Millennials Who Manage: How to Overcome Workplace Perceptions and Become a Great Leader

By Chip Espinoza and Joel Schwarzbart

Pearson FT Press, 176 pp., $25.66

More than ever, new managers are asking different questions due to the rapid advancement of young professionals and the challenges of managing multigenerational teams. Millennial managers often face unconventional challenges such as reverse discrimination and generational stereotyping. Millennials Who Manage addresses these challenges head-on in this trailblazing book for tomorrow's leaders.

Based on significant research through interviewing Millennial managers, the book focuses on clearly defining their challenges and delivering "how to be" rather than "how to do" solutions. The authors effectively navigate an often controversial topic by openly confronting many of the myths and biases regarding the generations. By directly addressing these myths, the authors reframe the generational discussion and allow for greater focus on critical day-to-day management issues.

The book begins with the definition of leadership and common perceptions of Millennial managers. The authors continue to build on the book's theme by stating, "Overcoming negative perceptions has more to do with you learning about you than with others changing their opinions of you." Espinoza and Schwarzbart then take readers on a journey of self-reflection about the many perceptions of Millennial managers.

Millennial managers will learn how to develop leadership perspective as well as real-world strategies to relate to both peers and more tenured employees. For example, the authors write, "Don't apologize for the level of conversation to which you have access." Readers also will revisit the transition from contributor to manager and evolve toward a more modern perspective.

The book is a high-level introduction to a new topic that does its best to bridge scholastic research and a conversational approach. The style shifts between writing directly to the Millennials who are managers and to those who are simply interested in learning more. If you are a young leader, this book provides valuable insight into how others perceive you and serves as a great starting point for learning strategies around multigeneration management. It's also an interesting read for those who are currently managed by a Millennial to gain insight into the Millennial manager world. Lastly, the book is highly recommended for talent development professionals creating or refreshing new manager training.

Millennials as Managers is well worth a read as a forerunner into the world of young leaders, who are responsible for managing the workforce during a pivotal time of tremendous demographic shift.

Learning for Life: How Continuous Education Will Keep Us Competitive in the Global Knowledge Economy

Jason Wingard and Michelle LaPointe

AMACOM, 256 pp., $32.95

This book aims to answer the question, "What accounts for the skills gap and its toll on not only individuals but the entire country?" Wingard and LaPointe explain that reclaiming our economic strength and competitive business edge requires rethinking, repairing, and integrating our current inefficient systems of training, developing, and educating people for life and work. "The United States currently lacks a system for high-quality education and workforce readiness. Without a coherent learning system in place to prepare people to participate in society and the economy, employers will be ill-prepared to conduct business," the authors conclude.

Modern Workplace Learning: A Resource Book for L&D


Jane Hart

Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, 213 pp., $30

Learning and development's role traditionally has been focused on designing and managing courses, but Hart makes it clear that there is a pressing need for the modernization of training content and learning experiences to be relevant and appropriate for today's workplace and workforce. This book is all about helping L&D departments understand how they can provide modern training and promote everyday learning. There are 50 mini chapters and nearly 400 references to articles, blog posts, tools, and guides that provide valuable, additional material. "Just as traditional taxis haven't disappeared entirely, traditional L&D (read Training Departments) will undoubtedly persist for some time to come too. But one thing is clear, the Uberfication of workplace learning is underway," writes Hart in her blog.

The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success

Emma Seppala

HarperOne, 224 pp., $27.99

The author of The Happiness Track shatters the myth that getting ahead means doing everything that is thrown at us with razor-sharp focus and iron discipline; that success depends on our drive and talents. Seppala, an expert on health psychology, well-being, and resilience, argues that happiness is the key to growing our professional and personal success. Filled with practical advice on how to apply research on happiness, resilience, willpower, compassion, and positive stress, this book explains that finding happiness and fulfillment may be the most productive thing we can do to thrive professionally.

What's on Kevin Eikenberry's Bookshelf?

The Bible. Beyond reasons of my faith, the book has great drama, storytelling, and timeless principles we can all apply. No wonder it is the bestselling book of all time.

The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino. In this, my favorite book by Mandino, we are reminded through story and a clever way to implant learning that our potential is vast.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini. As leaders, we are in the influence business. This well-written and easy-to-read book is a classic for marketers and also should be read and studied by anyone wanting to lead successfully.