As a voracious reader, this is one of the toughest articles to write each year! Here are the 5 best nonfiction books I read in 2015.
Do you keep a book log? It can prove quite an enlightening way to learn about yourself and your “seasons” over time. As I look through mine from 2015, I’m struck by the themes that stand out: Apparently I had some learning to do in the areas of vulnerability, resiliency, and comfort zones!
I’ve read a lot of excellent leadership books this year (and a few not-so-great ones, too), but these five top my list:
Quiet Leadership by David Rock
I first learned about Rock’s work while enrolled in my coaching certification program years ago and have been a fan ever since. He takes the fascinating, yet somewhat overwhelming, field of neuroscience and provides practical application to work, leadership, and life.Quiet Leadership offers an excellent framework for developing others by helping them think differently and from new perspectives (a key tenet of coaching, by the way), as well as sample dialogues and supporting stories. A great resource for any leader, coach, or individual passionate about helping others grow.
Rising Strong by Brene Brown
It took me awhile to get into Brown’s work, but ever since I did (often to my dismay, as I write about here ), I have been blown away by the power of her message. Her research has opened up a whole new level of conversation on topics like shame and vulnerability, both in the personal and professional realms. The ASPIRE Success Club has discussed her work in detail, with a resounding theme shared: “She makes me feel like I’m not alone in how I think/act/feel.” Proven research, powerful practices, and affirmation all in one.
The Happiness Of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau
Every year, just as I’m finalizing my Top 5 list, a late contender sneaks onto my desk and subsequently onto the list! This year’s late entry is all about the power of quests – not goals, not adventures, but quests – and how they bring a greater level of meaning and purpose into our work and lives. Examples of quests highlighted in the book include: travel to every country in the world; take, edit, and publish one million photos; read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in one year; produce the world’s largest symphony performance; and more. A great read as you’re considering goals for a new year!
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
I have been a huge fan of decluttering for years and have read countless books on the topic – but none quite like Kondo’s. While certainly a bit unusual in parts, I love the simple decision-making power in the question: “Does it spark joy?” I have actually implemented her methodology not only with physical stuff in my office and home, but also with activities, opportunities, even food choices. Her book inspired me to conduct a major decluttering of my bookshelves – something I’ve never had success with until now – so it definitely spoke to me!
Living Big by Pam Grout
If I had to describe this book in a word: INSPIRATION. From beautiful stories of human potential to quick-and-easy kindness ideas to the transformation that comes with dreaming bigger, bolder, and higher, I devoured this book and felt uplifted each time I opened it. I particularly loved the stories of people who felt uncertain of their purpose and unsure of their leadership potential but remained open to possibility, took steps in the direction of their passions, and made a positive difference for others. Her assignments with each section had me thinking differently – and bigger – as well.
What a terrific year for leadership books! Which ones would you add to the list?