Books: Leadership Renewal, Equity, & Best Sellers

More from my bookshelf on Leadership Renewal – January 2021

The top reads for 2020 was the most popular blog last month.  So this month, the MORE segment has three parts:

  • Recent Reads (for me anyway)
  • Leadership Renewal: Personal Renewal … and Organizational Renewal

Should you ever want a recommendation let me know.  200 reads per year means I have lots of favorite books to recommend. or text me at 425-418-4398.

Current Reads:

Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity: The Keys to Successful Equity Implementation

by Floyd Cobb John J. Krownapple , et al. | Nov 12, 2019

One of the best equity books for actual implementation.  Well researched and well-presented book filled with practical ideas for making schools centers of inclusion, dignity and belonging for each and every student.

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom  | Jul 29, 2008

Starfish are regenerative; cut them in half and they become two viable starfish.  Cut off a spider’s legs or head and they are irreparably harmed.  The author gives multiple examples of how connected networks (starfish) with strong cultures win out over rigid hierarchies (spiders).

The Character Edge: Leading and Winning with Integrity

by Robert L. Caslen Jr. and Michael D. Matthews  | Oct 13, 2020

Shares many of the same research and stories from Culture Code.  Interesting team of authors; one a researcher and the other a military leader.

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science

by Atul Gawande  | Apr 1, 2003

Explains how much … and how little … we know about making people well.  As always, filled with great stories.

The Cold Millions: A Novel

by Jess Walter  | Oct 27, 2020

Tells the story of class warfare in Spokane, WA in the 1910s.  Workers are downtrodden and cheated and run out of town.  Informative for our times as well as for understanding historic times.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

by Jonathan Haidt  | Feb 12, 2013

An older title but fitting for our politicized times. Author identifies six ways in which we, collectively, see and experience moral righteousness.  Some see prevention of harm as foremost.  Others see fairness as most important.

Leadership Renewal – Personal

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

by Brené Brown  | Sold by: Random House LLC  | Oct 9, 2018

A perfect book for our times. All about empathy and creating trust through positive relationships.  Work that requires courage (which can be learned) and vulnerability and ‘rumbling’ in the arena.

Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge

by Henry Cloud  | Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers  | Apr 16, 2013

How brain science can help us set boundaries that make leaders and organizations healthier and more productive.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success

by Amy Morin  | Dec 23, 2014

Lots of down to earth common sense solutions based on personal and professional experiences.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (30th Anniversary Edition)

by Stephen R. Covey  | May 19, 2020

A classic filled with timeless life skills.

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation

by Parker J. Palmer  | Sep 10, 1999

Short – 120 pages. How to listen to our lives and what they are telling us about what resonates most for us.

The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands

by Lysa TerKeurst  | Aug 19, 2014

Practical, down to earth advice for dealing with kids, life, work.  Decision making ideas for saying, No … and making “Best Yes” decisions.

Leadership Renewal – Organizations

Survive and Thrive

By John P. Kotter 2021

Kotter’s new book about how to pivot from hard times to new and improved future times is not out yet. But you can see a great preview at Survive and Thrive KotterINC.

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen

by Dan Heath  | Mar 3, 2020

Another great book by Heath (Switch, Made to Stick).  Prevention is the focus.  He has great examples from dental care and auto safety to Chicago Public Schools and how they increased graduation rates dramatically.  Offers specific ideas for gathering and using data to get better.

Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, Second Edition

by Joseph Grenny , Kerry Patterson, et al. | May 14, 2013

One of the best books on change.  Success comes from attending to both will and skill.  Both the individual, the community and the structures.  Great companion book on helping students thrive.

Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World

by John P. Kotter 2014

Great ideas for engaging ‘guiding coalitions’ in unlocking creativity and energy now.  

The Power of a Positive Team: Proven Principles and Practices that Make Great Teams Great

by Jon Gordon  | Sold by: JOHN WILEY AND SONS INC  | Jun 11, 2018

Super short and packed with good ideas for growing positive teams through culture, commitment, communication and caring.

Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth

by Richard Boyatzis, Melvin L. Smith , et al. | Sep 10, 2019

This is next up on my reading list.  Richard Boyatzis is a leading voice in leadership development.  I relied heavily on Boyatzis’ work in developing the Seattle Pacific University executive school leadership program.


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Larry Nyland – Leadership Coach and Consultant.
Seattle Schools superintendent 2014-2018

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