Five Books for Emerging Leaders

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Many people would agree that our world today needs creative, adaptive and innovative people in all positions of responsibility. From business executives to community organizers to those seeking social equity and inclusiveness, leaders on any level need the tools and philosophies to be successful. Here are five titles emerging leaders can use to discover methods and practices useful for creating positive and productive businesses, organizations and communities.

Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding From Anywhere” by Tsedal Neeley, 2021.

Experiencing the benefits of remote working, many companies plan to permanently incorporate remote days or give employees the option to work from home full-time. But virtual work has its challenges. Employees feel lost, isolated, out of sync and out of sight. They want to know how to build trust, maintain connections without in-person interactions and find a proper work/life balance. Managers want to know how to lead virtually, how to keep their teams motivated, what digital tools they’ll need and how to keep employees productive. “Remote Work Revolution” is filled with specific, actionable steps and interactive tools. This timely book will help team members deliver results previously out of reach.

The Culture Code: Secrets of Highly Successful Groups” by Daniel Coyle, 2018.

What exactly allows some groups to prosper, while others, seemingly set up for success and full of talented individuals, somehow fail? It has nothing to do with luck or happenstance. Using illuminating in-depth interviews with successful leaders of companies and organizations and clearly distilled findings of academic and industry studies, Coyle goes beyond trite advice to identify three essentials: build safety, share vulnerability and establish purpose. He posits that a successful group is more than just the sum of its parts and that any group can learn and adopt these principles.

Ten Lessons for a Post Pandemic World” by Fareed Zakaria, 2020.

Political scientist and journalist Zakaria takes a realistic look at what life after COVID-19 can become. Understanding how the world found itself vulnerable to the new coronavirus is an important foundation for determining how humanity can be more prepared when the next pandemic hits. What can governments, economic institutions, health care providers, educators and corporations do to realistically come to grips with the changes this pandemic is causing and find opportunities to turn this painful experience into social reforms? Zakaria presents the many consequences of this pandemic and offers innovative, logical, and considered options for how to emerge from this crisis and future challenges with more resilience and strength.

Lead From the Outside” by Stacey Abrams, 2019.

“Lead From the Outside” is the handbook for outsiders, written with the awareness of the experiences and challenges that hinder anyone who exists beyond the structure of traditional white male power–women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community and millennials ready to make a difference. Stacey Abrams argues that knowing your own passion is the key to success, regardless of the scale or target. From launching a company, to starting a day care center for homeless teen moms, to running a successful political campaign, finding what you want to fight for is as critical as knowing how to turn thought into action. Abrams uses her experience and hard-won insights to break down how ambition, fear, money and failure function in leadership, while offering personal stories that illuminate practical strategies.

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters” by Priya Parker, 2018.

Priya Parker argues that the gatherings in our lives are lackluster and unproductive–which they don’t have to be. We rely too much on routine and the conventions of gatherings when we should focus on distinctiveness and the people involved. At a time when coming together is more important than ever, Parker sets forth a human-centered approach to gathering that will help everyone create meaningful, memorable experiences, large and small. Drawing on her expertise as a facilitator of high-powered gatherings around the world, Parker takes us inside events of all kinds to show what works, what doesn’t and why. She investigates a wide array of gatherings–conferences, meetings, a courtroom, a flash-mob party, an Arab-Israeli summer camp–and explains how simple, specific changes can invigorate any group experience.

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