The Original List

In late 2017, I was feeling as though I had gained what I could from my organization, and was looking to move to another company. In one of my interviews, I met an inspiring leader, and had a great conversation about my leadership “rituals,” and what I do to improve my leadership skills. The role ultimately wasn’t a fit, but this leader sent me a list of the books that had been valuable to him throughout the years. While I had read a number of them, I felt this was the most comprehensive leadership “curriculum” I had seen to date. Because of this, I have been inspired to read each of these books, and to document my thoughts and feelings on each, as well as what areas I feel they develop. I will add to this list over time, and will likely include media other than books, but will always denote those on the original list with the [ORIGINAL] tag.

Here is the original list:

Not Yet Reviewed

Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

This book makes a really good case for being an essentialist – people who are good at taking on few things and doing them extremely well. The book also offers some techniques for becoming one. One of the catchy phrases of this book is “we do a millimeter progress in million things as opposed to large amounts of progress in few things that matter”. After reading this book, I have gotten better at saying No to several things and have freed up more time for myself.

Not Yet Reviewed

Mindset – The New Psychology of Success [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

A well-researched compelling book on how mindset affects how individuals grow and develop. The author describes two mindsets, fixed and growth. In the fixed mindset, your requirement for validation of your smartness is very high and every task is a means to get more validation. So one does not try and do hard things. In a growth mindset, the individual enjoys the challenge and difficulty of task and takes on hard problems. Needless to say, the growth mindset helps individuals get better. The mindset can be changed often by just reminding yourself that “tough things are enjoyable”

Not Yet Reviewed

Nonviolent Communication [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

An interesting read on how judgmental communication can be violent and jarring, this quick read describes a process for communicating with love. This method has been successful in helping people with deep differences see the other side.

Not Yet Reviewed

Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

An epic book on human happiness, this book describes being in a state of flow where one is fully & joyfully engaged with the task at hand. This book describes the conditions required to be in flow & this ties in well with the first two books

Not Yet Reviewed

Thinking, Fast and Slow [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

If your reaction after reading this book is, I can never make any objective decision again, you are on the right track. This masterpiece breaks down the two systems of thinking and the biases that stem from that.

Not Yet Reviewed

Give and Take [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

A lovely description of givers and takers in the world backed by high quality research on what makes people successful and happy

Not Yet Reviewed

The Power of Habit [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

This goes into the heart of why people are addicted to habits and how they can be changed both for individuals and for corporations.

Not Yet Reviewed

A More Beautiful Question [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

All great answers come from asking the right question. This book rekindles the passion for asking the right question in all spheres of life.

Not Yet Reviewed

Talent is Overrated [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

Talks about how “deliberate effort” is needed to become really good at anything.

Not Yet Reviewed

Deep Work [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

This book discusses how to produce high quality work by intense periods of focus. Super important in the current hyperconnected world.

Not Yet Reviewed

Antifragile [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

Dense book on the topic of anti-fragility – things that get better when subject to stress.

Not Yet Reviewed

The Obstacle is the Way [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

Complementary to Anti Fragile. A simpler version of what causes some people to embrace obstacles.

Not Yet Reviewed

Man’s Search For Meaning [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

Viktor Frankl’s epic work on logo therapy, the third branch of psychotherapy. Discusses how people who have a reason for “why” can tolerate any “how”. In other words, it’s meaning that drives us in life.

Not Yet Reviewed

The Five Dysfunctions of A Team [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

Light read but gets to crux of things that cause a team to be dysfunctional.

Not Yet Reviewed

The 4 Disciplines of Execution [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

Most management books cover strategy. This book focuses solely on execution and getting better at it.

Not Yet Reviewed

The Power of Now [ORIGINAL]
Media Type: Book/eBook

This is the writeup on the book talking about all the great things it discussed. It was a great book. Everyone should read it.

Supplemental List

Since the creation of this original list, I have felt the need to incorporate additional materials. However, I didn’t want to mix items on the original list, with those I added myself. Therefore, I created a Supplemental List to catalog additional materials not on this Original List.

Disclaimer

While this is primarily a personal project, there are real costs in time and money required to keep this online and updated. While my reviews will always be unbiased and 100% my personal opinion, I will use referral links to the books and media being reviewed when possible. That’s it – I’d appreciate you using the referral links if you buy any of these books, but understand if you’re against the practice. Either way, my reviews and commentary will remain independent and unbiased.