More books on discernment and equity

More Books …

I’ll start with a list of books that fit our theme of discernment … and adaptive leadership (last month’s theme) … here are several titles that resonate:

Leadership … discernment

Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust by Adam Kahane  | Jun 5, 2017

This book is the featured review this month. It fits the theme of discernment and parallels the idea of adaptive leadership.  Big idea is that we need “stretch collaboration.”  That includes:  balancing love (engagement) and power (advocacy); listening for possibilities; and stepping into the process even though the outcome is uncertain.  Seems to fit much of life as we know it today!

Adaptive Leadership in a Global Economy … Application and Scholarship by Mohammed Raei (Editor), Harriette Thurber Rasmussen (Editor) | December 31, 2021

Incredible book about implementing adaptive leadership – world wide – in the midst of the pandemic and other disruptions.  Since it fits our theme, I am including it here again.  Great tools and ideas for teams that want to become more adaptive in our changing times.

Tempered Resilience: How Leaders Are Formed in the Crucible of Change (Tempered Resilience Set) by Tod E Bolsinger  | Nov 10, 2020

A timely book on leadership for our times.  Leaders, today, are forged in the fires of adversity and sabotage.  Here, Bolsinger, offers lessons for surviving the joint dangers of failure of nerve and failure of heart.  Lots of insights on adaptive leadership.

Impact Networks: Creating Connection, Sparking Collaboration, and Catalyzing Systemic Change by David Ehrlichman  | Oct 12, 2021

In my years of consulting, I have found that we shy away from the new and uncertain, the things we don’t yet know how to do. And yet networks – learning from each other – are one of the very best things we can do when we face challenging problems.  This is the best book I have found about how to do them … with some great examples.

Creative Conspiracy: The New Rules of Breakthrough Collaboration 
by Leigh Thompson | Jan 15, 2013

Teams that collaborate well have a ‘creative conspiracy’ edge according to the author.  Lots of good research on what makes teams successful and what gets in the way.

The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership: Embracing the Conflicting Demands of Today’s Workplace by Tim Elmore  | Nov 2, 2021

Author worked with John Maxwell for years.  Makes for an easy read with lots of insights, tools, and stories.  Definitely fits with the idea of adaptive leadership and discernment.  Much of leadership, Elmore says, is balancing polar opposites

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown  | Nov 30, 2021

Lots of good content in every Brené Brown book.  Summarizes 20 years of research  Many good ideas on that apply to student belonging and conflict resolution.  Reads a bit like an encyclopedia, albeit with an entertaining style.  Didn’t seem quite as compelling as her other books.  Still worth the time.


The Devil Is in the Details: System Solutions for Equity, Excellence, and Student Well-Being by Michael Fullan and Mary Jean Gallagher | Mar 12, 2020

This is an extension on the ideas of coherence and system-ness in Fullan’s previous books.  Built on their large scale change projects in California, Toronto and Victoria (Australia).  A good high level recap of earlier books with plenty of take-aways for district improvement.

All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
by Tiya Miles  | Jun 8, 2021

In the genre of creative history.  One plot is based on a sack handed down from generation to generation since the 1840s.  Author plays detective in tracking the lineage of the sack.  Along the way she weaves in the history of fabric, clothing, slavery, Jim Crow adding lots of related background.

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner  | Apr 20, 2021

A poignant memoir by a Korean-American.  Part coming of age. Sorting out her heritage from a Korean mother and American father.  Part making peace with her mother’s passing. And part making her way in her career.  Well done.  On the best seller lists. And informative in regard to culture, bias and life’s lessons.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century
by Jessica Bruder  | Sep 19, 2017

Author spent parts of three years traveling with and visiting with Nomads – those who live in travel trailers – and move from job to job.  Houseless, yes, but not homeless. Helps you get to know several nomads and experience just a little their hopes, joys and setbacks.

The End of Bias: A Beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias
by Jessica Nordell  | Sep 21, 2021

I listened to this one … then bought it so I could read it again.  Touches on racial bias but goes far broader than that.  And shares the science and some promising news on what can be done to overcome bias.  One hint.  When we see others acting in certain ways (in this case overcoming bias) we often follow their lead in adopting new less biased habits.

And from the best seller list …

The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel by Laura Dave  | May 4, 2021

Another one on the best seller list.  Woman’s husband literally disappears one afternoon … and then she finds out he doesn’t really exist.  She is left to sort out the pieces, play detective, and make a new life for herself and her step daughter whom she barely knows.  A page turner.





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

To talk about growing extraordinary "high capacity" leadership for your team …
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