Below are a few resources that I personally recommend on the topics of personal and professional development, organizational leadership, goal-driven change, and what it means to thrive.
Beyond Goals: Effective Strategies for Coaching and Mentoring by Susan David and David Clutterbuck
What is there in developmental relationships beyond setting and striving to achieve goals? The presence of goals in coaching and mentoring programs has gone largely unquestioned, yet evidence is growing that the standard prescription of SMART, challenging goals is not always appropriate – and even potentially dangerous – in the context of a complex and rapidly changing world. Beyond Goals advances standard goal-setting theory by bringing together cutting-edge perspectives from leaders in coaching and mentoring. From psychology to neuroscience, from chaos theory to social network theory, the contributors offer diverse and compelling insights into both the advantages and limitations of goal pursuit. The result is a more nuanced understanding of goals, with the possibility for practitioners to bring greater impact and sophistication to their client engagements. The implications of this reassessment are substantial for all those practicing as coaches and mentors, or managing coaching or mentoring initiatives in organizations.
How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work: Seven Languages for Transformation by Robert Kegan
Why is the gap so great between our hopes, our intentions, even our decisions-and what we are actually able to bring about? Even when we are able to make important changes-in our own lives or the groups we lead at work-why are the changes are so frequently short-lived and we are soon back to business as usual? What can we do to transform this troubling reality? In this intensely practical book, Harvard psychologists Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey take us on a carefully guided journey designed to help us answer these very questions. And not just generally, or in the abstract. They help each of us arrive at our own particular answers that can solve the puzzling gap between what we intend and what we are able to accomplish. How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work provides you with the tools to create a powerful new build-it-yourself mental technology.
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience By: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of “optimal experience” have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.
Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener
Utilizing sophisticated methodology and three decades of research by the world’s leading expert on happiness, Happiness challenges the present thinking of the causes and consequences of happiness and redefines our modern notions of happiness.
- shares the results of three decades of research on our notions of happiness
- covers the most important advances in our understanding of happiness
- offers readers unparalleled access to the world’s leading experts on happiness
- provides “real world” examples that will resonate with general readers as well as scholars
The Power of Negative Emotion by Todd B Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener
Mindfulness, kindness, and positivity can take us far. But they cannot take us all the way. Sometimes, they can even hold us back. Emotions like anger, anxiety, or doubt might be uncomfortable, but it turns out that they are also incredibly useful. Kashdan and Biswas-Diener explain the importance of developing our “emotional agility” – the ability to access our full range of emotions (not just the “good” ones). Find out how:
- Anger fuels creativity
- Guilt sparks improvement
- Self-doubt enhances performance
- Selfishness increases courage
- Mindlessness leads to better decisions
Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman
The father of the new science of positive psychology and author of Authentic Happiness draws on more than twenty years of clinical research to demonstrate how optimism enchances the quality of life, and how anyone can learn to practice it. Offering many simple techniques, Dr. Seligman explains how to break an “I—give-up” habit, develop a more constructive explanatory style for interpreting your behavior, and experience the benefits of a more positive interior dialogue. These skills can help break up depression, boost your immune system, better develop your potential, and make you happier.
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin Seligman
While certainly a part of well-being, happiness alone doesn’t give life meaning. Seligman now asks, What is it that enables you to cultivate your talents, to build deep, lasting relationships with others, to feel pleasure, and to contribute meaningfully to the world? In a word, what is it that allows you to flourish? “Well-being” takes the stage front and center, and Happiness (or Positive Emotion) becomes one of the five pillars of Positive Psychology, along with Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment—or PERMA, the permanent building blocks for a life of profound fulfillment.
The Manager’s Pocket Guide to Systems Thinking & Learning by Stephen Haines
This Managers Pocket Guide introduces thinking systems concepts and then takes the reader through a series of concepts and practical tools for applying system thinking to: Getting results, learning, managment processes, change and strategic processes.
The Art of Crossing Cultures by Craig Sorti
Adjusting to a new culture and getting along with the local people challenge everyone who lives and works abroad. Whether in business, diplomacy, education, or as a long-term visitor abroad, anyone can be blind-sided by a lack of international knowledge and experience and be caught at a disadvantage. In this completely revised and expanded edition of the classic The Art of Crossing Cultures, Craig Storti shows what it takes to encounter a new culture head-on and succeed. This one-of-a-kind guidebook to bridging the cultural divide – with more than 50,000 copies sold worldwide – incorporates a stellar sampling of the writings of some of the world’s greatest writers, poets and observers of the human condition.
* Links and summary text are from Amazon.com.
Where Silicon Valley Is Going to Get in Touch With Its Soul – New York Times
The digital hippies want to integrate life and work – but not in a good way – The Guardian
How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds – The Wall Street Journal
How to Build a Successful Team – New York Times
State of Startups 2017 – First Round Review
Here’s How to Wield Data and Empathy to Build an Inclusive Team – First Round Review
Why it’s dangerous to separate gender from race in tech diversity – Kimberly Bryant via LinkedIn
VC Isn’t Concerned About Diversity. It Should Be. – Melinda Gates via LinkedIn
What Does the Future of Management Look Like? – Shonna Waters, BetterUp Blog
Is Quitting Contagious? – Scientific American
How to Give a Meaningful “Thank You” – HBR
Avoiding the Feedback Monsters – Deloitte Insights
How to make better decisions – Journal of Accountancy
A quieter kind of leadership – Several People Are Typing (Slack’s blog)
Turning Potential into Leadership – Harvard Business Review
The Secrets to Resilience – the Wall Street Journal
Advice from Your Kindergarten Teacher – Fast Company