it and that in most cases it is unfounded. She also illustrates key points through examining case studies, which show that when we are fearful, faulty thinking is most often the real culprit; when such thinking is corrected, the fear is gone. >> Buy Now

Never Eat Alone

Keith Ferrazzi

Learn the benefit of making networking a habit you use all the time, a constant process of giving and receiving—of asking for and offering help. Through insights and practical tips, the book teaches you to become a masterful networker, building genuine and lasting relationships for mutual benefit and enjoyment. >> Buy Now

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

For more than six decades, Dale Carnegie’s classic has helped readers improve their personal and professional lives. How to Win Friends and Influence People explains the fundamental techniques of handling people, ways to make folks like you, 12 tricks of persuasion, methods to change people without resentment and dozens of other tips for successful interpersonal relations. >> Buy Now

The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin

What if you could change your life without really changing your life? On the outside, Gretchen Rubin had it all — a good marriage, healthy children and a successful career — but she knew something was missing. Determined to end that nagging feeling, she began a year-long quest to learn how to better enjoy her life. Each month, Gretchen pursued a different set of resolutions—go to sleep earlier, tackle a nagging task, bring people together—along with dozens of other goals. She read everything from classical philosophy to scientific studies, developing her own definition of happiness and a plan to achieve it. She began to appreciate and amplify the happiness in her life. The Happiness Project is written with a wicked sense of humour and sharp insight, Rubin’s story will inspire readers to embrace the pleasure in their lives and remind them how to have fun. >>Buy Now

The Book of Awesome

Neil Pasricha

The Book of Awesome is a high five for humanity and a big celebration of life”s little moments:

• Popping Bubble Wrap
• Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row
• Waking up and realizing it’s Saturday

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the things that make us smile. With a 24/7 news cycle reporting that the polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes are swirling in the seas, wars are heating up around the world, and the job market is in a deep freeze, it’s tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. But awesome things are all around us-sometimes we just need someone to point them out. The Book of Awesome reminds us of all the little things that we often overlook but that make us smile. With touching, warm, and funny observations, each entry ends with the big booming feeling you’ll get when you read through them: AWESOME! >>Buy Now

The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life

Rosamund Stone Zander + Benjamin Zander

In a lively, sensible manual for turning life’s obstacles into possibilities, the Zanders introduce various “tools” for transformation, drawing on their extensive experiences with musicians, students and patients in therapy (Rosamund is a psychotherapist and painter; Benjamin is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic). The authors’ emphasis on “practice,” the importance of “flow” and the joy in creation and expression is apt and often truly inspiring. >> Buy Now

One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen WayOne Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way

Robert Maurer

One Small Step is the gentle but potent way to effect change. Beginning by outlining the all-important role that fear plays in all types of change—and Kaizen’s ability to circumvent it—Dr. Maurer then explains the 7 Small Steps: how to Think Small Thoughts, Take Small Actions, Solve Small Problems, and more. He shows how to perform mind sculpture—visualizing virtual change so that real change comes more naturally. Why small rewards motivate better than big rewards. How great discoveries are made by paying attention to the little details most of us overlook. Hundreds of examples of Kaizen at work grace the book, as well as quotes from W. Edwards Deming (who brought Kaizen to Japanese industry), Peter Drucker, coach John Wooden, and others. >>Buy Now

Unique Ability: Creating the Life You Want

Catherine Nomura and Julia Waller

You have inside you an incredible force called Unique Ability. It’s a combination of your personal talents, passions, and skills. You’ve always had this ability, but you may never have stopped to clearly identify it. Few people do. When you begin to figure out this important foundation of who you are, you’ll understand what you do best in life, what you love doing most, and what makes the most difference for the most people. You’ll also be able to focus on doing more of what works in your life and stay away from what doesn’t work. This book offers a simple and powerful approach to creating a life that works, a life that you love, because it comes from who you truly are and what you’re all about. This book contains a complete process that will help you identify your Unique Ability, then immediately put it to work in your life. >> Buy Now

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