LibraryAre you researching good books to read? There is so much content out there and no easy way to find what’s interesting and relevant. The intent of this post is to share suggestions for good reads whether you are a C level executive or just entering the workforce. Below is a list of insightful books that have given me a perspective on leadership, strategy, and technology’s impact on society.

What’s on your list? If you have a favorite book that others may find value, please share your recommendation.

Happy reading!

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier [technology’s impact on society]

Jaron Lanier is a thought leader in technology. He shares a provocative view on the ownership of data and how it can build wealth for the struggling middle class. This is an interesting book that makes you think differently about your online activity.

Strategy and the Fat Smoker by David Maister [strategy]

I do quite a bit of strategy work and this book provides great insight into doing what’s obvious and achieving the strategic goals. If you are responsible for strategy, at any level, you should read this book.

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, Chris Fussell [leadership]

The world has changed and traditional methods no longer apply. The book lays out a case for battlefield approaches that translate to business. (If I’m more explicit I’ll spoil it for you.) There are a lot of leadership lessons we can take from the military. This is a good read.

Marine Corps Way: Using Maneuver Warfare to Lead a Winning Organization by Jason Santamaria, Vincent Martino and Eric Clemons [leadership]

The book comes highly recommended by several trusted colleagues. I’m told the book provides great insight to development of high performing teams. Marine Corps Way is on my short list for the holiday break.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown [leadership – kind of]

A must read in our frenetic, get everything done, world. We all need to be reminded that it’s not how much we get done, it’s what we get done. Essentialism is a good reminder that focus is the key to success.

The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda [design]

I’m constantly in search of ways to remove complexity and this book helps me keep key principles top of mind. The Laws of Simplicity is a quick read and time well spent. At a minimum, it’s a good reference when taking on any design project whether it’s process, system or product related.

The Road to Character by David Brooks

I have a confession. My wife forced me to watch Oprah’s SuperSoulSunday last weekend as David Brooks was discussing his most recent book – The Road to Character. The examples sited struck me as very insightful and compassionate (okay, I know it’s Oprah). This book is on the top of my list and not because I have bad character! I’ve always seen David Brooks as a staunch conservative (not passing judgment) and this was a very different side of him.

Posted by Karl

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