Apochromatik Book Bundle 2: Leadership

—Keith R. Sbiral

Today we continue our discussion on leadership. We’ve been talking about leadership skills and how you can improve yours. Looking for a beach read? This week we’re featuring three of the books we’ve recently read on leadership.

First, the disclaimers: These are books we’ve read recently; this isn’t a “best of leadership” book list.

Second, if you really want to improve your leadership skills, reading a book is not necessarily the ideal way to do it. (Recently I saw a book called You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar. The concept is the same: While you can learn about leadership and improve your skills by taking action on the concepts in a book, just flipping through a book under the sunshine is not really the pinnacle of leadership development.)

But, if you view reading a book as a way to learn and grow, and possibly as a springboard to a more in-depth experience, books can be a great way to learn some new concepts and techniques. (And, of course, when you’re ready to really get noticeable results quickly, you should contact us about one-on-one coaching, or ask your employer to hire us to do a workshop. . . .)

While you can scour the internet for great resources on leadership, muddle through recommendations, and slowly work through reading lists, we know your time, energy, and resources are limited. So this week we are announcing our second Apochromatik Book Bundle. These books are short (200-250 pages) and each is a relatively quick read while still providing a solid foundation so that you can build your skills and achieve your goals on the given topic.

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Here are three books we’ve read recently that you might want to check out. Amazon links to purchase hard copies of these books are included below, but you can get them on any reading app, library, or even the used book store.

So without further blog text…here it is, the Apochromatik Leadership Book Bundle:


Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Hardcover – October 9, 2018

by Brené Brown  (Author)

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BLOOMBERG
Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential.
When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work.

Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader 

Hardcover – February 10, 2015

by Herminia Ibarra  (Author)

You aspire to lead with greater impact. The problem is you’re busy executing on today’s demands. You know you have to carve out time from your day job to build your leadership skills, but it’s easy to let immediate problems and old mind-sets get in the way. Herminia Ibarra—an expert on professional leadership and development and a renowned professor at INSEAD, a leading international business school—shows how managers and executives at all levels can step up to leadership by making small but crucial changes in their jobs, their networks, and themselves.

Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You

Hardcover – June 12, 2018

by Heidi Grant (Author)

This pragmatic book explains how to get it right. With humor, insight, and engaging storytelling, Heidi Grant, PhD, describes how to elicit helpful behavior from your friends, family, and colleagues--in a way that leaves them feeling genuinely happy to lend a hand.

Whether you're a first-time manager or a seasoned leader, getting people to pitch in is what leadership is. Fortunately, people have a natural instinct to help other human beings; you just need to know how to channel this urge into what it is you specifically need them to do. It's not manipulation. It's just management.


If you do want to go deeper, one way is through intensive experiences with active learning (particularly through coaching). Another way is a one-off workshop with active learning (where real-world application is on your own). I’ve found that, while active learning with ongoing support is generally the gold standard, the vast majority of professionals aren’t ready/willing/able to adopt that approach. In those situations, it can be better to start with a book on a given topic, and then the professional either decides to go further (maybe stepping up to a workshop down the road).

Of course, if you can benefit from further assistance with leadership, executive presence, your personal professional brand, or public speaking, don’t hesitate to contact us directly as we regularly work with clients on these issues.

And for resources on Executive Presence, check out our Apochromatik Book Bundle: Executive Presence.