Four Books for Your Leadership Library

Post Date: December 9th, 2014

As an emerging leader, it can useful to find resources to expand your perspective, and learn tools and tips to help influence others and manage ourselves.  Below are a few recent books focusing on different areas, each important for an emerging leader to have a fulfilling life and successful career.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking– January 29, 2013 by Susan Cain

When in a meeting, does all of the chatter around the conference table have you wanting to stand up and scream “why won’t anyone listen to what anyone is saying?!” It may be that you are more introverted and the rest at the table are extroverts who often think as they speak. This is a great book for learning about, remembering and leveraging the strengths of an introvert when feeling misaligned with the stereotype extroverted leader.  We each bring strengths to the table, and this book helps the reader to recognize their strengths and leverage them as they build the skills for and embrace expanding leadership roles.


The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness – May 30, 2013 by Steve Peters 

This is an easy to read, engaging book to learn how our brain works, how our emotions and thoughts are triggered, and how to manage emotions.  After reading the book, it feels so much easier to not get ‘hooked’ or ‘triggered’, but rather to stay calm and objective. One mark of being a leader is being able to stay calm under pressure.   My hope is this book will help you learn how to feel calm and in control, even when others around you get angry or frantic, and also how you can help turn the situation around.


The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It – December 31, 2013 by Kelly McGonigal Ph.D.

We often overextend ourselves, don’t get enough sleep and don’t always eat healthfully or exercise as much as we’d like.  Does this sound familiar?  As a leader, you need not just the mental knowledge and skills to do your job, but also need to take care of your body which will enhance your mental sharpness and facilitate your emotional well being so you can stay calm and focused under pressure. Dr McGonigal uses a conversational writing style to explain how we can use nutrition, exercise, sleep and awareness to improve our willpower. You will be encouraged to do exercises at the end of each chapter to not just read the book, but take simple actions to implement concepts and healthy habits she shares that will enhance your productivity and wellbeing.


The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles – January 11, 2012 by Steven Pressfield 

Do you sometimes feel stuck and wish you could find creative ideas and solution?  While this book focuses mostly on an artist’s path, many lessons in creativity are transferable to up-and-coming leaders in the corporate setting.  This book helps to identify how we get in our own way and how to overcome this internal block to creativity. So often corporate life taps into the analytical “left brain”. This book shares the power of the creative “right brain”, which can ignite your passion for your work and ability to creatively approach and solve challenges.

In summary, each of the above 4 books, address a common road block for emerging leaders:

Quiet: embrace being introverted (if you are) and use this strength to your leadership advantage

The Chimp Paradox: how not to get ‘triggered’ into reaction mode, and stay calm when threat lurks

The Willpower Instinct: how to use simple habits to set yourself up for success, and give you the foundation to excel as you climb the corporate ladder.

War of Art: unleash your creativity to help you navigate obstacles and thrive in your career

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