10 Books to Get You Back to Work – Fall 2023
THE FALL EQUINOX arrives on September 23. Time to turn the page. Temperatures begin to drop. The days get shorter. And as plant life slows down and the leaves change color, we should make the time to reflect and take stock of where we are and where we need to go. A good book helps us to do just that.
Here are ten books to help you get back into the world of work and make plans for an improved future:
How Trust Works: The Science of How Relationships Are Built, Broken, and Repaired by Peter H. Kim – (August 2023)
When our trust is broken, and when our own trustworthiness is called into question, many of us are left wondering what to do. We barely know how trust works. How could we possibly repair it? In How Trust Works, Dr. Kim draws on this research and the work of other social scientists to reveal the surprising truths about how relationships are built, how they are broken, and how they are repaired. Dr. Kim’s work shows how we are often more trusting than we think and how easily our trust in others can be distorted.
Decisions about Decisions: Practical Reason in Ordinary Life by Cass R. Sunstein – (August 2023)
How do we decide how we decide? We make such decisions all the time. If you trust your doctor, you might decide to follow a simple rule for medical decisions: Do whatever your doctor suggests. If you like someone a lot, and maybe love them, but are not sure whether you want to marry them, you might do this: Live with them first. Some of these strategies are wise. They prevent error. They improve your emotional well-being. Some of these strategies are foolish. They lead you in the direction of terrible mistakes. They prevent you from learning. They might make you miserable. Decisions about Decisions explores how people do, and should, make decisions about decisions.
Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well by Amy C. Edmondson – (September 2023)
We used to think of failure as the opposite of success. Now, we’re often torn between two “failure cultures”: one that says to avoid failure at all costs, the other that says fail fast, fail often. The trouble is that both approaches lack the crucial distinctions to help us separate good failure from bad. As a result, we miss the opportunity to fail well. With vivid, real-life stories from business, pop culture, history, and more, Edmondson gives us specifically tailored practices, skills, and mindsets to help us replace shame and blame with curiosity, vulnerability, and personal growth. You’ll never look at failure the same way again.
Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson – (September 2023)
From the author of Steve Jobs and other bestselling biographies, this is the astonishingly intimate story of the most fascinating and controversial innovator of our era—a rule-breaking visionary who helped to lead the world into the era of electric vehicles, private space exploration, and artificial intelligence. For two years, Isaacson shadowed Musk, attended his meetings, walked his factories with him, and spent hours interviewing him, his family, friends, coworkers, and adversaries. The result is the revealing inside story, filled with amazing tales of triumphs and turmoil, that addresses the question: are the demons that drive Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress?
The Unlocked Leader: Dare to Free Your Own Voice, Lead with Empathy, and Shine Your Light in the World by Hortense le Gentil – (September 2023)
The most effective leaders are “human leaders:” leading with empathy, vulnerability, and authenticity. But many still adhere to the outdated myth that leaders must be “superhero leaders: infallible, unflappable, and fearless.” Tragically, their innate ability to inspire remains locked within, blunting their impact. In The Unlocked Leader veteran executive leadership coach Hortense le Gentil explains how superhero leaders can become effective human leaders.
Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things by Adam Grant – (October 2023)
We live in a world that’s obsessed with talent. We celebrate gifted students in school, natural athletes in sports, and child prodigies in music. But admiring people who start out with innate advantages leads us to overlook the distance we ourselves can travel. We underestimate the range of skills that we can learn and how good we can become. We can all improve at improving. And when opportunity doesn’t knock, there are ways to build a door. Hidden Potential offers a new framework for raising aspirations and exceeding expectations.
Move Fast and Fix Things: The Trusted Leader’s Guide to Solving Hard Problems by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss – (October 2023)
Speed has gotten a bad name in business, much of it deserved. When Facebook made “Move fast and break things” an informal company motto, it fueled a widely held belief that we can either make progress or take care of people, one or the other. That a certain amount of wreckage is the price we have to pay for inventing the future. Leadership experts Frances Frei and Anne Morriss argue that this belief is deeply flawed—and that it keeps you from building a great company. Helping executives and entrepreneurs solve their toughest problems over the past decade, Frei and Morriss learned that the trade-off between speed and excellence is false. The best leaders solve hard problems with fierce urgency while making their organizations—employees, customers, and shareholders—even stronger. They move fast and fix things.
Mind Shift: It Doesn’t Take a Genius to Think Like One by Erwin Raphael McManus – (October 2023)
Throughout his thirty years of work as a mindset expert and leadership coach, Erwin Raphael McManus has been obsessed with these questions: Why do some people succeed despite having all the odds stacked against them? How do others achieve the unthinkable, only to watch their lives slip away? Are there mental structures for failure and success? McManus has come to realize that too many of us have “near-life” experiences. We almost pursue our dreams. We almost make the decision that changes everything. We are always one choice away. In Mind Shift, McManus brings together twelve mental frameworks that have helped some of the most accomplished people on earth create internal structures of success.
Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes by Morgan Housel – (November 2023)
Every investment plan under the sun is, at best, an informed speculation of what may happen in the future, based on a systematic extrapolation from the known past. Same as Ever reverses the process, inviting us to identify the many things that never, ever change. With his usual elan, Morgan Housel shows how we can use our newfound grasp of the unchanging to see around corners, not by squinting harder through the uncertain landscape of the future, but by looking backwards, being more broad-sighted, and focusing instead on what is permanently true. By doing so, we may better anticipate the big stuff, and achieve the greatest success, not merely financial comforts, but most importantly, a life well lived.
Lead Through Anything: Harness Purpose, Vitality, and Agility to Thrive in the Face of Unrelenting Change by Dustin Seale and Ed Manfre – (November 2023)
The logical, inspirational, and simplified approach you need to lead through unprecedented chaos―and help your teams and organizations thrive. Lead Through Anything provides simple, tested and actionable strategies to help you continually level-up your impact as an individual, manager, and leader. It walks you through the process of developing a leadership mentality that balances three key elements to achieve sustainable success.
And be sure to include some fiction in your reading. Neurologist Richard Restak suggests for memory’s sake, we should be reading more fiction. He has observed over decades of treating patients for memory loss, that fiction requires active engagement with the text, starting at the beginning and working through to the end unlike non-fiction which you can read in chunks. Fiction requires extended attention and the ability to remember what happened at every stage of the story.
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