[May 18, 2017] One of the good things about reading a book is that occasionally I stumble upon one (usually accidentally) that reinforces the time-tested basics of leadership. With the weather improving daily and my daily walking for exercise improving, I find myself less drawn to books that require thinking and more to those that entertainment. I consider this a bit of a disadvantage and distraction from self improvement but my wife continues to encourage me toward improving my mind. Today, two very different books, one I enjoyed for its simplicity of message and the other for providing insight into strategic thinking. We need more of these kinds of books.
Another shout-out to Tom Copeland for his diligence in compiling prominent lists of military readings. His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here: https://militaryreadinglists.com/map
The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Becoming an Exemplary Leader, James M. Kouzes and Barry Posner, 2014.
I’ve written many times about the importance of teaching practical leadership to children and young adults. This book’s authors Kouzes and Posner do just that; they focus on the young and impressionable. It is about the practices people use day to day to transform values into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations, separateness into solidarity, and risks into rewards. The writing is targeted for college level leaders but I found it just as appealing for either younger students or older adults who want to again see the basics. The text flows well and is tied together by the examples; often overlooked by more senior leaders. Great book to reinforce young leader training. Highly recommended.
Eyes on the Horizon: Serving on the Front Lines of National Security, General Richard B. Myers, USAF, Ret, 2009.
This book is the polar opposite of the above. General Myers takes us through his upbringing that affected his career choice as a U.S. Air Force officer and how he progressed intellectually from a tactical to a strategic mindset. He quickly identifies one of the important national security challenges – the radicalization of Islam – telling us what we should not do (reject Muslims) but struggles with a good solution. However, for those who want to read about a hugely successful man who became the 15th U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (the highest position in the military), this book is for you. Easy to read, complex issues simplified, and uses the interplay of senior leaders as the backdrop for how to perform best under pressure and in high visibility jobs. Highly recommended.
To go to the full Professional Reading list, simply click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/
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