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Career Reading List for Govies

It can be difficult to find great book recommendations. Maybe you have that one friend who always seems to really nail down great titles, but when it comes to suggestions for professional development reading, it can be a little tougher.

We've put together a reading list for the GovLoop audience and broken into two sections. We have books that can help you advance your career and another list of books written by public servants for extra insight into why government work matters. Check it out now:

Books to Help Drive Your Career Forward:


Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams and Why People Follow
- Tom Rath, Barry Conchie
Gallup’s research study on how strengths work, particularly in a professional environment, arguably changed the conversation on how we work. This book explains everything you need to know about Gallup and the widely recognized and celebrated StrengthsFinder assessment.

On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and Other Extreme Environments - Alison Levine
What do extreme sports and extreme environments have to do with leadership? According to author, Alison Levine, a lot. Levine draws directly from her experience in extreme expeditions to explain how critical decision-making and survival skills can be applied in a professional setting.


Thinking Strategically: Power Tools for Personal and Professional Development
- Craig Loehle
We know the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder,” and this book explains exactly how to do that. You’ll learn how to leverage strategic, intellectual concepts and “power tools” to make the most of the effort you’re putting towards your work.

Off the Sidelines: Speak Up, Be Fearless and Change Your World - Kristen Gillibrand
This memoir from Kristen Gillibrand, Senator of New York, provides a personal look at how one woman was able to advance her career in public service. The leadership lessons provided aren’t specific to women but also provide context to what it’s like to be a smart, ambitious woman in government.

http://www.startribune.com/vista-equity-partners-buys-govdelivery-for-153-million/394820391/The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business - Charles Duhigg
Whether we want to admit it or not, self-discipline and habits are at the core of personal and professional success. Explore how the mechanism of habit actually works and the direct correlation they have to your performance at work.

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Other Don’t - Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek explores the biological concept of leaders “eating last” and sacrificing comfort in the name of their teams and how the idea can affect significantly and beneficially impact organizational culture.

Own the Room by Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins
Think about the leaders you admire the most. You could probably describe them as authentic, thoughtful and execute on ideas to have an impact on organizational goals. This book will help you develop your leadership skills by focusing on how to influence people while clearly communication your goals.

How Can We Improve Government?

If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government - William Eggers and John O'Leary
How can government re-establish its legacy after incidents of failures in recent history like the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina relief and the OPM hack? This book explains how to avoid common pitfalls for government leaders in order to maintain productivity and success.

How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful - Beth Simone Noveck
Explore the impact of the digital age and technology is changing the way we problem solve in government. Noveck created Peer-to-Patent, one of the government's first social media networking intiatives. You'll learn about the idea of collaborative government and how it's driving innovation in gov.


Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works
- Jay Newton-Small
As we near election day, it’s not hard to notice that women are changing the political landscape in significant ways. Ms. Newton-Smalls uses her journalistic background to provide exclusive interviews with some of DC’s most respected women in politics. You’ll get an insider look at how women are changing the way government works, for the better.

Engaging Government Employees: Motivate and Inspire Your People to Achieve Superior Performance - Robert Lavigna
Being a government employee doesn’t always elicit the most positive responses as usually people think of being underpaid and overworked in a very bureaucratic atmosphere. Learn how gov leaders can better leverage their most valuable asset - people.

Why Public Service Matters: Public Managers, Public Policy and Democracy - Robert Durant
Passion is critical for public service but sometimes it’s not a focus when schedules are packed and inboxes are overflowing. Durant revisits and re-emphasizes the importance of public service in his book.

Government That Works: The Results Revolution in the States - John M. Bernard
As the private sector drives ahead by using data and feedback to make business improvements, the public sector is catching on and catching up. This book explores examples of how government is shifting towards a results-driven mindset that focuses on accountability and transparency to improve services.

We Don't Make Widgets: Overcoming the Myths that Keep Government from Radically Improving - Ken Miller
Sometimes the hardest challenges to overcome in government are misconceptions, or myths even, about the way that gov works. Learn how some myths are preventing dramatic improvement in government operations and how to dispel them.

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