Contributors to the June 2020 issue of TD magazine offer their book recommendations.
Leading from Purpose: Clarity and the Confidence to Act When It Matters Most by Nick Craig
Craig shares his perspectives on one of the most important lead principles for today's complex, volatile, and dynamic business environment: purpose-driven leadership. Based on more than 20 years of working with top teams and senior executives on coaching and leadership, Craig offers real-life examples of how leaders define and evangelize their personal purpose, and he provides guidance on how leaders find clarity and confidence to act in times of uncertainty.
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Bradbury's stories are timeless, surprising, and on rare occasions frightening, but each contains a kernel of underlying truth that he wants to share. His use of language is sometimes lyrical, occasionally surprising, yet straight and clear. This is a story about the marvelous summer of a 12-year-old boy in a small Midwestern town—a summer of excitement and sorrows, of mystery and family, and the occasional glass of dandelion wine.
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
A research psychologist and a Nobel Prize winner, Kahneman explains many of the biases and heuristics that control our thinking, mostly without our awareness. Based on his own research (with Amos Tversky and others) and the research of others, he demonstrates that we have two modes of thinking. One is quick, almost instant and comes from what we might call intuition. The other is slower and more deliberate; it is where conscious thought happens. The quick system will always respond to any situation, but it does so without conscious thought—we just know the answer. Although this may be true more often than not, our hidden biases and the heuristics we’ve developed can sometimes make us spectacularly wrong. The slow process is, by nature, lazy and won’t always examine the answers the fast process offers us. But it is in using both processes that we start to overcome our hidden biases.
Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina
Cognitive science is a young science, and our understanding of the brain and how it works is still in the beginning stages. Medina teases out 12 rules that neuroscientists are pretty sure are true and that we can put to practical use to improve our lives. There are some rules that are especially appropriate for talent development professionals. If you want some clues about what is going on in your head, this is the book for you.
The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
This was a game changer for me. Goins explains that sometimes your calling and your occupation are not the same—and that is OK. He tells his story of how he learned firsthand this concept and put it into practice. When I was lost about what to do next with my career, this book served as a compass to help me find my way.
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
Candor is a buzzword these days—and for good reason. Scott tells stories of how candor, when used properly, can move your organization forward by improving your relationships with employees. This book will teach you that effective use of candor in the workplace requires that you care personally and challenge directly.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
I love this book! Grit is all about how behind successful people is hard work, persistence, and passion—recognizing and living life as a marathon, not a sprint.
Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller
This book is a great resource for thinking through the marketing of products and how clear messaging around the benefits of that product is essential for success. This certainly has applications to marketing training programs.