Leaders need to be readers. I recommend reading leadership and business books regularly to sharpen your skills and make you aware of important, new concepts. I’m a huge fan of Audible. I listen to these books on my daily commute. I especially like hearing the books read by the authors. Here are the Best Selling New Business and Leadership Books of 2018 according to Amazon:
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou is a riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley. The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.
In Measure What Matters, Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth – and how it can help any organization thrive. The benefits are profound. OKRs surface an organization’s most important work. They focus effort and foster coordination. They keep employees on track. They link objectives across silos to unify and strengthen the entire company. Along the way, OKRs enhance workplace satisfaction and boost retention.
In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations – including Pixar, the San Antonio Spurs, and the US Navy’s SEAL Team Six – and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Drawing on examples that range from Internet retailer Zappos to the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade to a daring gang of jewel thieves, Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change.
Every day, we find ourselves in gatherings, Priya Parker says in The Art of Gathering. If we can understand what makes these gatherings effective and memorable, then we can reframe and redirect them to benefit everyone, host and guest alike. Parker defines a gathering as three or more people who come together for a specific purpose. When we understand why we gather, she says – to acknowledge, to learn, to challenge, to change – we learn how to organize gatherings that are relevant and memorable: from an effective business meeting to a thought-provoking conference; from a joyful wedding to a unifying family dinner.
Timing, it’s often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Daniel H. Pink shows that timing is really a science. Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon? Why is singing in time with other people as good for you as exercise? And what is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers, or get married?
For over 20 years, a select group of Yale undergraduates has been admitted into the year-long “Grand Strategy” seminar team-taught by John Lewis Gaddis and Paul Kennedy. Its purpose: to provide a grounding in strategic decision-making in the face of crisis to prepare future American leaders for important work. Now, John Lewis Gaddis has transposed the experience of that course into a wonderfully succinct, lucid and inspirational book, a view from the commanding heights of statesmanship across the landscape of world history from the ancient Greeks to Lincoln, and beyond. A thrilling experience for history lovers and a necessary one for anyone serious about the art of leadership, On Grand Strategy is the very definition of a master class.
In his most provocative and practical book yet, one of the foremost thinkers of our time, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, redefines what it means to understand the world, succeed in a profession, contribute to a fair and just society, detect nonsense, and influence others. In Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life, Taleb cites examples ranging from Hammurabi to Seneca, Antaeus the Giant to Donald Trump. Taleb shows how the willingness to accept one’s own risks is an essential attribute of heroes, saints, and flourishing people in all walks of life.
In Energy, Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author Richard Rhodes highlights the successes and failures that led to each breakthrough in energy production, from animal and water power to the steam engine, from internal combustion to the electric motor. He addresses how we learned from such challenges, mastered their transitions, and capitalized on their opportunities. Rhodes also looks at the current energy landscape, with a focus on how wind energy is competing for dominance with cast supplies of coal and natural gas. He also addresses the specter of global warming and a population hurtling toward 10 billion by 2100.
A candid guide for ambitious women who want to succeed without losing themselves in the process. In The Myth of the Nice Girl, Fran Hauser deconstructs the negative perception of “niceness” that many women struggle with in the business world. If women are nice, they are seen as weak and ineffective, but if they are tough, they are labeled a bitch. Hauser proves that women don’t have to sacrifice their values or hide their authentic personalities to be successful.
Great at Work by Morten Hansen is based on analysis from an exhaustive, groundbreaking study. Why do some people perform better at work than others? This deceptively simple question continues to confound professionals in all sectors of the workforce. Now, after a unique, five-year study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, Morten Hansen reveals the answers in his “Seven Work Smarter Practices” that can be applied by anyone looking to maximize their time and performance.