Compiled by Krista Penner, BA
The Arbinger Institute. (2010). Leadership and Self-Deception; Getting out of the Box. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 2010. Written as novel, this training tool helps the reader understand the concept of how mind-set affects interactions. Throughout the story, some of the characters have successfully worked through relational “boxes” and are in the midst of helping others understand the power that these “boxes” have over their relationships and how they keep leaders from achieving the desired results.
Coyle, Daniel. (2018). The Culture Code; The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups. Bantam Books, 2018. This book dives deep into the power and effectiveness of belonging. The establishment of cultural norms and the guarding and challenging of those norms helps a group assimilate into a cohesive whole whose collective strength achieves more than the sum of its parts. Daniel Coyle cites stories from some of the most powerful companies in the world and how they have defied the corporate norms to build organizations where people are valued and everyone belongs. The powerful lessons in the book help the reader to understand that leadership is more than casting a vision, it is inviting the team to take ownership of the vision. The over-arching message of belonging is I am safe here. If leaders want to create environments that foster safe, vulnerability and a future orientations, this book contains the tools.
Catmull, Edwin E. (2014). Creativity Inc.; Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. Random House Canada, 2014. The rise of Pixar from the early days of computer animation to the blockbuster success of fables movies like Toy Story and Monsters Inc. set the stage for this captivating book. The necessity of collaboration, the vulnerability that is championed by the “Brain Trust,” give the reader a fresh perspective on what it looks like to foster creativity that translates into productivity. Ed Catmull provides a window into the structure that houses creativity. He shows his readers the necessity of balancing where the team has gone and where it needs to go and the changes that need to challenge the status quo. Even creative companies can become stagnant with past success. This is an inspirational read that will challenge leaders to make room at the table for new ideas.
Lencioni, Patrick (2016). The Ideal Team Player; How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues. A John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016. The Ideal Team player argues that three powerful values sum the elements that embody a contributing team member. Patrick Lencioni describes in detail the aspects of Hungry, Humble and Smart to help the reader understand how to cultivate them in themselves and identify them in others.
Grant, Adam (2016). Originals; How Non-Conformists Move the World. Viking, An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2016. Adam Grant cleverly weaves the stories of world changers into a captivating challenge for his readers to take risks in their leadership journey that make room for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
Lencioni, Patrick (2002). The Five Dysfunctions of a Team; A Leadership Fable. Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, 2002. Told as a relatable story, Patrick Lencioni takes his readers on a journey of understanding what goes wrong in a leadership paradigm and how to course correct in their own leadership journeys. This is a foundational book that sets the stage for a study of effective leadership principles.
Parr, Ben (2015). Captivology; the SCIENCE of Capturing People’s Attention. Harper Collins, 2015. Captivology is a compilation of fascinating stories about corporations and individuals who harnessed attention and led change through unconventional methodologies. This book will inspire readers to dig into the psychology behind how people are captivated and motivated.
Duckworth, Angela (2016). GRIT; The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Collins, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. 2016. Angela Duckworth presents research that supports the development of grit as a key factor in individual success. She defines grit as a combination of being resilient and hardworking and clearly knowing the desired destination. This is a book about determination and direction.
Brown, Brene (2018). Dare to Lead: Brave work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. Penguin Random House LLC. 2018. Brene Brown sets the stage for understanding leadership through the lens of “rumbling with vulnerability” and the work of creating a safe environment. This book is a leadership tool that leaders will reference often as they build a team and self-evaluate their leadership acumen.
Kouzes, James M.; Posner, Barry Z. (2010). The Truth about Leadership: The No-Fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2010. The Leadership Challenge is a must read for anyone aspiring to lead effectively. Based on years of research gathered from successful and impactful leaders around the globe, The Leadership Challenge succinctly states 10 truths about leadership from the vantage point of what a leader needs to embody personally in order to influence and inspire the team.
Krista Penner, BA, Leader, Leadership Development Team, Fellowship Pacific, Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada.