by Michael Holland –
Great people leaders are lifelong learners consuming blog posts, podcasts, articles, videos and books to gain perspective and increase knowledge.
Leverage that driving or flying time – or get away from the in-laws time – this holiday with a good book.
Here are some favorites from books I read this year.
“Digital, Diverse & Divided” by David Livermore offers vital insights in an era of growing polarization. Livermore, a leading expert in cultural intelligence (CQ), provides tools to navigate contentious issues without coercing conformity. Drawing from his work with global leaders, he employs cultural intelligence to bridge societal rifts, addressing everyday challenges and emotional fatigue stemming from divisive conversations. This book combines research, anecdotes, and actionable strategies to foster authentic connections and build a culturally intelligent world, as praised by experts across fields.
Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Leadership: In Turbulent Times” dives deep into the journeys of four U.S. presidents—Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and Johnson—revealing their evolution from ambitious individuals to impactful leaders amid national crises. Goodwin emphasizes that leadership isn’t predetermined, exploring how these figures tackled adversity with resilience, guided by moral purpose. Though lacking in specific leadership traits, the book’s strength lies in its vivid context, offering timely inspiration for leaders navigating today’s divisive landscape.
“Poverty, by America” by Matthew Desmond is a searing exploration of the United States’ paradoxical wealth and prevalent poverty. Through compelling narratives and rigorous research, Desmond unveils how the affluent exploit the poor, perpetuating a system that prioritizes personal gain over societal welfare. This urgent call to action challenges readers to confront their complicity, offering innovative solutions to abolish poverty and foster shared prosperity. Desmond’s impassioned plea for change forces us to reconsider our roles in perpetuating poverty while providing tangible steps toward a fairer society.
“Answering Why” by Mark C. Perna revolutionizes understanding and motivating the younger generation. Perna, a seasoned expert in education and workforce development, offers powerful strategies to bridge the gap between educators, employers, and parents. This book empowers readers to connect with the “Why Generation,” fostering passion, relevance, and self-discovery in learning. Packed with real-world success stories and endorsed by industry leaders, it’s a game-changer for anyone seeking to unleash the potential of young people today.
“Willful Blindness” by Margaret Heffernan explores why individuals and groups ignore impending disasters, corporate collapses, and crimes against humanity. Drawing from psychology, neuroscience, and real-life examples, Heffernan uncovers the reasons behind this behavior and offers solutions: challenging biases, encouraging debate, and confronting complex problems. Through engaging prose and poignant examples from business and beyond, the book exposes the dangers of turning a blind eye and advocates for greater mindfulness in navigating uncomfortable truths.
Be a life long learner and lead well!
Each year, I strive to read as many books as possible while also listening to Podcasts and reading articles that catch my eye. Here is a list of the books I’ve read in 2023 on my personal blog.