An Unconventional (Non-Business) Reading List for Men

Entrepreneurs face a unique set of challenges. In our experiences in working with so many entrepreneurs here at Reboot, we know that the pressures and stress from work are often exacerbated at the seam of where our personal and professional lives meet. The mettle of who we are mixes with how we are as a leader in those situations (and for entrepreneurs, the number of stressful situations can feel seemingly endless). When our early conditioning shows up at work, it can get in the way of our leadership as the not-so-better parts of us may be on display or playing out in our organizations.

Becoming a great leader, we’ve learned, is synonymous with becoming an adult. As Jerry Colonna notes in his book Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up (due out June 18, 2019),

“Helping someone sort through the Why of life helps them access all they need to know to answer the Hows that work demands. The Hows of life and leadership are endless. Enhance your understanding of the Why of who you are, and you’ll be able to face the unending uncertainty in the pursuit of the perfectly executed How.”

Leading in an organization, or participating in our work at any level, can become an opportunity for us to allow our personal growth issues to come to light and resolution. No book on traditional leadership speaks much about how to walk this path of radical self-inquiry, yet it’s these important conversations you have with your heart that may prove more pertinent than the startup playbooks which are often recommended to leaders.

Here’s a list of books which we often recommend to our clients who identify as male who set out on this journey of growth in their leadership and life. These reads can help foster a deeper understanding of yourself, the forces that shaped you, and what holds you back. They can shed new light on the story of who you believe yourself to be, and what you need to shed to become who you really are. As guides, they can help you step into adulthood so as to be better leaders, parents, and partners.

We believe that better humans make better leaders. These books support the “better humans” part of that equation. They support folks at various stages of growth and questioning and striving, from “How do I to figure out who I am independent of my past?”, to “What kind of adult do I want to be?”, or “How do I find comfort with my demons?”, and “How do I live into my most authentic self?”

This is by no means a definitive list; rather it’s the start of a deeper conversation with yourself. What books have you found to help you understand leadership in a different way? What books would you add to this list?