Looking for some titles to add to your reading list this summer? From brand new bestsellers, to stories that reveal the difference between power and true leadership in an increasingly complex, hyper-connected world, here are seven titles that are well worth picking up:
1. Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan
What it’s about: When fast-scaling startups and global organizations get stuck, they call Aaron Dignan. In this book, he reveals his proven approach for eliminating red tape, dissolving bureaucracy, and doing the best work of your life.
Why pick it up: To learn exactly how organizations are inventing a smarter, healthier, and more effective way to work. Not through top down mandates, but through a groundswell of autonomy, trust, and transparency.
2. The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates
What it’s about: This book calls on readers to support women everywhere as a means to lift up society. Gates pulls from her lessons learned through the inspiring women she’s met on her travels with the Gates Foundation, which funds projects to reduce poverty and improve global health in the developing world.
Why pick it up: “Melinda weaves together vulnerable, brave storytelling and compelling data to make this one of those rare books that you carry in your heart and mind long after the last page.” – Brené Brown
3. Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations by Admiral William H. McRaven
What it’s about: Following the success of his #1 New York Times bestseller Make Your Bed, which has sold over one million copies, Retired Admiral William H. McRaven is back with amazing stories of adventure during his career as a Navy SEAL and commander of America’s Special Operations Forces.
Why pick it up: For an unforgettable look back on one man’s incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security military sites to taking part in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden.
4. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup By John Carreyrou
What it’s about: The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the one-time multibillion-dollar biotech startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes—now the subject of the HBO documentary The Inventor—by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end.
Why pick it up: “The story is even crazier than I expected, and I found myself unable to put it down once I started. This book has everything: elaborate scams, corporate intrigue, magazine cover stories, ruined family relationships, and the demise of a company once valued at nearly $10 billion.” — Bill Gates
5. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein
What it’s about: David Epstein, author of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene, studied the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. While computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.
Why pick it up: Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency to prepare the workforce for jobs in a complex, interconnected, rapidly changing world.
6. Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall
What it’s about: Strengths guru and bestselling author Marcus Buckingham and Cisco Leadership and Team Intelligence head Ashley Goodall show in this provocative, inspiring book, there are some big lies—distortions, faulty assumptions, wrong thinking—that we encounter every time we show up for work. Nine lies, to be exact. They cause dysfunction and frustration, ultimately resulting in workplaces that are a pale shadow of what they could be.
Why pick it up: Nine Lies About Work reveals the few core truths that will help you show just how good you are to those who truly rely on you.
What it’s about: While the world’s workplace has been going through extraordinary historical change, the practice of management has been stuck in time for more than 30 years. The new workforce—especially younger generations—wants their work to have deep mission and purpose, and they don’t want old-style command-and-control bosses. They want coaches who inspire them, communicate with them frequently and develop their strengths.
Why pick it up: Packed with 52 discoveries from Gallup’s largest study on the future of work, It’s the Manager shows leaders how to adapt their organizations to rapid change, ranging from new workplace demands to managing remote employees, a diverse workforce, the rise of artificial intelligence, gig workers, and attracting—keeping—today’s best employees.
Some of the principles in these books are about new ways to approach today’s leadership issues. Others can give you the inspiration you need to tackle your greatest challenges of 2019.
Question: What leadership books would you recommend reading this summer?
Download our infographic with descriptions of these great summer books. Happy reading!