As 2019 winds down we took a look at some of the new books on leadership we enjoyed reading over the past year. We selected a few to share with you in case you have some time for reading over the holidays. Below are our seven picks for new leadership books of 2019 to check out. All of the descriptions are courtesy of Goodreads.
Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It)
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (Harvard Business Review Press, 2019)
Marshaling decades of rigorous research, Chamorro-Premuzic points out that although men make up a majority of leaders, they underperform when compared with female leaders. In fact, most organizations equate leadership potential with a handful of destructive personality traits, like overconfidence and narcissism. In other words, these traits may help someone get selected for a leadership role, but they backfire once the person has the job.
The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth
Amy C. Edmondson (Wiley, 2019)
With so much riding on innovation, creativity, and spark, it is essential to attract and retain quality talent–but what good does this talent do if no one is able to speak their mind? The traditional culture of “fitting in” and “going along” spells doom in the knowledge economy. Success requires a continuous influx of new ideas, new challenges, and critical thought, and the interpersonal climate must not suppress, silence, ridicule or intimidate. This book explores this culture of psychological safety, and provides a blueprint for bringing it to life.
Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
Cal Newport (Portfolio, 2019)
Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our personal technology. It’s the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world. Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. This book shows the way.
People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent
Joseph E. Stiglitz (W. W. Norton, 2019)
Stiglitz identifies the true sources of wealth and of increases in standards of living, based on learning, advances in science and technology, and the rule of law. In fact, the economic solutions are often quite clear. We need to exploit the benefits of markets while taming their excesses, making sure that markets work for us—the U.S. citizens—and not the other way around. An authoritative account of the predictable dangers of free market fundamentalism and the foundations of progressive capitalism, People, Power, and Profits shows us an America in crisis, but also lights a path through this challenging time.
Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell
Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle (Harper Business, 2019)
Based on interviews with over eighty people who knew and loved Bill Campbell, Trillion Dollar Coach explains the Coach’s principles and illustrates them with stories from the many great people and companies with which he worked. The result is a blueprint for forward-thinking business leaders and managers that will help them create higher performing and faster moving cultures, teams, and companies.
Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization?
Aaron Dignan (Portfolio 2019)
Nearly everyone, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, points to the same frustrations: lack of trust, bottlenecks in decision making, siloed functions and teams, meeting and email overload, tiresome budgeting, short-term thinking, and more. Haven’t countless business gurus promised the answer, yet changed almost nothing about the way we work? That’s because we fail to recognize that organizations aren’t machines to be predicted and controlled. They’re complex human systems full of potential waiting to be released.
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
David Epstein (Riverhood Books 2019)
David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields–especially those that are complex and unpredictable–generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.
If you have any new books you think we should check out, send us a note, we’re always looking for new, interesting, and informative reads.