Over the past months, we have been discovering books that might bring us some fresh ideas on becoming an even more connected, efficient, and aligned team. Out of the many publications we dwelled on, this has been whittled down to the top five books that each of us should read to create a joint vision of excelled leadership.

If you don’t know what to gift to your colleague, manager, or CEO, one of these books is your safe choice. Let’s explore them together.

Emotional Agility by Susan David

“Courage is not the absence of fear but fear of walking.”

― Susan David, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life

a book cover for Emotional Agility by Suzan David.

Much has been written about emotional intelligence in CX over the last two years. Finally, we see progress in leaders recognizing the importance of emotions in the broader business context. To understand how our emotions work, we recommend a book by Dr Susan David – one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist.

In her book Emotional Agility, Susan offers a concrete tool for understanding our emotions by learning to name them and share them with others. She also explains why and how toxic positivity can harm both your employees and your business. More than 8 million people have seen her talk on emotional agility. Start exploring her work today because it will change you.

Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

“At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say I contributed more than I criticized.”

― Brené Brown, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

A quote Clear is kind by Brown.

Brené Brown is undoubtedly one of the leading voices when it comes to the theory and practice of building teams and companies based on belonging, courage, and bravery. In her book Dare to Lead, Brown introduces us to her insights based on longitudinal research and in-depth interviews with leaders and employees about what makes them thrive in both the workplace and their lives.

This book offers a practical step of connecting to your team and yourself by mapping core values to help you make important business decisions. Her words are so powerful that you will want to reread this book again and again because it will comfort you and support you when you feel lost. Brown made vulnerability a somewhat less scary topic for all of us, and a subject that can find its place in the business boardrooms. If you want to get familiar with her spoken work before ordering a copy of her book, Brown is a host of some of the most successful podcasts, Dare to Lead and Unlocking Us.

Think Again by Adam Grant

“A mark of lifelong learners is recognizing that they can learn something from everyone they meet.”

― Adam M. Grant, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

A book cover Think again by Adam Grant.

Adam Grant is a Times bestselling author and one of TED’s most popular speakers. His academic and consultancy work both significantly improved the ethics of work and culture across organizations worldwide. His latest book, Think Again, is nothing less than impressive and thought-provoking.

Grant challenges our capabilities and readiness to change our ideas and let go of our biases thoughtfully. This book is especially interesting for mentors and consultants who want to learn how to listen to and hear their colleagues, clients, and/or customers. Think Again has already been translated into 35 languages.

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

“To ask, “What’s best for me” is finite thinking. To ask, “What’s best for us” is infinite thinking.”

― Simon Sinek, The Infinite Game

A book cover The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek.

Simon Sinek is well-known for his previous best-selling book, Start with Why. His latest release, which has made our top five list, talks about the perspective of ‘Infinity’ as a key concept of any sustainable business. In The Infinite Game, he offers a framework for leading with an infinite mindset.

With this book, he goes deeper into his theory of finding a profound cause and purpose in anything we do. According to Sinek, only leaders who embrace the infinite mindset can lead us into a meaningful future. This book reminds us that there is always a goal bigger than us, and that we should strive to let go of our ego for a better cause.

The Culture Map by Erin Meyer

“When interacting with someone from another culture, try to watch more, listen more, and speak less.”

― Erin Meyer, The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

A book cover The culture Map by Erin Meyer

Most businesses today are international – with teams being all around the world and contributing with their unique skills. With the pandemic, the need for flexibility and remote working has accelerated the opportunity for cross-cultural collaboration and hiring. However, cross-cultural communication in a business context shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Local cultures, values, codes of behaviour, and habits authentic to each team member must be understood, explored, and translated into a language that will lead to efficient agreements. In her book The Culture Map, Erin Meyer offers some practical explanations of why people might face misunderstandings in international teams when giving and receiving feedback. This book can prepare you if you plan to move to another country, or if you are hiring an international and multilingual team.  

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