5 Must Read Books For Future Leaders

There’s something about fall that makes people really want to get down to business—the kids are back in school, the weather starts changing and there are no more summer distractions. For many, the transition into fall is a perfect opportunity to catch up on their professional development skills that may have been neglected over the summer. Fortunately, we gathered some of the best professional development and leadership books for this week’s DorobekINSIDER post. So grab your pumpkin spice late, your favorite blanket and one of these books and settle in by the fireplace to start exploring your leadership potential.

  1. Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie

This book discusses the results of Gallup’s landmark 30-year research project on strengths and leadership. Rath and Conchie put forth three key ways to being a more effective leader and provide real world accounts from successful organizational leaders. The book highlights the power of knowing your strengths and the strengths of your team and how you can lead in a way that optimizes these strengths.

  1. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Sinek’s book is all about the ‘why’—why are some organizations more successful, why are some leaders more influential, why are some companies able to retain loyal customers? He sets out to answer these questions by showing that the world’s greatest leaders all think, act, and communicate in the same way with an emphasis on the ‘why’ behind every decision. Overall, the book offers a framework for learning to think like these great thinkers that you can apply to your own life as well as within your agency.

  1. Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths

Typically, we think that humans and computers are bound by different constraints and rationalities. However, Christian and Griffiths set out to show how algorithms used by computers can also help us unravel complex human questions. Utilizing computer science can help you find an algorithm to most efficiently tackle all of the issues you may face in a day. From where to park in the morning to understanding the workings of human memory, computer algorithms can help you make the best decisions for every situation.

  1. The Public Innovator’s Playbook: Nurturing Bold Ideas in Government by William D. Eggers

Innovation is crucial for the public sector but oftentimes govies are not really sure how to foster innovation in bureaucratic and regulatory environments. In order to counter this, Eggers offers a handbook that shows government organizations how they can become serial innovators and sustain a culture of innovation. The book puts forth five strategies government agencies can use to cultivate and excel at innovation and explains tangible ways you can lead innovation at your organization.

  1. Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change by Joseph Grenny et al.

Government employees know that effecting change within the government can be difficult. Fortunately, change is not impossible especially if you know how to be an influencer. Grenny et al. explain how you can change key behaviors that will lead to greater safety, productivity, quality, and customer service. Combining perspectives from behavioral scientists and business leaders, the book offers a comprehensive understanding of how you can become an influencer in your life.

Did we miss a leadership must read that has helped you in your career? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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I suggest a list that include women and people of color. And even LGBTQI2S. Its abhorrent this list is all. white. males. And it is unacceptable in a world where responsible leadership is actively dismantling racism. Structural oppression exists because leadership has been a pathology of power dominated by the privilege of white men, aka, white supremacy. ‘GovFem’ as a supplement or silo to the services of this service also does not justify the exclusion. Equity is integration. That being said, I appreciate a lot of what this service/site has to offer. ~white ally.

Laurie Dunagan

I really do not care where the information comes from as long as it is good info. Thank you for the list of books. I will be checking them out.