The 2018 AWESOME Summer Reading List starts with two books highlighted at the Symposium – and continues with books we’ve selected from recommendations made by Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes and Business Insider. You’ll find insights about optimizing your leadership skills, maximizing your success and satisfaction, increasing diversity in your organization, and navigating through a rapidly changing future.
Our list pays special attention to include good books by women. (50% of these authors are women.)
WHY WOMEN – The Business imperative to Advancing Women and Engaging Men
by Jeffery Tobias Halter
(Speaker and Moderator at 2018 AWESOME Symposium)
Given to all participants of the 2018 AWESOME Symposium — where the author presented findings of his extensive research and led a panel on the topic of advancing women — this book focuses on engaging men, who still hold 85% of all leadership positions. WHY WOMEN is filled with stories, exercises and templates to help organizations drive meaningful change for women.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
by Carol Dweck
(Mentioned by Girish Rishi, CEO of JDA Software, Host Partner of 2018 Symposium)
After decades of research, Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this book, she shows how success in almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed.
The CEO Next Door: The 4 Behaviors That Transform Ordinary People into World-Class Leaders
by Elena Botelho and Kim Powell
The authors offer conclusions about what makes a great CEO (being decisive and reliable, delivering what they promise, adapting to changing conditions, and engaging stakeholders), drawing from extensive data.
The Right — and Wrong — Stuff
by Carter Cast
A professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the author explores what factors lead some employees to rise to the top while equally talented employees “derail.” He lands on five career archetypes that cut across gender, industry, and experience level, and he’s highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Your Best Year Ever: A Five Step Plan for Achieving your Most Important Goals
by Michael Hyatt
This book by CEO, entrepreneur, and successful author Hyatt is about goal setting and achieving, at home and at work.
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss without Losing Your Humanity
by Kim Scott
For anyone with a team to lead, this book puts the leader’s role into serious perspective, especially for those who run virtual teams and don’t often see the talent. Scott provides examples related to experience leading teams at Google and Apple in order to illustrate how to care deeply for employees, offer better feedback, and challenge team members directly.
Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships That Matter
by Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh
The authors describe a new breed of professionals born out of the social media era who understand the power of relationship-building and who problem-solve by connecting the dots at high levels.
Leading Through the Turn: How a Journey Mindset Can Help Leaders Find Success and Significance
by Elise Mitchell
Author Mitchell provides direction on how to become what she terms a “destination leader with a journey mindset.” To show you how to develop that mindset, she shares numerous lessons, stories, and interviews with successful leaders.
What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know
by Joan Dempsey, Rachel Dempsey, and Anne-Marie Slaughter
This book is a practical ‘how-to’ manual for women trying to figure out what concretely to do when they realize that something is wrong in their careers, that they are not advancing as fast as the men around them or have been turned down for a promotion they wanted.
Strong Enough: Choosing Courage, Resilience, and Triumph
by Anne Grady
Grady shares a formula, including questions, assignments, and self-assessments, for cultivating courage and building resilience that can help overcome any obstacle or setback.
Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have all the Facts
by Annie Duke
What can business leaders learn from a champion poker player? She offers practical advice on risk assessment and emotional control.
Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change
by Ellen Pao
A graduate of Princeton, Harvard, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, as well as a tech investor and former CEO of Reddit, Pao became known in 2012, for filing a gender discrimination suit against former employer Kleiner Perkins. She has since founded the diversity consulting non-profit organization Project Include.
What To Do When Machines Do Everything: How to Get Ahead in a World of AI, Algorithms, Bots, and Big Data
by Malcolm Frank, Paul Roehrig, and Ben Pring.
If you’re interested in AI and machine learning and what it means for your role in the future of business, you may benefit from reading what these tech experts think is the next generation of the digital economy. This book moves past all the media “doom and gloom” about machines, AI, and robots and outlines tactical recommendations for strategic business models and pathways to get the most from the new technology.
Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom & Responsibility
by Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix
The author advocates for a “radically honest” workplace.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
by Daniel H. Pink
How to increase the impact of decisions by getting the timing right.
The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win
by Jeff Haden, Inc. Magazine columnist
The author identifies processes people can use to maximize their drive to succeed.
Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life
by Lean Berman and Jeremy Bernard
Advice from two former White House secretaries on how to navigate the social aspects of work
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
by Daniel Coyle
This book explores traits of organizations and teams that outperform others.
The holidays are a great time for giving – and getting – new reading material. We searched the recommendations of such sources as Forbes, Amazon, CNBC, Inc. Magazine and put together an AWESOME reading list on topics such as women’s accomplishments, leadership, success, innovation, teambuilding, and more. The list also includes some selections for young girls.
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars
By Dava Sobel
This book features the women “computers” whose calculations helped shape observational astronomy.
By Seth Stephens-Davidowitx
The author, a Harvard-trained economist and former Google data scientist, explored the myriad use of Big Data and how the very definition of “data” is constantly expanding.
by Tasha Eurich
As an organizational psychologist, the author helps people overcome obstacles to professional success — and a big one is being oblivious to their flaws and mistakes. In “Insight,” she dives deep into the topic of self-awareness, and why it’s crucial to success at work — especially if you’re a leader.
by Daniel McGinn
All about the science of mental preparation for challenging moments, this book consists of the author’s interviews with successful people in a range of fields — from athletes, to comedians, to military leaders — as well as relevant psychological research.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
by Angela Duckworth
Pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”
Lead and Disrupt: How to Solve the Innovator’s Dilemma
by Professor Charles O’Reilly and Michael Tushman
Blockbuster, Kodak, and RadioShack: all huge companies that ultimately failed. The authors here argue that to be truly resilient, companies must develop what they call ambidexterity–the ability to win new domains while staying true to your core competencies.
The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams
by Sam Walker
The deputy editor for enterprise at the Wall Street Journal and a former sports columnist, Walker identified the preeminent sports teams throughout history and determined they all had an influential captain at the time they reigned supreme. He goes on to analyze the seven commonalities of those captains as exceptional leaders.
The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career
By Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power
The authors are co-founders and co-CEOs of a media group and a successful clothing line at Target. Their rules are intended to help women navigate the corporate ladder.
Permission to Screw Up: How I Learned to Lead by Doing (Almost) Everything Wrong
By Kristen Hadeed
Kristen Hadeed is the founder and CEO of Student Maid, a cleaning company that hires students. This book tells the story of how she went from being an almost comically inept leader to a sought-after CEO who teaches others how to lead.
Give Work: Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time
By Leila Janah
Leila Janah is the founder and CEO of Samasource and LXMI, both ventures focused on using new sourcing techniques to reduce poverty. A Harvard-educated former management consultant, she shows how it’s possible to build a successful business that lifts people out of poverty—not by giving them money but by giving them work.
For young readers:
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
By Rachel Ignotofsky
A good book for any young girl interested in STEM, it is an illustrated collection of short biographies detailing the lives of 50 notable women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed The World
By Chelsea Clinton
This book celebrates the lives of women through history who helped shape America through their tenacity, including Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, and others.
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)
By Malala Yousafzai
A memoir by the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Stories for Rebel Girls
By Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
This is a collection of illustrated stories that celebrate extraordinary women, past and present, who have achieved incredible results, despite all odds.
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina (Young Readers Edition)
By Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland tells the story of her journey to become the first African-American principal ballerina at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre.
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Written by Patty Lovell and Illustrated by David Catrow
This illustrated book — about a little girl who transforms her flaws into talents — aims to help other little girls embrace their flaws as characteristics that set us apart and make us who we are.
Image Scrimmage – 9 Ways Women Win With Body Language
By Dr. Donna Van Natten
This book is about harnessing the power of non-verbal communications in business. A review of the book on Inc.com focuses in on “4 Powerful Body Language Habits of Confident People.”
How to Be a Power Connector
By Judy Robinett
A new book by the author of The 5+50+50 Rule (published in 2014) offers practical strategies for meeting the people you need to know and bonding with them fast to further your goals and theirs.
Leaders Eat Last: Why some teams pull, together and others don’t
by Simon Sinek
The author uses a concept employed in the military to help leaders build teams with members that trust each other, give their best effort, and gain satisfaction from their work. Sinek also has written Start with Why and Together is Better and has a popular video about Millenials in the Workplace.
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness
Written by a former McKinsey consultant and an Olympic coach, this book proposes that the qualities needed to succeed and achieve top performance are the same in any field. The authors include scientific insights into the cognitive and neurochemical factors that drive performance in all domains.
Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World
by Mitch Prinstein
As the issue of like ability is often raised for women leaders, this book examines the topic from psychological and scientific perspectives. “It’s not always the conventionally popular people who fare the best, for the simple reason that there is more than one type of popularity—and many of us still long for the wrong one. As children, we strive to be likable, which can offer real benefits not only on the playground but throughout our lives. In adolescence, though, a new form of popularity emerges, and we suddenly begin to care about status, power, influence, and notoriety—research indicates that this type of popularity hurts us more than we realize.”
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Sheryl Sandberg fans may enjoy reading this book covering her life after losing her husband and offering insights on building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs
by Grace Bonney
When women reflect on their aspirations, experiences and lessons, they often seem to have much in common, whatever their specific profession or enterprise.
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
by Rachel Ignotofsky
More inspiration from women – in this book, women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Discovering Hidden Profit: Advanced Supply-Chain Decision Making
by co-authors Robert Martichenko and Peter Marks
AWESOME’s Director of Member Engagement and Sponsorships, Heather Sheehan, is one of the supply chain experts contributing to this book focusing on implementation of operating principles and management methods to connect the core processes of business strategy, product life-cycle management, sales and marketing, and supply chain operations.
Mistakes I Made at Work
edited by Jessica Bacal
This book contains profiles of 25 “influential women” — entrepreneurs, writers, management consultants, professors, not-for-profit executives and others – offering candid reflections on “What They Got Out of Getting it Wrong.”
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs
by Grace Bonney
100 women who’ve achieved success in a wide range of fields offer practical advice based on their own career experiences.
Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent
by Sidney Finkelstein
A good complement to books giving lessons in reaching the top, this book helps bosses make sure they’re effective in their role as a company leader.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz
The authors, all with experience as members and leaders of design teams at companies such as Google and YouTube, offer a formula for testing ideas that can be applied at a start-up or a large organization.
Drift and Hum: The Great Canadian-American Novel
by Robert Martichenko, CEO of LeanCor and 2015 CSCMP Distinguished Service Award recipient
Joining his already impressive list of business books, Martichenko‘s first novel tells the story of Sam, a 50-year-old South Carolina man who reflects from the present day back to his Canadian childhood to make sense of “the kite ride of life” and dealing with all of the challenges along the way. Other books written by Martichenko include Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade; Building a Lean Fullfillment Stream: Rethinking Your Supply Chain and Logistics to Create Maximum Value at Minimum Total Cost; PEOPLE: A leader’s day-to-day guide to building, managing and sustaining lean organizations; Lean Six Sigma Logistics: Strategic Development to Operational Success; and Success in 60 Seconds.
by Phil Knight
In this memoir, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. NIKE, Inc. was AWESOME’s 2016 Symposium Host Partner.
Right from the Start: Taking Charge in a New Leadership Role
by Dan Ciampa and Michael Watkins
Recommended during the panel discussion “Beyond Supply Chain: Taking it to the Next Level” at the 2016 AWESOME Symposium, “Right from the Start” lays out an action-oriented framework to follow during the early months of a transition.
Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur
By Alwill Lebya Cara
GIRL CODE is a roadmap for female entrepreneurs, professional women, “side hustlers” (those with a day job who are building a business on the side), and anyone in between who wants to become a better woman. It advises how to build confidence, eradicate jealousy, and learn the power of connection.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
by Daniel Kahneman
The author, a renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. He describes how the two systems shape our thinking on everything from developing corporate strategies to predicting what will make us happy in the future to playing the stock market to planning a vacation.
Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable
by Tim S. Grover
In Relentless, Grover takes his experience as personal trainer to Michael Jordan and other sports greats and details the essential traits shared by the most intense competitors and achievers in sports, business, and all walks of life.
Good to be Grand
by Cheryl Harbour
A departure from subjects covered by most books on AWESOME’s recommended reading, this book is written by AWESOME’s chief communications advisor, Cheryl Harbour. For grandparents or grandparents-to-be, the book, with a foreword by Hillary Clinton, provides information and insights for making the most of the experience.
Helpful Holiday Reading
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
Dr. Amy Cuddy
The author, a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, writes about how having the right body language can increase confidence and personal power in challenging situations.
Read more about Cuddy
Recommended books — Fall/Winter 2015
Mindfulness for Creativity
by Dr. Danny Penman
Simple mindfulness techniques at the heart of Mindfulness for Creativity dissolve anxiety and stress and have been proven to enhance creativity, problem solving and decision making – skills that are needed not only by ‘creatives’ but by anyone who want to optimize their work, life and overall wellbeing.
A Higher Standard
by retired General Ann Dunwoody
The first female four-star general chronicles her life, service and the leadership strategies she learned along the way. A quote: “I’ve watched doors open my entire career. Some are opened for you, some you have to kick down.”
Read article in Army Times
by Anne-Marie Slaughter
As a successor to her well-known article in The Atlantic – “Why Women Can’t Have it All” – the author, a successful professional explores why the ideal worker is still imagined as either a single person or someone with a spouse at home to take care of all family matters and how that impacts women’s careers. She urges readers to see caregiving and paid work as two kinds of vital human activities that can be done by either men or women and presents a wish list of public policy changes.
Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work
by Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson
Recommended by AWESOME Founder Ann Drake this book makes the case that “the female vision” – what women notice, what they value, how they connect the dots – constitutes women’s most powerful asset in the workplace. Another book worth reading is Helgesen’s previous book The Female Advantage: Women’s Ways of Leadership.
Twitter is not a Strategy: Remastering the Art of Brand Marketing
by Tom Doctoroff
The author contends that Twitter is just one way to execute a strategy that should be built on creativity and positioning.
Intelligent Leadership: What you need to know to unlock your full potential
by John Mattone
This book focuses on helping people identify their predominant leadership trait as well as the traits of people around them.
Know Yourself Like Your Success Depends on It (Six Simple Steps to Success Book 2)
by Michael Stawicki
The author presents a simple process of self-analysis he says will help you understand your strengths and vices and create a smother, simpler path to success.
Recommended books — Summer 2015
Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career
by Sylvia Ann Hewlett
Recommended during the Symposium discussion about sponsorships (men’ panel: Collaboration in Action), this book reveals the “two-way street” that makes sponsorship such a strong and mutually beneficial alliance.
Talk Like Ted: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds
By Carmine Gallo
Ted Talks have transformed the way people speak about their passionate interests. After analyzing the elements that make Ted Talks so successful, the author gives advice about making any presentation more compelling.
The Zen of Social Media Marketing
by Shama Kabani
This book outlines the most popular social media tools and defines best practices for using them.
Three Simple Steps
by Trevor Blake
The author has studied the habits of highly successful women and men and condensed their winning ways into three basic rules.
I Know How She Does It
by Laura Vanderkam
Answering the question of how women with high-powered jobs navigate around the double-glass ceiling issue (family and career challenges), the author says the solution is ”outsourcing the grunt work.”
Networking is a Contact Sport: How Staying Connected and Serving Others Will Help You Grow Your Business, Expand Your Influence — or Even Land Your Next Job
by Joe Sweeney with Mike Yorkey
Continuing to explore the parallel between success in business and sports, (as Susan Packard does in “New Rules of the Game,”) this book is written by a highly successful business owner, sports agent and executive and investment banking consultant and has a special section on networking for women.
Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead
by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
This book, by the Harvard Professor who was described at the AWESOME Symposium as “one of the world’s most advanced thinkers, writers, teachers, and change agents in leadership and diversity, is a straight-talking, no nonsense look at America’s crumbling infrastructure and when needs to be done to fix the problems.
New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace
by Susan Packard
The co-founder and former COO, HGTV, spoke at the AWESOME Symposium about how women can cultivate “gamesmanship” and apply that to their business challenges. She also moderated a panel of c-suite executives discussing their career paths and experiences.
by Carol Dweck
Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychologist who has spent many years studying achievement and success, compares a “fixed mindset” with a “growth mindset.” In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are fixed traits. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. According to Dweck, “This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”
Switch: How to change things when change is hard
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
The authors draw from research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how individuals and companies can effect transformative change.
The Exhaustion Breakthrough: Unmask the Hidden Reasons You’re Tired and Beat Fatigue for Good
by Dr. Holly Phillips
Dr. Phillips is a board-certified internist and a medical contributor to CBS News. She examines the reasons many people are chronically exhausted from demands of their jobs and other aspects of their lives, and describes steps to address them.
Essentials of Supply Chain Management
by Michael Hugos
Supply Chain Transformation: Practical Roadmap to Best Practice Results
by Rich Sherman
Supply Chain Management: Process, Partnerships, Performance
by Douglas Lambert
Lean RFS (Repetitive Flexible Supply}: Putting the Pieces Together
by Ian Fraser Glenday and Rick Sather
Leadership Skills and Women’s Leadership
The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business
by Patrick Lencioni
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap. And Others Don’t
by Jim Collins
Invent, Reinvent, Thrive: The Keys to Success for any Start-up, Entrepreneur or Family Business
by Lloyd Shefsky
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler
The Leadership Engine: How Winning Companies Build Leaders at Every Level
by Noel Tichy
The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company
by Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, and James Noel
Why Women Mean Business: Understanding the Emergence of our Next Economic Revolution
by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox and Alison Maitland
Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling: Comparison of Women’s Campaigns for Executive Office
by Rainbow Murray
Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business
by Pat Hei
The Confidence Code
by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
Managing Teams and Collaborating
Work With Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business
by Barbara Annis and John Gray
The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Creative Conspiracy: The New Rules of Breakthrough Collaboration
by Leigh Thompson
Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done
by Dick Axelrod
Personal Efficiency and Productivity
The Zen Master’s Guide to Tackling Your Email & Work
by Charles Hudson
Work Smarter, Rule Your Email
by Alexandra Samuel
Never Check Email in the Morning
by Julia Morgenstern
Other Topics of Interest
The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy
by Bruce Katz