Here are just some of the books that I’d like to suggest you add to your ‘to be read’ list.
I appreciate the book recommendations of thoughtful people. Leave any suggestions you have for great books to read in the comments below.
Motivation and Personality – by Abraham Maslow
Back in college, I took a class in psychology where we learned about the ‘self-actualizing individual’ and Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs.” Now many decades later, Maslow’s writing makes more sense when I put it into the context of the people I have worked with. His chapter on the “self-Actualizer” is particularly salient. It refers to a person’s desire for self-fulfillment and to work toward becoming what we are capable of becoming. Maslow said that in any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety. Maslow also believed that “life could be vastly improved if we could count our blessings as self-actualizing people can and do and if we could retain their constant sense of good fortune and gratitude for it.”
The Leadership Challenge: How To Make Extraordinary Things Happen In Organizations – by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
The authors discuss the five practices of ‘exemplary leadership” including modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart. They write, “Credibility is the foundation of leadership. Constituents must be able, above all else, to believe in their leaders. For them to willingly follow someone else, they must believe that the leader’s word can be trusted, that she is personally passionate and enthusiastic about the work, and that she has the knowledge and skill to lead.” What characteristics do people look for in a leader.? The authors sought the opinion of more than 100,000 individuals to come up with this list: honesty, forward-looking, competent, and inspiring.
Noble Purpose: “The Joy of Living A Meaningful Life” – by William Damon
Damon says it’s all about “finding something that you truly believe in, something so worth accomplishing that you dedicate yourself to it wholeheartedly, without qualm or self-interest.” “How can you cultivate a noble purpose in your own life? Where do you find it, and how can you be sure that this is the right way to spend your time and energy? You can start by impressing upon yourself how important it is to pursue a purpose. The case for the purpose that I have made in this little book is substantiated by centuries of scientific and religious writings. Dedicating yourself to a noble purpose not only is beneficial to the world that needs your gifts, but it is also essential for your own mental and spiritual health. Remind yourself of this well-documented bit of wisdom daily, and stay determined to do something about it.”
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