Five thinkers/writers/leaders I constantly reference, think about, and re-read:
1. Seth Godin — read his book Tribes (and others); watch his TED Talk below; subscribe to his daily blog post (i know it’s daily, but trust me). No writer and leader has influenced me more over the years than Seth Godin. By far.
2. Heath Brothers — Made to Stick and Switch. I love non-fiction, but what I really crave is actionable non-fiction. Dan and Chip nail it in both books. Get a taste here, but get and read and re-read the books, and give them to your colleagues and read them together. Especially if your organization’s success depends heavily on influencing others (it does).
3. Daniel Pink — Drive and To Sell is Human and his blog posts. The first part of Drive is a bit redundant but push through it and you’ll have an awesome framework for how to manage others. And just about everyone’s success means getting the most of others, making this is a very wise investment of time. To Sell is Human less concrete, but still very actionable and gets you thinking about the best way to sell (which, as Pink argues, we all do and can all do better).
4. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries — ignore the title…it’s not just for tech and not just for start-ups. I gave a copy to a friend, who works for a very large city government…he told me he references it all the time. This is one of those books that partially opens you up to new thinking/new ideas and partially is just a big reminder to come back to basics and common sense, with fantastic examples, explanations, and clear steps to do so.
“Startup success can be engineered by following the process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.”- Eric Ries
5. Team of Teams by Gen. Stanley McChrystal — a great mix of big picture context/history, strategic questions, and specific tactical changes to make. It might seem more useful to leaders in big businesses/orgs/institutions, but I didn’t find that. And a lot to take away about how to work with partners, so even if your org is small, you partner with others there is a lot in here. I enjoyed it on Audible but also ordered a copy for re-reading for a closer read and taking notes.