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December 2014


"Best of" the Leadership Library!


As 2014 comes to a close, and so does the celebration of my first five years in business (and four years of building the Leadership Library), it feels like a good time to take a look back on the 56 books, articles, etc. I have reviewed so far in the Leadership Library and highlight some favorites.


I’ll be back with fresh reviews in 2015.  But in the meantime, here – in no particular order – are ten go-to resources I find myself recommending again and again to my leadership coaching clients:


Leadership Without Easy Answers by Ronald Heifetz (1994), because it presents an unsentimental and unsparing description of the true perils of leading social and cultural transformation. My Review


“Seven Transformations of Leadership” by David Rooke and William Torbert (Harvard Business Review, 2005) because it succinctly and persuasively explains how important it is that adult development and leadership effectiveness intersect. My Review


Finding Your True North: A Program to Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George (Jossey-Bass, 2008), because it is such an inclusive, versatile and compassionate handbook for either emerging or established leaders. My Review


Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in You and Your Organization by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey (Harvard Business Press, 2009), because it completely delivers on its title by explaining and dissecting human responses to change, and outlining a powerful formula for overcoming almost any barrier. My Review


“TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading” website, because I love the TED-Talk format; some of my favorite talks are still Brene Brown’s “The Power of Vulnerability,” Derek Sivers’ “How to Start a Movement” and Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” My Review


Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by Marilee Adams (Berrett-Koehler, 2009) because she offers simple tricks anyone can use to move from a “Judger” to a “Learner” mindset and become more open to creating and embracing opportunities. My Review


Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change by William Bridges (Da Capo, 2009), because it emphasizes how difficult and critical it is not to rush a major personal or professional transition by skipping necessary time in the “neutral zone” between the end of one phase and the beginning of the next. My Review


“The Servant as Leader” by Robert K. Greenleaf (The Greenleaf Center, 1973), because 40 years ago it laid out – presciently – the leadership challenges that are playing out in the 21st century, and it predicted that the leaders who are most capable of navigating such incredible volatility at such a fast pace are those who are “proven and trusted as servants” first. My Review


Leadership from the Inside Out by Kevin Cashman (Berret-Koehler, 2008), because it is such a smart and comprehensive treatise on leadership as well as a very pragmatic coaching tool. My Review


Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World (Stanford University Press, 2012), because it adeptly connects adult development, leadership, and organizational effectiveness by fusing an engaging rigorous academic orientation with a refreshingly practical approach. My Review


I would also like to take this opportunity to add a few shout-outs to my talented classmates from Georgetown’s Leadership Coaching Program and my gifted colleagues from other contexts whose excellent books have made it into the Leadership Library over the years:


• Kristin Kaufman’s Is This Seat Taken? (Brown Books Publishing, 2011)


• Doug Moran’s If You Will Lead (Agate Publishing, 2011)


• Susan Clark and Woden Teachout’s Slow Democracy (Chelsea Green, 2012)


• Cecile Green’s Collaboration That Works (, 2013)


• And one more plug for my own Seasons of Leadership: A Self Coaching Guide (Red Barn Books, 2014)



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