Contributors to the September 2022 issue of TD magazine offer their book recommendations.
Mouse in the Room: Because the Elephant Isn't Alone
by David Wood
I love the perspective about what leaders can do to create safety and encourage people to speak up. We need all voices heard equally to deal with change; possible burnout; and the need for open, creative exchanges.
Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters
by Michael Bungay Stanier
This book inspired me to declare my passion and weave it into a vision for my business. Most importantly, the book helped me see the distinction between doing good work and great work.
Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations That Matter
by Will Wise and Chad Littlefield
One of the most important things about creating a coaching culture is the power of listening. How can you listen deeply to connect to your conversation partner, especially in a world increasingly fueled by disconnection? The authors discuss this act of asking powerful questions to spark meaningful conversations personally and profoundly.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (2016) and Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World (2019)
by Cal Newport
These were published three years apart, but I think of them as a two-part series: How do we return to deep work, which prioritizes deep thinking and productiveness over the flash and noise of our lives? Some of the most important, creative endeavors that have ever happened in history were the result of deep work. What are we not doing now that could spark real change and innovation because we’re constantly distracted and busy? Both of these books were incredibly eye opening in the ways we let distractions rule our lives.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
by Lori Gottlieb
This book reads like a novel, and what it most captures is the power of relationship and the value of really talking to someone to get out of your own head. Therapy and coaching are not the same, but they share similar goals: How can we make sense of who we are and what we want? How can we become whole? Gottlieb’s vulnerability and the lessons she learned as a burgeoning therapist and in her own therapy sessions illuminated the power of just “talking to someone.”
Linda M. Tapp
Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life
by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas
As someone who works in a serious industry where there may not be much to laugh about, I loved the way the authors suggest ways to safely add humor to tense situations to have better outcomes.
Making Numbers Count
by Chip Heath and Karla Starr
Data-filled presentations often cause others to tune out and miss key points. The authors help readers to create visual depictions that are more memorable and have a greater impact.
The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women
by Valerie Young
I loved the way this book made me feel as if the author was talking to me personally about all-too-common imposter syndrome but also how to thrive in spite of it.
by Laszlo Bock
This breathtaking book covers the secrets of Google’s approach to HR and recruiting. It is in my experience the very best book that justifies a new approach to HR based on data.
by Patty McCord
This book highlights the unique HR practices of the record-breaking firm Netflix. It is full of business-like bleeding-edge best HR practices.
Business as Unusual: The Handbook for Managing and Supervising Organizational Change
by Price Prichett and Ron Pound
One of my all-time favorite booklets, Business as Unusual contains 27 tips to help your staff through change. This wisdom guides the leader in managing the change process, managing its impact on the staff, and reducing the impact on the leader. What makes it my favorite is that it is not only tremendously useful in change management, its timeless principles are excellent everyday leadership tips.
12: The Elements of Great Managing
by Rodd Wagner and James Harter
Based on the research resulting from the Q12 by Gallup, this book is the sequel to Gallup’s First, Break All the Rules. The book helps leaders understand the psychological principles and behaviors that lead to outstanding business results. Though there are many theories of leadership, the research contained in this book is a game-changer for today’s environments.