4 Books for Your Leadership Library

Every one needs a “Leadership Library” with resources, practical advice, and thought leadership to help you on your career journey.

Here’s a list of recent books to help expand your perspective as you learn tools and tips for influencing others and managing yourself. Each one addresses a common road block for emerging leaders.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (Broadway Books, 2012)

QuietWhen you’re in a meeting, does all of the chatter around the conference table have you wanting to stand up and scream, “Why won’t anyone listen to what anyone else is saying?!” This frustration may stem from the fact that you are simply more introverted and the rest at the table are extroverts, who often “think as they speak”. They may, in fact, be listening – just differently from you.

Quiet is a great book for learning about, remembering and leveraging the strengths of introverts who may feel misaligned with the stereotype of an extroverted leader. Each skill set – introvert versus extrovert – bring strengths to the table. This book will help you to recognize your strengths and leverage them as you build the skills for – and embrace – expanded leadership roles.

The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness by Steve Peters (Tarcher, 2013)

Chimp ParadoxThis is an easy-to-read, engaging book concerning how our brain works, how our emotions and thoughts are triggered, and how to manage emotions.

One mark of being a leader is “grace under fire” — being able to stay calm under pressure. After reading the book, it feels so much easier to not get “hooked” or “triggered,” by events at work, but rather to stay composed and objective. My hope is that this book will help you learn how to feel calm and in control, even when others around you get frustrated or frantic, and also how you can help turn the situation around.

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. (Avery, 2011)

The Willpower InstinctWe often overextend ourselves, don’t get enough sleep and don’t always eat healthfully or exercise as much as we’d like. Does this sound familiar? As a leader, you need not just the mental knowledge and skills to do your job, but you’ll also need to take care of your body, which will in turn enhance your mental sharpness and facilitate your emotional well being so you can stay calm and focused under pressure.

Dr McGonigal uses a conversational, accessible writing style to explain how to use nutrition, exercise, sleep and awareness to improve willpower. You will be encouraged to do exercises at the end of each chapter. So don’t just read this book! Take action to implement concepts and healthy habits she shares and you’ll enhance your productivity and overall well-being.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield (Black Irish Entertainment, 2011)
The War of ArtDo you sometimes feel stuck? Wish you could find creative ideas and solution to get yourself “un-stuck”?

While this book focuses mostly on an artist’s path, many of its lessons on creativity are transferable to up-and-coming leaders in the corporate setting. Specifically, this book helps to identify how we “get in our own way” and how to overcome this internal block to creativity.

So often, corporate life will expect you to tap into your more analytical “left brain”. This book shares the power of the creative “right brain,” which can re-ignite your passion for your work and ability to creatively approach and solve challenges.

Gwyneth Anne Freedman

Gwyneth Anne Freedman has helped hundreds of women leaders identify their niche, expand their influence, cultivate their leadership presence, and break through into management and leadership positions. With a coaching style that clients have described as “open, positive, highly supportive, and empowering,” Gwyneth Anne has coached clients in the United States, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. She enjoys travel, practicing martial arts, a nice large strong cup of Peet’s coffee. Learn more about Gwyneth Anne’s coaching services.

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