Four core attributes of our professional identity will help to serve as guiding criteria for our decisions and actions. If we abide by these attributes, our values, of honor courage and commitment should be clearly evident in our actions.
By John C. Maxwell [ Link to eBook ]
Why do some people achieve great personal success, yet never succeed in building a business or making an impact in their organization? John C. Maxwell knows the answer. “The greatest leadership principle that I have ever learned in over twenty-five years of leadership,” says Maxwell, “is that those closest to the leader will determine the success level of that leader.”
It’s not enough for a leader to have vision, energy, drive, and conviction. If you want to see your dream come to fruition, you must learn how to develop the leaders around you. Whether you’re the leader of a non-profit organization, small business, or Fortune 500 company, Developing the Leaders Around You can help you to take others to the limits of their potential and your organization to a whole new level.
By Mary C. Gentile [ Link to eBook ]
How can you effectively stand up for your values when pressured by your boss, customers, or shareholders to do the opposite? Drawing on actual business experiences as well as on social science research, Babson College business educator and consultant Mary Gentile challenges the assumptions about business ethics at companies and business schools. She gives business leaders, managers, and students the tools not just to recognize what is right, but also to ensure that the right things happen. The book is inspired by a program Gentile launched at the Aspen Institute with Yale School of Management, and now housed at Babson College, with pilot programs in over one hundred schools and organizations, including INSEAD and MIT Sloan School of Management.
She explains why past attempts at preparing business leaders to act ethically too often failed, arguing that the issue isn’t distinguishing what is right or wrong, but knowing how to act on your values despite opposing pressure. Through research-based advice, practical exercises, and scripts for handling a wide range of ethical dilemmas, Gentile empowers business leaders with the skills to voice and act on their values, and align their professional path with their principles. Giving Voice to Values is an engaging, innovative, and useful guide that is essential reading for anyone in business.
By Stanley McChrystal [ Link to eBook ]
What if you could combine the agility, adaptability, and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization? When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2004, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly, and then seemingly vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment, and training—but none of that seemed to matter. It’s no secret that in any field, small teams have many advantages—they can respond quickly, communicate freely, and make decisions without layers of bureaucracy. But organizations taking on really big challenges can’t fit in a garage. They need management practices that can scale to thousands of people.
General McChrystal led a hierarchical, highly disciplined machine of thousands of men and women. But to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, his Task Force would have to acquire the enemy’s speed and flexibility. Was there a way to combine the power of the world’s mightiest military with the agility of the world’s most fearsome terrorist network? If so, could the same principles apply in civilian organizations? McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom and remade the Task Force, in the midst of a grueling war, into something new: a network that combined extremely transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority. The walls between silos were torn down. Leaders looked at the best practices of the smallest units and found ways to extend them to thousands of people on three continents, using technology to establish a oneness that would have been impossible even a decade earlier. The Task Force became a “team of teams”—faster, flatter, more flexible—and beat back Al Qaeda.
In this powerful book, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be relevant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations. The world is changing faster than ever, and the smartest response for those in charge is to give small groups the freedom to experiment while driving everyone to share what they learn across the entire organization. As the authors argue through compelling examples, the team of teams strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA. It has the potential to transform organizations large and small.
By Joseph J. Ellis [ Link to eBook ]
To this landmark biography of our first president, Joseph J. Ellis brings the exacting scholarship, shrewd analysis, and lyric prose that have made him one of the premier historians of the Revolutionary era. Training his lens on a figure who sometimes seems as remote as his effigy on Mount Rushmore, Ellis assesses George Washington as a military and political leader and a man whose “statue-like solidity” concealed volcanic energies and emotions.
Here is the impetuous young officer whose miraculous survival in combat half-convinced him that he could not be killed. Here is the free-spending landowner whose debts to English merchants instilled him with a prickly resentment of imperial power. We see the general who lost more battles than he won and the reluctant president who tried to float above the partisan feuding of his cabinet. His Excellency is a magnificent work, indispensable to an understanding not only of its subject but also of the nation he brought into being.
By Simon Sinek [ Link to eBook ]
Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. As Simon Sinek noticed in his travels around the world, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. Some of these teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each otherFar more common, unfortunately, are teams that seem doomed to infighting, fragmentation, and failure, no matter what incentives are offered. But why? The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general who explained a USMC tradition: “Officers eat last.” Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line.
What’s symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: great leaders sacrifice their own comfort—even their own survival—for the good of those in their care. This principle has been true since the earliest tribes of hunters and gatherers. It’s not a management theory; it’s biology. Our brains and bodies evolved to help us find food, shelter, mates, and especially safety. We’ve always lived in a dangerous world, facing predators and enemies at every turn. We thrived only when we felt safe among our group.
Our biology hasn’t changed in fifty thousand years, but our environment certainly has. Today’s workplaces tend to be full of cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best organizations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a Circle of Safety that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside. The Circle of Safety leads to stable, adaptive, confident teams, where everyone feels they belong and all energies are devoted to facing the common enemy and seizing big opportunities. Leaders who are willing to eat last are rewarded with deeply loyal colleagues who will stop at nothing to advance their leader’s vision and their organization’s interests. It’s amazing how well it works.
By Marianne M. Jennings [ Link to eBook ]
Marianne Jennings has spent a lifetime studying business ethics---and ethical failures. In demand nationwide as a speaker and analyst on business ethics, she takes her decades of findings and shows us in The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse the reasons that companies and nonprofits undergo ethical collapse, including: pressure to maintain numbers; fear and silence; 'young 'uns' and a larger-than-life CEO; a weak board; conflicts; innovation like no other; belief that goodness in some areas atones for wrongdoing in others
Don't watch the next accounting disaster take your hard-earned savings, or accept the perfect job only to find out your boss is cooking the books. If you're just interested in understanding the (not-so) ethical underpinnings of business today, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse is both a must-have tool and a fascinating window into today's business world.
By Lord Moran
Fear, and man’s attempt to master it, is of eternal interest and just as significant today as when Moran, as a young medical officer, went to the trenches in 1914 to research the subject scientifically. He asked why a man can appear to be as brave as a lion one day and break the next and, crucially, “what can be done to delay or prevent the using up of courage?”
First published in 1945, this early groundbreaking account of the psychological effects of war, recounted by means of vivid first-hand observation and anecdote, came at a time when shell-shock was equated with lack of moral fiber. In 1940, Moran became Churchill’s doctor and his position as a one of history’s most important war physicians was secured. His humane, considered observations, scientific analysis and proposed solutions constitute one of the great First World War sources. However, they are perhaps just as relevant to our own conflict-ridden times.
By Akhil Reed Amar [ Link to eBook ]
In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it. We all know this much: the Constitution is neither immutable nor perfect. Amar shows us how the story of this one relatively compact document reflects the story of America more generally. (For example, much of the Constitution, including the glorious-sounding “We the People,” was lifted from existing American legal texts, including early state constitutions.) In short, the Constitution was as much a product of its environment as it was a product of its individual creators’ inspired genius.
Despite the Constitution’s flaws, its role in guiding our republic has been nothing short of amazing. Skillfully placing the document in the context of late-eighteenth-century American politics, America’s Constitution explains, for instance, whether there is anything in the Constitution that is unamendable; the reason America adopted an electoral college; why a president must be at least thirty-five years old; and why–for now, at least–only those citizens who were born under the American flag can become president.
By Simon Sinek [ Link to eBook ]
In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY — the third most popular TED video of all time.Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.
START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
By James Stockdale
Thoughts on issues of character, leadership, integrity, personal and public virtue, and ethics, the selections in this volume converge around the central theme of how man can rise with dignity to prevail in the face of adversity—lessons just as valid for the challenges of present-day life as they were for the author’s Vietnam experience.Vice Admiral James Stockdale, a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, served in the U.S. Navy from 1947 to 1979, beginning as a test pilot and instructor at Patuxent River, Maryland, and spending two years as a graduate student at Stanford University. He became a fighter pilot and was shot down on his second combat tour over North Vietnam, becoming a prisoner of war for eight years, four in solitary confinement. The highest-ranking naval officer held during the Vietnam War, he was tortured fifteen times and put in leg irons for two years.
His books include Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot (1995, Hoover Institution Press) and In Love and War (second revised and updated edition, 1990, U.S. Naval Institute Press), coauthored with his wife, Sybil. In early 1987, a dramatic presentation of In Love and War was viewed by more than 45 million viewers on NBC television.
By James and Sybil Stockdale
A unique American chronicle of a Navy family’s life during the Vietnam War years, this widely acclaimed memoir has been updated to include an outspoken account of the Stockdale’s experiences in the seventeen years since Jim’s release from a Hanoi prison.
By Marcus Aurelius [ Link to eBook ]
Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161–180 CE, setting forth his ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. It is possible that large portions of the work were written at Sirmium, where he spent much time planning military campaigns from 170 to 180. Some of it was written while he was positioned at Aquincum on campaign in Pannonia, because internal notes tell us that the second book was written when he was campaigning against the Quadi on the river Granova (modern-day Hron) and the third book was written at Carnuntum.
It is not clear that he ever intended the writings to be published, so the title Meditations is but one of several commonly assigned to the collection. These writings take the form of quotations varying in length from one sentence to long paragraphs.
By Ronald A Heifetz and Marty Linsky
To lead is to live dangerously. It’s romantic and exciting to think of leadership as all inspiration, decisive action, and rich rewards, but leading requires taking risks that can jeopardize your career and your personal life. It requires putting yourself on the line, disturbing the status quo, and surfacing hidden conflict. And when people resist and push back, there’s a strong temptation to play it safe. Those who choose to lead plunge in, take the risks, and sometimes get burned.
But it doesn’t have to be that way say renowned leadership authorities Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky. In Leadership on the Line, they show how it’s possible to make a difference without getting “taken out” or pushed aside. They present everyday tools that give equal weight to the dangerous work of leading change and the critical importance of personal survival. Through vivid stories from all walks of life, the authors present straightforward strategies for navigating the perilous straits of leadership. Whether parent or politician, CEO or community activist, this practical book shows how you can exercise leadership and survive and thrive to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
By Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe [ Link to eBook ]
The unexpected is often dramatic, as with hurricanes or terrorist attacks. But the unexpected can also come in more subtle forms, such as a small organizational lapse that leads to a major blunder, or an unexamined assumption that costs lives in a crisis. Why are some organizations better able than others to maintain function and structure in the face of unanticipated change?
Authors Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe answer this question by pointing to high reliability organizations (HROs), such as emergency rooms in hospitals, flight operations of aircraft carriers, and firefighting units, as models to follow. These organizations have developed ways of acting and styles of learning that enable them to manage the unexpected better than other organizations. Thoroughly revised and updated, the second edition of the groundbreaking book Managing the Unexpected uses HROs as a template for any institution that wants to better organize for high reliability.
By by Melvin G. Williams, Sr. and Melvin G. Williams, Jr. [ Link to eBook ]
This book showcases important leadership lessons. The authors are the first African-American father and son to have served at the top in the U.S. Navy. In addition to the engaging biographical content of the book are the Seven C’s of Leadership: Character, Courage, Competence, Commitment, Caring, Community and Communicating that are explained through vivid examples that will serve to guide Sailors and Officers to a successful life and Navy career.
The father and son authors share inspirational lessons that cover all areas of the leadership spectrum, from the makings of a Command Master Chief to the makings and distinct achievement of a Flag Officer. Navy heritage embraces both men’s contributions since both father and son had to open doors that were closed to them due to their race. Melvin G. Williams Senior’s ability to make Fleet improvements and positive recommendations for others was passed on to his own son, who served as Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and obtained the rank of Vice Admiral.
By Andrew Gordon [ Link to eBook ]
Foreword by Admiral Sir John Woodward. When published in hardcover in 1997, this book was praised for providing an engrossing education not only in naval strategy and tactics but in Victorian social attitudes and the influence of character on history. In juxtaposing an operational with a cultural theme, the author comes closer than any historian yet to explaining what was behind the often described operations of this famous 1916 battle at Jutland. Although the British fleet was victorious over the Germans, the cost in ships and men was high, and debates have raged within British naval circles ever since about why the Royal Navy was unable to take advantage of the situation.
In this book Andrew Gordon focuses on what he calls a fault-line between two incompatible styles of tactical leadership within the Royal Navy and different understandings of the rules of the games.
By Peter M. Senge [ Link to eBook ]
Peter Senge’s groundbreaking ideas on building organizations have made him a household name amongst corporate managers. His theories help businesses to clarify their goals, to defy the odds, to more clearly understand threats, and to recognize new opportunities. He introduces managers to a new source of competitive advantage, and offers a marvelously empowering approach to work.
Mastery of Senge’s five disciplines enables managers to overcome their obstacles to growth and creates brave new futures for them and their companies. The five disciplines are drawn from science, spiritual wisdom, psychology, the cutting edge of management thought, and Senge’s own work with top corporations that employ his methods. Listening to The Fifth Discipline provides a searching personal experience and a dramatic professional shift of mind.
By James D. Hornfischer [ Link to eBook ]
“This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.”
With these words, Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland addressed the crew of the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts on the morning of October 25, 1944, off the Philippine Island of Samar. On the horizon loomed the mightiest ships of the Japanese navy, a massive fleet that represented the last hope of a staggering empire. All that stood between it and Douglas MacArthur’s vulnerable invasion force were the Roberts and the other small ships of a tiny American flotilla poised to charge into history. James D. Hornfischer paints an unprecedented portrait of the Battle of Samar, a naval engagement unlike any other in U.S. history—and captures with unforgettable intensity the men, the strategies, and the sacrifices that turned certain defeat into a legendary victory.
By Ian W. Toll [ Link to eBook ]
This masterful history encompasses the heart of the Pacific War—the period between mid-1942 and mid-1944—when parallel Allied counteroffensives north and south of the equator washed over Japan’s far-flung island empire like a “conquering tide,” concluding with Japan’s irreversible strategic defeat in the Marianas. It was the largest, bloodiest, most costly, most technically innovative and logistically complicated amphibious war in history, and it fostered bitter interservice rivalries, leaving wounds that even victory could not heal.
Often overlooked, these are the years and fights that decided the Pacific War. Ian W. Toll’s battle scenes—in the air, at sea, and in the jungles—are simply riveting. He also takes the reader into the wartime councils in Washington and Tokyo where politics and strategy often collided, and into the struggle to mobilize wartime production, which was the secret of Allied victory. Brilliantly researched, the narrative is propelled and colored by firsthand accounts—letters, diaries, debriefings, and memoirs—that are the raw material of the telling details, shrewd judgment, and penetrating insight of this magisterial history.
This volume—continuing the “marvelously readable dramatic narrative” (San Francisco Chronicle) of Pacific Crucible—marks the second installment of the Pacific War Trilogy, which will stand as the first history of the entire Pacific War to be published in at least twenty-five years.
By Karl Marlantes [ Link to eBook ]
Matterhorn is a visceral and spellbinding novel about what it is like to be a young man at war. It is an unforgettable novel that transforms the tragedy of Vietnam into a powerful and universal story of courage, camaraderie, and sacrifice: a parable not only of the war in Vietnam but of all war, and a testament to the redemptive power of literature.An incredible publishing story—written over the course of thirty years by a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, a New York Times best seller for sixteen weeks, a National Indie Next and a USA Today best seller—Matterhorn has been hailed as a “brilliant account of war” (New York Times Book Review).
Now out in paperback, Matterhorn is an epic war novel in the tradition of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and James Jones’s The Thin Red Line. It is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever.
By Epictetus [ Link to eBook ]
Although he was born into slavery and endured a permanent physical disability, Epictetus (ca. 50–ca. 130 AD) maintained that all people are free to control their lives and to live in harmony with nature. We will always be happy, he argued, if we learn to desire that things should be exactly as they are. After attaining his freedom, Epictetus spent his entire career teaching philosophy and advising a daily regimen of self-examination. His pupil Arrianus later collected and published the master's lecture notes; the Enchiridion, or Manual, is a distillation of Epictetus' teachings and an instructional manual for a tranquil life. Full of practical advice, this work offers guidelines for those seeking contentment as well as for those who have already made some progress in that direction. Translated by George Long.
By David Brooks [ Link to eBook ]
Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, David Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade.
Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.