MY TOP RECOMMENDATIONS - MANAGEMENT BOOKS THAT TRULY MAKE A DIFFERENCE
PRACTICAL INSIGHTS ON IMPROVING YOUR CAPACITY TO CHANGE AND MANAGE CHANGE - THANKS TO NEUROSCIENCE
Britt Andreatta has the gift of making the knowledge now available because of the advances in neuroscience practical. For anyone who has wondered why change is so hard or why change initiative mostly fail, a guide that will give you supremely useable tips to make things less difficult for yourself and others.
RETHINK THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT ECONOMICS - FOR THE FUTURE
JUST READ IT!
AND THEN MANAGE YOU BUSINESS ACCORDINGLY. THE FUTURE WILL THANK YOU FOR IT.
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF BUSINESS and CONSUMERS
Christine Bader , a friend and colleague, gives us windows of insight into the lives, aspirations and efforts of people who work within large and small companies focusing on the social impact of their business activities. Many times they succeed in their aspirations, and many times they do not.
And there are lessons that responsible business people and consumers alike, can learn from all the efforts; regardless of perceived success or failure to meet ideal expectations.
INCLUSION IN ORGANIZATIONS - WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT, REALLY?
My colleague and friend Isabelle Pujol and a dozen Pluribus associates have come together to celebrate 10 years of successful and transformational Inclusion and Diversity consulting by writing a book together: Inclusion Around The Clock.
This book is not simply rich in theory, it is also an invitation to learn from the varied experiences of each of the writing contributors. They are all leadership development consultants, inclusions advocates and executive coaches who operate globally, and bring to their chapters real experience in systemic interventions.
The Next IQ by Arin Reeves, is one of the more systemic books I have read on the subject of Inclusion. She takes a novel approach to the subject and illustrates how inclusive collaboration can become the next level of organizational intelligence for 21st century leaders.
DESIGN A MEANINGFUL LIFE - BY LEVERAGING DESIGN THINKING
Ayse Birsel's book is a joyful, interactive journal.
She leverages the design principles she has mastered over 20 years of world famous product design, to guide us in building the life we have always wanted.
The book is filled with guided exercises that will spark your imagination. Her Hero as Inspiration exercise starting on page 102, for example is one the most effective value clarification exercises I've come across. I now recommend it to all my coaching and leadership development clients
And a video introduction to Ayse and her work - Video
Bill Burnett and Dave Evans have shaped a practical and creative book, by their design thinking expertise and their years of helping Stanford graduates plan their post-graduation next steps.
Using the principles and practices of Experimentation, Wayfinding, Prototyping and Constant iteration, they guide the reader in outlining the visionary and pragmatic steps towards building a directional plan for a more meaningful life.
Tim Clark and his colleagues take the logic of business modeling and make it personal, to great and useful effect.
An engaging way to consider the current reality of what is the work you do, what are your skills/resources, what is the value of the work you do, who your customers are (we all have customers of our work), etc. as well as a desired next state of all this if you are preparing for a career pivot.
HOW TO MASTER DEEP PERSONAL CHANGE - IDENTIFY COMPETING COMMITMENTS AND OVERCOME THEM
Kegan and Lahey's explain to us why desire and motivation are not enough for us to make certain significant changes in our lives. They show us how our own individual (most often unacknowledged) beliefs combine to create a strong immunity to change.
By showing us how this mechanism works, they give us the keys to unlock our own potential and achieve the changes that we claim we want to make in our work and personal lives.
If there is only one book you are going to read about personal change, this is the one I would recommend reading and learning from. I have used their Immunity to Change Map for myself in the past couple of years, and in all my most successful coaching interventions.
ON CHANGING HABITS - ON HOW HABITS WORK AND ON BUILDING NEW HABITS
Charles Duhigg's book leverages the latest scientific information to show us why and how habits are formed and how we can go about building new habits. If nothing else, take away the Cue/Trigger, Routine/Old Habit, Reward loop and its implications for how to reframe intentions. When [cue/trigger] occurs next, Instead of [routine/old habit], I will in 60 seconds or less take [new action that is start of new habit]. And I will then [Reward] myself. I.e. Use the same Cue/Trigger, provide the same Reward, but change the Routing/Old Habit incrementally.
ON MAKING GRATITUDE A SOURCE OF RESILIENCE
A review by my friend and colleague Morag Dwyer of Morris Graham Ltd: "It’s an easily read and digested account of the author’s experiment with deliberately bringing more gratitude into her life for a year and the impact that had on her and those closest to her. Peppered with anecdotes, research findings and interviews with scientists and psychologists, it brings a range of perspectives on why the simple act of noticing how lucky we really are in the scheme of things and expressing gratitude to others is good for our mental health and physical well-being. It quite literally changes our brain and body chemistry and makes us feel good."
I have read it as well, and have instituted the recommended practice of journaling 3 things I am sincerely grateful for, at the end of each day. It has already begun to make a positive difference to my energy and my emotional resilience.
ON EMOTIONAL AGILITY - AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO LEADING AN EMOTIONALLY FLUENT LIFE
Emotional Agility is written with a straight forward acceptance of human nature. Susan David helps us see that because we are human, our emotions are a key part of the experience of life. She uses research to show the reason why it is difficult for humans to stay positive and why it actually can be counterproductive at times.She goes into depth about the importance of emotions that we tend to view as negative such as grief, anger or sorrow and the lessons that they hold for us when we exercise some detachment. She shares clear tools to help us become aware of what our emotions are and how to not let them have complete control. She links emotional awareness to the values that are important to us.
And a Google University 1-hour lecture by Susan David -
A WELL RESEARCHED AND PRACTICAL GUIDE TO MINDFULNESS PRACTICES WRITTEN IN AN IRREVERENT STYLE
Ruby Wax's writing style is funny, irreverent and at the same time poignant. She found that mindfulness had a positive impact on her depression, so she went to Cambridge to study and to understand how mindfulness can produce measurable benefits for our anxious brains, our ability to think well and make good decisions, our immune system's vitality and our overall quality of life. She explains complicated scientific background information in a way that is thoroughly engaging. And the middle section contains a 6 week program for practicing mindfulness, which has been put together with the help of her Oxford university tutor, Professor Mark Williams - this includes mindful thinking, mindful movement, mindful eating. Give it a try.
ON LEARNING ABOUT OUR UNCONSCIOUS BIAS - ON HOW IT WORKS IN ALL OF US.
Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald show us how we are all unconsciously biased. We all believe we know our own minds and are able to assess others in a fair and accurate way. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We have all picked up unconscious biases from our upbringing and/or our cultures, and they 'run' us far more than we realize.
Based on their experience with the Implicit Association Test, the authors show us how unconscious or hidden biases operate in everyday life. And challenge us to become more aware of the blind spots that get in the way of our good intentions.
Take one of the Implicit Association Tests here. They are free. But prepare to be surprised and made uncomfortable by some of the results you may get.
THE BEST COACHING BOOK FOR MANAGERS - DIRECT, WELL RESEARCHED AND FUN!
I discovered Michael Bungay Stanier's The Coaching Habit in 2016. He helps all of us consider how to make coaching a regular, informal part of your day so that you and your team can work less hard and have more impact.
Drawing on years of experience training managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock peoples' potential. He unpacks seven essential coaching questions to demonstrate how—by saying less and asking more—you can develop coaching methods that produce great results.
Listen to 7 minutes of his 5 Question Leader webinar to get a sense of his smart practicality.
UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT/UNIQUE AND KNOW HOW TO BE YOUR BEST MORE OF THE TIME
In my coaching and development work, I routinely use psychometric assessments to help people see how they see the world through specific preferences and how this translates in interpersonal behaviors.
Sally Hogshead's Fascination self-assessment helps you discover how the world sees you at your best. It leverage the science of marketing to show you how to bring more of your influential traits to any situation. This system is based on decades of research with 250,000 participants, including Fortune 500 teams, hundreds of small businesses, and over a thousand C-level executives.
A LEADERSHIP FABLE THAT ILLUSTRATES WHAT IT TAKES TO BUILD A HIGH PERFORMANCE TEAM
Patrick Lencioni's book on the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team is a classic that I use time and time again with executives who are interested in building exceptional performance teams with real heart. The manga edition is a favorite of mine because it is a much quicker read than the original book and is a faster way to assimilate the key concepts.
Lencioni's research shows that the first building block of any high performance team is vulnerability-based trust. The second one is the team members' ability to engage in debate regarding differing points of view i.e. engage productively in conflict as needed. If you simply start out with those two elements, you will be well on your way to producing outstanding results underpinned by mutual commitment and shared accountability.
And here is a recent article , an interview with Cedric Bru of Taulia that illustrates the trust component.
FOR WOMEN (AND MEN) WHO WANT TO READ STORIES ABOUT REAL LIFE HEROINES TO THEIR LITTLE GIRLS AND LITTLE BOYS
I am completely unabashedly bias'ed about this book.
Because there are not enough books about women heroines.
B ecause the two women who created this book as well as Timbuktu Labs are Italian and Anderson fellow MBAers.
Because the book was created through vision, and crowdfunding and with care and input from dozens of women artists.
FOR WOMEN READY TO FREE THEMSELVES OF PERSONAL LIMITATIONS - TO STOP 'PLAYING SMALL' IN THEIR PERSONAL, CREATIVE AND/OR PROFESSIONAL LIVES
I discovered Tara's book a couple of years ago, and found it to be a wonderful invitation to reflect on the many ways they consciously or inadvertently 'play small', to the detriment of not only themselves, but also those around them. I also joined her online programs and have watched the impact of her book and its insights on 100s of women.
If you can't sign up for my Women as Agents of Change program, I encourage you wholeheartedly to sign up for one of her next Playing Big program, or even better, sign up for both! (smile) Tara's website
FOR WOMEN (AND MEN) WHO WANT TO EXPLORE THE WRITTEN AND UNWRITTEN NARRATIVES THAT 'NURTURE' USES TO SHAPE GENDER
Cordelia Fine's book is a well researched, thought provoking book that eviscerates the idea that society's gender-based differences are all or mostly about biology.
Her analysis is far ranging and gives us all food for thought. What are the narratives we have taken on without examination? How many of our unconscious biases have been shaped by repeated invisible messages of our cultures? What exactly is gender and why is the concept useful? or not? How can we bring an increased awareness of the power of culture to reshape our own narratives and open the way for a broader spectrum of thought, being and actions for all.
FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE COMING INTO YOUR OWN PROGRAMS, OR WANT TO LEARN FROM BARBARA CECIL'S OWN JOURNEY THROUGH TRANSITIONS
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a senior faculty guide of the Coming Into Your Own program for women and spent the better parts of 2006-2015 expanding the program globally, in partnership with Barbara Cecil, Isabelle Pujol and many other CIYO faculty friends around the world. So I am not an unbiased reviewer.
One of the unexpected gifts of my own entrepreneurial and creative efforts to support women's leadership, has been to be able to journey with Barbara as a faculty partner, to experience her openness and creativity in design innovations, and to witness her take on the labor of love that is the writing of a book that is deeply personal. Yet it also provides a clearing of the path for those seeking a guide through times of transition.
You can find more information on how to register for a CIYO near you on the CIYO Global website.
FOR SKILLFULLY NAVIGATING THE STRUCTURES OF CONVERSATIONS - FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO BE MORE SKILLED IN INFLUENCING AND CONTRIBUTING IN CONVERSATION WITH OTHERS
David Kantor's frameworks for reading the invisible structures of any conversation are invaluable lenses for greater impact and capacity to influence and contribute. They are a theoretical and practical must for anyone in a management position or a consultant.
The David Kantor Institute now offers a range of introductory programs as well as an assessment tool. I strongly encourage anyone in a leadership or consulting position to become familiar with their resources.
FOR INITIATING THE CONVERSATIONS THAT MATTER MOST - FOR ANYONE READY TO HAVE THOSE DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS WE AVOID OR TIRED OF LAUNCHING INTO THEM WHOLLY UNPREPARED
Sarah Rozenthuler, a friend and a colleague, has written a beautifully practical book on how to have the courageous conversations that we put off having. She provides examples and case studies to illustrate the 7 strategies.
She also gifts the reader with an appendix with simple practices that serve anyone interested in growing their self-awareness and readiness to be fully themselves, with grace and clarity.
Sarah, who is a foremost authority on the art of dialogue, can be reached in the UK at The Whole Partnership where she guides programs and offers constellation work.
She is also a colleague of mine at Morris Graham.
FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN GROWING THEIR LEADERSHIP THROUGH THE POWER OF ARCHETYPES.
I was introduced to a quadrated model of leadership (or wholeness) almost 2 decades ago - the archetypes of the Sovereign, Lover, Warrior, and Magicianhave served me, my coaching clients, and my leadership development program participants extremely well. These archetypes show up in myths, in fairy tales, in everyday board meetings, in our inner and outer leadership capacities. They can be labeled in many different ways, but at their heart they are fundamental to a 360 degree leadership capacity to have Vision and Inspire others, to know how to be Relationally strong and caring, to make the Tough but Fair calls when action is needed, and to step back to provide Perspective and Analysis.
The following are some of my favorite books that all relate to these 4 archetypes from different traditions and lenses. Enjoy the exploration!
Moore and Gillette's book is a classic on masculine leadership - both in its mature and its immature expressions.
Linda Kohanov explores and illustrates the power of 4 foundational non-predatory archetypal roles and 1 predatory one.
Erica Fox takes the 4 archetypal directions and leverages them through the lens of her expertise in Negotations.
Tom Daly pioneered the 4 Gateways coaching approach. His guidebook is available on his website to coaching practitioners, and includes a one hour individual coaching session.
Barbara Cecil pioneered the Symbols Way process and kit is used in the Coming Into Your Own programs worldwide, as well as by the Presencing Institute.
Cliff Barry of Shadowwork, is a master guide that invites us to explore the shadows of the 4 archetypes, and the gifts that come from facing up to them in ourselves.
Cliff's sister, Alyce Barry has written a personal and practical book on the shadows.
JUST BECAUSE - THE ART OF MOVEMENT BY KEN BROWAR
Simply because it is .....a stunning celebration of movement and dance in hundreds of breathtaking photographs of more than 70 dancers from American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Martha Graham Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Ballet, and many more.
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