Featured Read

From Podcast Guest Recommendations on Leadership

Recommended by Gordon Whitehead


Tough Choices: A Memoir

Any person facing an uphill corporate climb will gain strength from Carly’s story. I had the privilege of studying Carly’s leadership for a doctoral research project and in preparation for a presentation on leadership. While I have never met her personally, I presented a paper that identified her as an authentic leader who operated in the face of bullying and discrimination. Carly is a collaborative leader and her book helps show the pattern for breaking through to make a difference as a leader.

The Rest of Our Leadership Library

Recommendations from Our Leaders247 Podcast Guests

How Did That Happen? Recommended by Alex Shootman. Holding people accountable for results the positive, principled way – this book is a recipe for driving execution in your organization with principles.

Moments of Truth. Recommended by Alex Shootman. How do you think about organizing the company to service the customer? Jan Carlzon, CEO of Scandinavia Airlines (SAS) shows how to adapt to the new customer-driven economy.

Biography of Alexander Hamilton. Recommended by Alex Shootman. Time is cyclical – leaders learn from history how to work with the present and future. Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton.

The Fourth Turning. Recommended by Alex Shootman. As a leader you have to be a predictor, and this book provides a framework based on what the cycles of history tell us about America’s next rendezvous with destiny.

Strength Finders. Recommended by Jennifer Smith. Leaders have to know who they are as leaders. Too often, our natural talents go untapped. Developing strengths is a far better effort than constantly fixing shortcomings

First, Break All the Rules. Recommended by Jennifer Smith. What the world’s greatest managers do differently – Gallop presents findings of a study of more than 80,000 managers – revealing what the great managers do differently.

Crossing the Unknown Sea. Recommended by Jennifer Smith. What does it mean to be human in the workplace? This book is about reuniting the imagination with our day to day lives. It shows how poetry and practicality, far from being mutually exclusive, reinforce each other to give every aspect of our lives meaning and direction.

Man’s Search for Meaning. Recommended by Gordon Whitehead. Viktor Frankl’s classic memoir. Life in Nazi death camps, lessons for spiritual survival, coping with suffering…we can find meaning in life and that meaning shapes our purpose as we move forward.

The Workforce Scorecard Recommended by: Eileen Kunze To maximize the power of the workforce, organizations must meet view the workforce in terms of contribution rather than cost; focus on strategic impact; and make line managers and HR professionals jointly responsible for executing initiatives.

Great by Choice Recommended by:  Eileen Kunze Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty? Based on nine years of research,buttressed by rigorous analysis and infused with engaging stories, Collins and his colleague Morten Hansen enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous and fast-moving times.

The Leadership Pipeline Recommended by:  Eileen Kunze Leadership at every level is needed for company survival. Yet the leadership pipeline –the internal strategy to grow leaders – in many companies is dry or nonexistent. The authors show how organizations can develop leadership.

The 2020 Workplace Recommended by:  Eileen Kunze A must-read guide to the innovative strategies that the best companies are using to create a workplace that the best talent chooses—both today and in 2020. In The 2020 Workplace, you will find a battle plan to start winning tomorrow’s employees today.

Leading Change Recommended by: Susan Madsen John Kotter’s now-legendary eight-step process for managing change with positive results has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. By outlining the process every organization must go through to achieve its goals, and by identifying where and how even top performers derail during the change process, Kotter provides a practical resource for leaders and managers.

Let Your Life Speak Recommended by: Susan Madsen Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, Parker Palmer shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives. Gordon Whitehead also loves this book.

The Courage to Teach Recommended by: Susan Madsen Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher. Good teaching takes myriad forms but good teachers share one trait: they are authentically present in the classroom, in community with their students and their subject. The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts…

Women in Leadership in Higher Education Recommended by: Susan Madsen Women and Leadership in Higher Education is the first volume in a new series of books (Women and Leadership: Research, Theory, and Practice) that will be published in upcoming years to inform leadership scholars and practitioners. This book links theory, research, and practice of women’s leadership in various higher education contexts and offers suggestions for future leadership development strategies.

Turn the Ship Around Recommended by: Niel Nickolaisen Give control rather than take control. Create leaders rather than forge leaders. True story of how the crew of the Santa Fe (a submarine) skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach.
Essentialism Recommended by: Niel Nickolaisen Stretched too thin? Too busy to be productive? Your time constantly hijacked by others? The way out is the way of the essentialist. Learn to apply a selective criteria for what is essential. Reclaim control of where you spend your time and energy.
The Fifth Discipline Recommended by: Niel Nickolaisen The only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to learn faster than the competition. Learn techniques to focus on what truly matters.
Civil War Volumes 1-3 Recommended by: Niel Nickolaisen Comprehensive history of the Civil War. Learn leadership by studying Lincoln, Lee, Grant, and others during the complex setting of the American Civil War.
On My Watch Recommended by: Dave Barram A good story full of leadership examples from the real world. Very modern. Very different.
The Righteous Mind Recommended by: Dave Barram Major management insight in this social psychology book about why good people are divided by religion and politics.
The Human Side of Enterprise Recommended by: Dave Barram Classic book written in 1960. Important work on Theory Y and the idea that employees are worth listening to.
Game Plans Recommended by: Dave Barram A simple book about organizational differences between basketball, baseball, and football. How you practice, how you relate to teammates, and about the flow of the game. Applies to business.
Leadership and Self-Deception Recommended by: David Stirling Required reading for doTERRA corporate leaders. In this book you will learn how leaders can become blind to their true motivations and unwittingly sabotage their own efforts.
Good to Great Recommended by: David Stirling David said this was one of his most important leadership reads. Learn why some companies make the leap to sustained success and others do not.
Servant Leadership Recommended by: Kevin Crandall An influential book by a former AT&T executive. A classic work on leadership and an important read for people in authority.
Father, Son, and Company Recommended by: Gordon Whitehead A 60-year journey into the building and then re-making of IBM. Thomas Watson Sr., and Thomas Watson Jr., both have leadership styles that provide unique insight.
Leadership is an Art Recommended by: Gordon Whitehead One of the first true leadership books I ever read. De Pree paints an important set of leadership qualities as he explains leadership in terms of relationships, stewardships, and responsibility to people.
Failure is Not an Option Recommended by: Gordon Whitehead The handling of the Apollo 13 mission is perhaps one of the greatest all-time leadership examples of persistence and creativity under immense pressure.
Attacks Recommended by: Gordon Whitehead Rommel is credited as one of the most significant leaders of his era. I first read this book as a 2nd Lt. in the Marines. The lessons learned translate from military to leading in any organization.
Be My Guest Recommended by: Gordon Whitehead One of the most significant reads on the power of determination in entrepreneurship. Hilton’s story is a series of scrambling events bouncing between failure and success. He shares valuable insights on the importance of perseverance and belief in oneself.
Major Taylor Recommended by: Enrique Washington An inspiring story of an African American cyclist and the men who helped him achieve worldwide fame..
In Search of Excellence Recommended by: Dave Barram This book just may re-orient your thinking. Based on a study of 43 of America’s best run companies.
Hiring Success Recommended by: Enrique Washington The art and science of staffing assessment and employee selection.
Return on Character Recommended by: Hal Halladay The real reason leaders and their companies win. A unique approach to the study of leadership. Introduces 4 key characteristics of leadership based on scientific research.
Uncontainable Recommended by: Hal Halladay How passion, commitment, and conscious capitalism built a business where everyone thrives. Learn how to get the very best from people while at the same time giving your people the opportunity to be their best.
Give and Take Recommended by: Hal Halladay Why helping others drives our success. Success today is dependent on how we interact with others.
Multipliers Recommended by: Hal Halladay Learn how to get out of your own way to get more out of the people you lead.
Beyond Entrepreneurship Recommended by: Hal Halladay Provides building blocks and the framework for creating a high performance company. Introduces 5 key elements involved in guiding a company to lasting success.
Selling to Business Written and Recommended by: Gordon Whitehead Create authentic, long-lasting, powerful, and mutually profitable relationships. Whether you are selling to people, to businesses, or responsible for getting big projects going inside your organization, the leadership lessons in this book introduce fundamental principles behind win-win relationship-based events.
The Agile Culture Written and Recommended by: Niel Nickolaisen Build Agile cultures that unleash the passion, innovation, and performance. Delight customers by rapidly delivering innovative, exciting products and services.

Stand Back and Deliver

Written and Recommended by: Niel Nickolaisen

Whether you’re leading an organization, a team, or a project, this book gives you the agile leadership tools needed to achieve breakthrough levels of performance.

The Little Prince Recommended by: Gordon Whitehead The cherished story by Antoine De Saint Exupery of a Little Prince whose travels through the universe will bring both a tear to the eye, as well as invoke intense introspection into one’s duty as a person. I have used this book in advanced university courses on leadership and it never fails to cause deep personal transformation.

Women as Global Leaders Recommended by: Susan Madsen Women as Global Leaders is the second volume in the new Women and Leadership: Research, Theory, and Practice book series published for the International Leadership Association by IAP. Global leadership is an emerging area of research, with only a small but growing published literature base. More specifically, the topic of women’s advances and adventures in leading within the global context is barely covered in the existing leadership literature.

Women as Global Leaders Recommended by: Susan Madsen This volume explores areas of women’s leadership in four regions around the world: the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. The goal for this volume is to provide readers with explorations of women’s experiences as leaders, including recent research studies, analysis and interpretation of statistics unpacking the status of women in various sectors and countries, stories of influential women leaders with national or local spheres of influence, and including recommendations for positive change to increase women’s access to positions of authority.

Four Disciplines of Execution Recommended by: Eileen Kunze The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing on your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind. By following The 4 Disciplines: Focusing on the Wildly Important, Acting on Lead Measures, Keeping a Compelling Scoreboard, Creating a Cadence of Accountability leaders can produce breakthrough results, even when executing the strategy requires a significant change in behavior from their teams.

Four Disciplines of Execution Recommended by: Eileen Kunze For business leaders and public figures in any arena, The Speed of Trust offers a practical look at how trust functions in our every transaction and relationship—from the most personal to the broadest, most indirect interaction—and how to establish trust immediately so that you and your organization can forego the time–killing, bureaucratic check–and–balance processes so often deployed in lieu of actual trust.