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As one part of Susan’s commitment to continuous professional development, she is constantly reading literature on the topics of leadership and organizational development. She also has a particular interest in adult development theory (also known as vertical development, or consciousness development) and its intersection with leadership research.


The “Leadership Library” is a monthly review of books and other resources that Susan recommends, and why. In each entry, she answers the questions:


• What are the big take-aways?

• Why did I like it?

• In what situations would this be useful?

• What other resources might “pair” well with it?


If you'd like to receive the monthly resource reviews in your inbox, click on the button above to subscribe to the Leadership Library Blog.




December 2019

NEW! - Navigating Polarities: Using Both/And Thinking to Lead Transformation


November 2019

The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote


October 2019

“The Black Swallowtail” by Mary Oliver


September 2019

Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change

by Stacey Abrams (Picador, 2019)


August 2019

“Research: Women Score Higher Than Men in Most Leadership Skills”

by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman in Harvard Business Review (June 25, 2019)


July 2019

“Story Mastery: Leading with Inspiration” in Leadership from the Inside Out

by Kevin Cashman (Berrett-Koehler, rev. 2017)


June 2019

Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness

by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. (Harmony, 2018)


May 2019

The Roadmap to Nobility

TEDx Talk by Cindy Wigglesworth (2014)


April 2019

Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps: How to Thrive in Complexity

by Jennifer Garvey Berger (Stanford, 2019)


March 2019

Scaling Leadership: Building Organizational Capability and Capacity to Create Outcomes that Matter Most by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams (Wiley, 2019)


February 2019

Dare to Lead: Daring Greatly and Rising Strong at Work by Brene Brown (Random House, 2018)


January 2019

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman and Kaley Warner Klemp (Chapman, Dethmer & Klemp, 2014)


December 2018

The Empathy Effect by Helen Riess, MD (Sounds True, 2018)


November 2018

"The Business Case for Curiosity" by Francesca Gino (Harvard Business Review, September/October 2018)


October 2018

The Senegalese "Thinker"


September 2018

Claiming Your Place at the Fire: Living the Second Half of Your Life by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro (Berrett- Koehler, 2004)


August 2018

Leadership Lessons from Adopting a Shelter Dog


July 2018

The Leadership Circle Profile™


June 2018

The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger (Scribner, 2017)


May 2018

Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems edited by Phyllis Cole-Day and Ruby R. Wilson (Grayson Books, 2017)


April 2018

Leadership Purpose


March 2018

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World featuring His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams (Avery, 2016)


February 2018

Design Thinking


January 2018

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard (Liveright, 2017)


December 2017

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (Knopf, 2016)


November 2017

Khizr Khan interview on “Face the Nation” regarding his book, An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice (Random House, 2017)


October 2017

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

by Michael Bungay Stanier (Box of Crayons Press, 2017)


September 2017

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (Curator: Lonnie Bunch)


August 2017

Who Do We Choose To Be? Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity

by Margaret J. Wheatley (Berrett-Koehler, 2017)


July 2017

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

by Warren Berger (Bloomsbury, 2014)


June 2017

2017 Harvard Law School Commencement Address

by Sally Yates


May, 2017

"Accepting This"

by Mark Nepo


April 2017

A "20-20-20" Resiliency Practice


March 2017

Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead

edited by Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner (Jossey-Bass, 2007)


February 2017

"Hidden Figures"

(20th Century Fox, 2016)


January 2017

Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia


December 2016

Abstract Painting, #34 (1964)

by Ad Reinhardt


November 2016

Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

by Parker Palmer (Jossey-Bass, 2011)


October 2016

David Ortiz and the Major League Baseball Tribute Video, “If”

(MLB Video, 9/30/16)


September 2016

“Mike Birbiglia’s 6 Tips for Making It Small in Hollywood or Anywhere”

by Mike Birbiglia (New York Times, 9/2/16)


August 2016

Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau, 2015)


July 2016

Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders

by Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston (Stanford, 2015)


June 2016

An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization

by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey (Harvard Business Review Press, 2016)


May 2016

Krista Tippett Interview of David Whyte: “The Conversational Nature of Reality”

(, 4/7/16)


April 2016

“Will Democracy Trump Fascism”

by Parker Palmer (, 3/23/16)


March 2016

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert (Riverhead Books, 2015)


February 2016

Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Results

by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams (Wiley, 2016)


January 2016

Your Brain: A User's Guide

(National Geographic: 2012, 2015)


December 2015

Discover Your True North Fieldbook: A Personal Guide to Becoming an Authentic Leader

by Bill George, et al. (Wiley, 2015)


November 2015

Holiday Gift Guide for Leaders


October 2015

The Mindful School Leader

by Valerie Brown and Kirsten Olson (Corwin, 2015)


September 2015

Mo’Ne Davis: Remember My Name

by Mo’Ne  Davis with Hilary Beard (Harper, 2015)


August 2015

"Inside Out" (Pixar, 2015)


July 2015

Online Guided Meditations for Stress Reduction


June 2015

“On Being”

with Krista Tippett, National Public Radio Program


May 2015

Is This Seat Taken?: It’s Never Too Late to Find the Right Seat

by Kristin S. Kaufman (Greenleaf, 2015)


April 2015

The Dawn of System Leadership

by Peter Senge, Hal Hamilton and John Kania (Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2015)


March 2015


by Sophia Amoruso (Penguin, 2014)


February 2015

“Inside Transformational Leadership” Radio Show on VoiceAmerica

hosted by Kate Ebner and produced by Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership


January 2015

Reframing Academic Leadership

by Lee G. Bolman and Joan V. Gallos (Jossey-Bass, 2011)


December 2014

"Best of" the Leadership Library


November 2014

Seasons of Leadership: A Self-Coaching Guide

by Susan M. Palmer (Red Barn Books, 2014)


October 2014

Tao Te Ching

by Lao Tzu, translated by Stephen Mitchell (HarperPerennial, 1992)


September 2014

Outliers: The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, 2008)


August 2014

Art Meditation


July 2014

Appreciative Leadership

by Diana Whitney, Ph.D., Amanda Trosten-Bloom and Kae Rader (McGraw-Hill, 2010)


June 2014

"Making Business Personal"

by Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Andy Fleming and Matthew Miller (Harvard Business Review, April 2014)


May 2014

"The Confidence Gap"

by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman (The Atlantic, April 2014)


April 2014

Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions

by John Kotter (St. Martin's Press, 2005)


March 2014

Collaboration that Works: A Ruthlessly Practical Handbook for a Generative World

by Cecile M. Green (, 2013)


February 2014

So Far From Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World

by Margaret J. Wheatley (Berrett-Koehler, 2012)


January 2014

"The Focused Leader"

by Daniel Goleman (Harvard Business Review, December 2013)


December 2013

The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future

by John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio (Jossey-Bass 2013)


November 2013

Everyone Leads: Building Leadership From the Community Up

by Paul Schimtz (Jossey-Bass 2012)


October 2013


by Lisa Gerrard and Peter Bourke (from the album Duality, 1998)


September 2013

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

by Sheryl Sandberg (Knopf, 2013)


August 2013

Source: The Inner Path of Knowledge Creation

by Joseph Jaworski (Berrett-Koehler, 2012)


July 2013

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead

by Brene Brown (Gotham, 2012)


June 2013

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change

by William Bridges (Da Capo, 2009)


May 2013

A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice an Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit

by Congressman Tim Ryan (Hay House, 2012)


April 2013

VIA Surveys

available online at the VIA Institute on Character


March 2013

Building the Bridge as You Walk on It

by Robert E. Quinn (Jossey-Bass, 2004)


February 2013

Thinking about Leadership

by Nannerl O. Keohane (Princeton University Press, 2010)


January 2013

Buddha Board Mini

by Buddha Board, Inc. (Vancouver, B.C., Canada)


December 2012

"Seven Transformations of Leadership"

David Rooke and William Torbert (Harvard Business Review, 2005)


November 2012

Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home

Susan Clark and Woden Teachout (Chelsea Green, 2012)


October 2012

"Future Trends in Leadership Development"

by Nick Petrie (Center for Creative Leadership, 2011)


September 2012

“Visionary Leader, Extraordinary Life” Radio Show on Voice America

hosted by Kate Ebner


August 2012

Retooling on the Run: Real Change for Leaders with No Time

by Stuart Heller & David Sheppard Surrenda (Frog, Ltd., 1994)


July 2012

"Why Women Still Can't Have It All"

by Anne-Marie Slaughter (The Atlantic, July/August 2012)


June 2012

Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace: Seven Steps to Renew Confidence, Commitment and Energy

by Dennis Reina & Michelle Reina (Berrett-Koehler, 2010)


May 2012

Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team

by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey-Bass, 2005)


April 2012

"The Servant as Leader"

by Robert K. Greenleaf (The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, 1973)


March 2012

Leadership from the Inside Out

by Kevin Cashman (Berrett-Koehler, 2008)


February 2012

Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World

by Jennifer Garvey Berger (Stanford University Press, 2012)


January 2012

Is This Seat Taken?

by Kristin S. Kaufman (Brown Books Publishing Group, 2011)


December 2011


by Tina Fey (Little, Brown and Company, 2011)


November 2011

“Positive Psychology: Harnessing the power of happiness, mindfulness, and personal strength,” A Harvard Medical School Special Health Report

by Harvard Health Publications (Harvard University, 2011)


October 2011

Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders

by Srinivasan S. Pillay  (Pearson Education, 2011)


September 2011

Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre

by Keith Johnstone (Routledge, 1981)


August 2011

Leadership Without Easy Answers

by Ronald A. Heifetz (Harvard University Press, 1994)


July 2011

If You Will Lead: Enduring Wisdom for 21st-Century Leaders

by Doug Moran (Agate Publishing, 2011)


June 2011

Uncovering the Blind Spot of Leadership

by C. Otto Scharmer (Leader to Leader, Winter 2008 pp. 52-58)


May 2011

Change Your Questions Change Your Life

by Marilee Adams (2nd ed., Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009)


April 2011

The Next Level: What Insiders Know about Executive Success

by Scott Eblin (2nd ed., Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2011)


March 2011

Strengths Based Leadership

by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie  (Gallup Press, 2008)


February 2011

Finding Your True North: A Program to Discover Your Authentic Leadership

by Bill George, et al.  (Jossey-Bass, 2008)


January 2011

Flow:  The Psychology of Optimal Experience

by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008)


December 2010

TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading


November 2010

The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book:  Everything You Need to Know to Put Your EQ to Work

by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves (Simon & Shuster, 2005)


October 2010

The Shadow Effect:  Illuminating the Power of Your True Self

by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson (Harper Collins Publishers, 2010)


September 2010

Leadership Agility:  Five Levels of Mastery for Anticipating and Initiating Change

by Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs (John Wiley & Sons, 2007)


August 2010

Love Leadership:  The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World

by John Hope Bryant (Jossey-Bass, 2009)


July 2010

Drive:  The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

by Daniel H. Pink (Riverhead Books, 2009)


June 2010

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom

by Rick Hanson (New Harbinger Publications, 2009)


May 2010

Resonant Leadership

by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee (Harvard Business School Press, 2005)


April 2010

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)




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