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Recommended Reads from the Business Department: Home

Welcome!

Wondering what to read next?  Well, don't look any further, because the Business Department Faculty have put together a list of recommended books to read. 

This guide was created with the help of the Business Faculty, and gives suggested books to read, TED Talks and other videos to watch, and articles to explore.  Check out the suggestions below!

Faculty Recommendation 

We can learn so much from our best military leaders.  Our military is an educational and training machine.  The most important thing I took from this book is that a leader can avoid micromanaging their people by making sure they are trained, they are resourced to do the job, and they understand the intent of their leader.  Then the leader needs to step aside, support them, and let their people go.  Mattis recounts how he managed his teams by caring about his people.  This is a great read if you're interested in seeing what leadership looks like when the stakes are life and death. 


Explore this Book Further 

Faculty Recommendation

More like a textbook, this is a nuts-and-bolts guide you can use to help you manage conflict.  Once you have a few tools handy and you've prepared to address conflict, you'll start to see conflict as a way to positively impact your work.  Conflict is only negative if you don't learn how to use it.  This book goes into active listening (easy - or is it?), collaboration, and mediation.  If you can become the person who brings people together and resolves conflict, that superpower will open so many doors for you.


Explore this Book Further

Faculty Recommendation

This is the defacto handbook for how to communicate in a way that elevates every significant conversation and makes it safe to talk about almost anything. If you tend to avoid conflict and settle for less than you deserve, check this out.  Once you understand how to approach stressful situations, they lose power over you.  You don't have to be someone who avoids conflict - you can learn to address it, diffuse it, and resolve it.  You'll want a copy of this to refer back to before your crucial conversations. 


Explore this Book Further 

Faculty Recommendation 

Brené Brown teaches us that being vulnerable is not a weakness, it's a sign of courage.  Learn how to think about shame, empathy, and vulnerability as tools you need to embrace to succeed.  One of my favorite concepts of this book is to ask someone who gives you a task to "paint done."  In other words, have them describe how, exactly, they see the end product of your assignment.  So much conflict results from miscommunication, but if you ask for a rich description of what 'done' looks like, you can save time and frustration trying to read minds. You'll want a copy of this book, too, so you can keep reminding yourself to be a daring leader.  Get a new pack of sticky notes - you're going to want to use them all on lines from this book.


Explore this Book Further 

Faculty Recommendation 

When you fall, do you stay down?  Not if you have grit!  Resilience has been found to be the critical factor that determines success in people.  It's not your GPA or your number of followers on social media (honestly).  The amount of grit you have, the ability to keep going in the face of adversity or struggle, is the key factor in how far you'll go in life.  Study the work on grit and resilience and you'll find out that it doesn't matter where you start - it matters that you started moving and that you're still going.


Explore this Book Further 

Faculty Recommendation 

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times since I learned about Dweck's work: We have to have a growth mindset; mistakes just mean we're not there yet; it's OK to not get it right at first if you keep trying until you do.  You can use the science of growth mindset in every area of your life.  If you fear making mistakes, you won't grow as fast or go as far.  Top business leaders encourage their people to fail, even to the point that if they're not failing, they're not taking enough risks.  Take a look at the science of growth mindset and use it to accelerate your learning and performance, and then help those around you excel as they learn to trust the process.


Explore this Book Further 

Faculty Recommendation

High-performance teams are key to success in virtually any sector.  Edmonson discusses psychological safety, innovation, and leadership, and gives you fantastic tools to use with your own teams. Every time I review this book or watch her TED Talk, I pick up new insights.  Get your sticky notes ready.


Explore this Book Further 

Faculty Recommendation

As you study successful leaders, you'll find that all of them have earned the trust of their people.  Frei and Morriss discuss the importance of empathy, logic, and authenticity in building trust both professionally and personally.  This book is one that will earn a permanent spot on your own shelf. Trust seems like an easy concept to define, but it's one worth continual study.   


Explore this Book Further

Faculty Recommendation 

If you've ever apologized for being an introvert, thought less of yourself for not being 'outgoing,' or tried to act extroverted so you could get noticed or get ahead, PLEASE check this book out or watch her TED Talk.  You'll learn that you're not less than an extrovert, you're exactly who the world needs you to be.  By being who you are, you're being exactly who your organization/relationship/team needs.  Learning about the power of being an introvert could be a game changer for you.  If you have a child who is also an introvert, there's a kid version of the book that's fantastic, and it could save your child years of feeling like they don't fit in our loud, extroverted world.  


Explore this Book Further 

Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead

Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead
by James Mattis & Francis West


Why the Faculty Recommend the Book

We can learn so much from our best military leaders.  Our military is an educational and training machine.  The most important thing I took from this book is that a leader can avoid micromanaging their people by making sure they are trained, they are resourced to do the job, and they understand the intent of their leader.  Then the leader needs to step aside, support them, and let their people go.  Mattis recounts how he managed his teams by caring about his people.  This is a great read if you're interested in seeing what leadership looks like when the stakes are life and death. 


The Blurb on the Back

Call Sign Chaos is the account of Jim Mattis’s storied career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas—and short-sighted thinking—now facing our nation. He makes it clear why America must return to a strategic footing so as not to continue winning battles but fighting inconclusive wars.


Get the Book

Request the Book through InterLibrary Loan


Explore Further

"Jim Mattis on Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead" from the Hoover Institution 

Conflict Survival Kit: Tools for Resolving Conflict at Work

Conflict Survival Kit: Tools for Resolving Conflict at Work
by Dan Griffith 


Why the Faculty Recommend the Book

More like a textbook, this is a nuts-and-bolts guide you can use to help you manage conflict.  Once you have a few tools handy and you've prepared to address conflict, you'll start to see conflict as a way to positively impact your work.  Conflict is only negative if you don't learn how to use it.  This book goes into active listening (easy - or is it?), collaboration, and mediation.  If you can become the person who brings people together and resolves conflict, that superpower will open so many doors for you.


The Blurb on the Back 

Taking a front-line view, The Conflict Survival Kit: Tools for Resolving Conflict at Workfocuses on topics supervisors, team leads and managers need to know to address conflict in organizations. Each chapter succinctly explains conflict theories, frameworks and models, while focusing on important interpersonal and management skills. This classroom text and on-the-job guide presents strategies that can be used immediately in the workplace and provides hands-on practice throughout. Fully updated in this edition, it includes a new section on cultural communication differences, more on mediation, strategies for staying calm during confrontation and a section on managing bullying in the workplace.


Get the Book

Request the Book through InterLibrary Loan 

 

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMilliam, and Al Switzler 


Why Faculty Recommend the Book 

This is the defacto handbook for how to communicate in a way that elevates every significant conversation and makes it safe to talk about almost anything. If you tend to avoid conflict and settle for less than you deserve, check this out.  Once you understand how to approach stressful situations, they lose power over you.  You don't have to be someone who avoids conflict - you can learn to address it, diffuse it, and resolve it.  You'll want a copy of this to refer back to before your crucial conversations. 


The Blurb on the Back

When stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong, you have three choices: Avoid a crucial conversation and suffer the consequences; handle the conversation badly and suffer the consequences; or read Crucial Conversations and discover how to communicate best when it matters most. Crucial Conversations gives you the tools you need to step up to life's most difficult and important conversations, say what's on your mind, and achieve the positive resolutions you want. 


Get the Book 

Location within McGovern Library
Main Collection BF637 .C45 C78 2012


Explore Further

"Mastering the Art of Crucial Conversations" - by 2015 VitalSmarts REACH keynote speaker Joseph Grenny 

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
by Brené Brown 


Why the Faculty Recommend the Book

Brené Brown teaches us that being vulnerable is not a weakness, it's a sign of courage.  Learn how to think about shame, empathy, and vulnerability as tools you need to embrace to succeed.  One of my favorite concepts of this book is to ask someone who gives you a task to "paint done."  In other words, have them describe how, exactly, they see the end product of your assignment.  So much conflict results from miscommunication, but if you ask for a rich description of what 'done' looks like, you can save time and frustration trying to read minds. You'll want a copy of this book, too, so you can keep reminding yourself to be a daring leader.  Get a new pack of sticky notes - you're going to want to use them all on lines from this book.


Blurb on the Back 

Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential.

When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work.

But daring leadership in a culture defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time as we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and AI can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage, to start.


Get the Book

Download the eBook from McGovern Library 


Explore Further 

"Brené Brown: the Call to Courage" - a Netflix Special 
Restrepo, S. (Director). (2019). Brené Brown: The Call to Courage [Motion picture]. Los Gatos, CA: Netflix Originals.

"Listening to Shame" - a TED Talk by Brené Brown


"The Power of Vulnerability" - a TED Talk by Brené Brown

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
by Angela Duckworth 


Why the Faculty Recommend the Book 

When you fall, do you stay down?  Not if you have grit!  Resilience has been found to be the critical factor that determines success in people.  It's not your GPA or your number of followers on social media (honestly).  The amount of grit you have, the ability to keep going in the face of adversity or struggle, is the key factor in how far you'll go in life.  Study the work on grit and resilience and you'll find out that it doesn't matter where you start - it matters that you started moving and that you're still going.


The Blurb on the Back 

Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments.

Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently bemoaned her lack of smarts, Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not genius, but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance. As a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Duckworth created her own character lab and set out to test her theory.

Here, she takes readers into the field to visit teachers working in some of the toughest schools, cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she's learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers; from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to the cartoon editor of The New Yorker to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.


Get the Book 

Location within McGovern Library
Main Collection: BF637 .S8 D693 2016


Explore Further 

"Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" - a TED Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth 


"True Grit: Can Perseverance be Taught?" - a TED Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth 

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
by Carol Dweck 


Why the Faculty Recommend the Book

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times since I learned about Dweck's work: We have to have a growth mindset; mistakes just mean we're not there yet; it's OK to not get it right at first if you keep trying until you do.  You can use the science of growth mindset in every area of your life.  If you fear making mistakes, you won't grow as fast or go as far.  Top business leaders encourage their people to fail, even to the point that if they're not failing, they're not taking enough risks.  Take a look at the science of growth mindset and use it to accelerate your learning and performance, and then help those around you excel as they learn to trust the process.


The Blurb on the Back

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset — those who believe that abilities are fixed — are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset — those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.


Get the Book

Request the Book through InterLibrary Loan 


Explore Further

"The Power of Yet" - a TED Talk by Carol S. Dweck 


"The Power of Believing That You Can Improve" - a TED Talk by Carol S. Dweck 

Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy

Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy
by Amy Edmondson


Why the Faculty Recommend the Book

High-performance teams are key to success in virtually any sector.  Edmonson discusses psychological safety, innovation, and leadership, and gives you fantastic tools to use with your own teams. Every time I review this book or watch her TED Talk, I pick up new insights.  Get your sticky notes ready.


The Blurb on the Back

Amy Edmondson shows that organizations thrive, or fail to thrive, based on how well the small groups within those organizations work. In most organizations, the work that produces value for customers is carried out by teams, and increasingly, by flexible team-like entities. The pace of change and the fluidity of most work structures means that it's not really about creating effective teams anymore, but instead about leading effective teaming. Teaming shows that organizations learn when the flexible, fluid collaborations they encompass are able to learn. The problem is teams, and other dynamic groups, don't learn naturally. Edmondson outlines the factors that prevent them from doing so, such as interpersonal fear, irrational beliefs about failure, groupthink, problematic power dynamics, and information hoarding. With Teaming, leaders can shape these factors by encouraging reflection, creating psychological safety, and overcoming defensive interpersonal dynamics that inhibit the sharing of ideas. Further, they can use practical management strategies to help organizations realize the benefits inherent in both success and failure. 


Get the Book

Download the eBook from McGovern Library


Explore Further

"How to Turn a Group of Strangers into a Team" - a TED Talk by Amy Edmonson

Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You

Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You
by Frances Frei & Anne Morriss


Why the Faculty Recommend the Book

As you study successful leaders, you'll find that all of them have earned the trust of their people.  Frei and Morriss discuss the importance of empathy, logic, and authenticity in building trust both professionally and personally.  This book is one that will earn a permanent spot on your own shelf. Trust seems like an easy concept to define, but it's one worth continual study.   


The Blurb on the Back

When leaders want to improve, they find an abundance of ideas to help build themselves up. They're told to identify and develop natural-born strengths, to mine their failures for insights into what they need to change, and to work hard to correct any real or perceived career-limiting deficiencies. Own the room. Eat last. Do you.

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss argue that this popular leadership advice glosses over the most important thing you can do to be a great leader: Build others up. Leadership, at its core, is not about you. As Frei and Morriss show through inspiring stories from the NBA to ancient Rome to Silicon Valley, real leadership is about how effective you are at making other people better--and making sure that this impact endures even in your absence.


Get the Book

Download the eBook from McGovern Library 


Explore Further

"Begin with Trust" - a Harvard Business Review article by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss 
Frei, F., & Morriss, A. (2020). Begin with Trust. Harvard Business Review98(3), 112–121.

"How to Build (and rebuild) Trust" - a TED Talk by Frances Frei 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
by Susan Cain 


Why the Faculty Recommend the Book

If you've ever apologized for being an introvert, thought less of yourself for not being 'outgoing,' or tried to act extroverted so you could get noticed or get ahead, PLEASE check this book out or watch her TED Talk.  You'll learn that you're not less than an extrovert, you're exactly who the world needs you to be.  By being who you are, you're being exactly who your organization/relationship/team needs.  Learning about the power of being an introvert could be a game changer for you.  If you have a child who is also an introvert, there's a kid version of the book that's fantastic, and it could save your child years of feeling like they don't fit in our loud, extroverted world.  


The Blurb on the Back 

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. 

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.


Get the Book

Location within McGovern Library 
Main Collection: BF698.35 .I59 C35 2013


Explore Further

"The Power of Introverts" - a TED Talk by Susan Cain 

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