Contributors to the January 2020 issue of TD magazine offer their book recommendations.
The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo
This book sits on my nightstand, and I reach for it when I need to be centered and grounded. It consists of short, daily meditations written in poetic prose that provide wisdom, guidance, and inspiration that leads you to become more mindful and tuned into the present.
Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead by Tara Mohr
If there is one book that I can recommend to women as they work toward their dreams, it would be this one. In fact, I can barely keep this book on my shelf because I’ve given it away many times. Mohr does an amazing job of not only identifying specific issues women face as they pursue their goals, she also provides practical exercises to help them work through each one. It is almost as good as having your own executive coach.
Safe Enough to Soar: Accelerating Trust, Inclusion, & Collaboration in the Workplace by Frederick A. Miller and Judith H. Katz
This book provides clear and practical guidance on how to create psychological safety and trust in the workplace. I’ve used it to facilitate executive leadership retreats and other team interventions with great success. The authors provide a model to assess “interaction safety,” define what it looks like, what prevents it, and what you can do to create open communication. This book does a wonderful job of putting theory into practice.
DataStory: Explain Data and Inspire Action Through Story by Nancy Duarte
The future of talent development will require an exponential improvement in our ability to derive insights from and influence action through data. The newest publication from presentation master Duarte is an extremely detailed playbook on how to combine proven storytelling practices with data-driven insights to enable change within your organization.
Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI by Paul R. Daugherty and H. James Wilson
Artificial intelligence-enabled technology provides us with the opportunity to reimagine the roles we play within our organizations. This book gives practical guidance for rethinking how work gets done in the age of AI, which will directly influence the role of talent development in a workplace that is increasingly more human.
Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday
All great leaders, thinkers, artists, athletes, and visionaries share one indelible quality, and it enables them to conquer their tempers, avoid distraction, discover great insights, and achieve happiness and do the right thing. Holiday calls it stillness–to be steady while the world spins around you. In this book, he outlines a path for achieving this ancient yet urgently necessary way of living. Drawing on a wide range of history’s greatest thinkers, he argues that stillness is not mere inactivity but the doorway to self-mastery, discipline, and focus.
The Advantage by Patrick Lencione
The Advantage provides readers with a groundbreaking, approachable model for achieving organizational health. Organizational health is about making a company function effectively by building a cohesive leadership team, establishing real clarity among those leaders, communicating that clarity to everyone within the organization, and putting in place just enough structure to reinforce that clarity going forward.
The Hundred-Page Machine Learning Book by Andriy Burkov
This book offers a true primer on what machine learning really is from a technical perspective.
The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
This book presents little pieces of advice for the whole year on how to live your life in stressful times.
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
This is a quick read filled with helpful tips and thought-provoking ideas. Its fun, simple illustrations shoot straight to the point and challenge our beliefs, assumptions, and excuses. I find myself cracking this book open time and time again, and it always leaves me feeling inspired and motivated and often shakes up my thinking when I feel stuck. The advice in this book can be applied well beyond artistic pursuits—creative ideas for all.
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
The Heath brothers leverage psychology and sociology to explain why we all have varying reactions to change in our lives. Their “Elephant and Rider” analogy is something I recall time and time again as I navigate various business challenges and opportunities with the aim to truly effect transformative change. So many nuggets will stick with you—it’s well worth the read!
Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier
This is a great book to give you a fresh look at brand strategy. It offers compelling ideas on how to differentiate yourself in the cluttered market place.
Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigeur
This is a solid handbook to have in hand as you seek to design forward-thinking organizations that will strive in the workplace of the future.