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My Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2022

Jan 12, 2023

Last year, I read and/or listened to 55 books, exceeding my previous high and my goal of one book per week on average.  I love to read -- and to write!

Of course, I always start with recommending Becoming Deliberate:  Changing the Game of Leadership From the Inside Out, my own book, because writing it had such a big impact on my life. And, if you ever think about writing a book, I highly encourage you to do it. It's a life-affirming experience, a fulfilling accomplishment, and it changes you in ways you don't expect.  (At least, that was my experience).

There were so many great reads last year, and here are some of my favorites, in no particular order.  Happy reading -- and please, do share with me books from your favorite list. I always love reading a book recommended by a friend.

Think Again:  The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant. This book explores the practice of rethinking, a critical skill for today’s world.  Learning to question your own opinions and maintain an open mind to other possibilities represents a different kind of intelligence. “If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.”

I Came as a Shadow by John Thompson, former NBA player and legendary coach of the Georgetown Hoyas. Thompson had an interesting life, though not an easy one, and his stories are entertaining, inspiring, and informational.  

The Chancellor, the Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel, by Kati Marton. And remarkable it has been, from her roots in East Germany through her political rise to lead the unification, to her prominent position on the world stage, Merkel has remained true to a set of values that is impressive as it is rare.

Emotional Agility by Susan David. With doubts and worries a part of everyday life, learning how to take control of our emotions, rather than allowing them to control us, is a worth pursuit. This book is about getting unstuck, embracing change and thriving in life.

Painless Performance Conversations by Marnie Green. This book is the basis for teaching a course on performance management at the Leadership Development Institute, where I am a Senior Faculty member. It provides a simple, effective framework for providing feedback that really works to improve performance while maintaining a relationship of mutual respect.  Every leader of others should read this book.

Finding Me by Viola Davis. The incredible story of the award-winning actor, director, and producer from her humble beginnings living in devastating poverty and her determination to succeed in an industry that can be brutally unkind to women, especially women of color.  A triumph.

We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu. A wonderful story of grit and determination against the backdrop of the Asian American experience. Liu overcame all odds to become Marvel’s first Asian superhero, despite the wishes of his parents to pursue a safer and more traditional path. Told with great humor.

Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown. This book provides a framework for meaningful connections. Brown explores eighty-seven different emotions and experiences that are part of the human experience. Her examples and stories illustrate key distinctions among emotions that enable greater understanding.

The Gap and the Gain by Dan Sullivan & Benjamin Hardy. This book provides a critical distinction between two competing mindsets, one that is more common among entrepreneurs and leaders, and another that is far more effective and powerful. Every business owner and every leader of people should read this book.

The Six Types of Working Genius by Patrick Lencioni. Always a favorite author of mine. This is his latest, providing some great insight into the different ways we prefer to work. This framework provides greater insight and understanding of both our gifts and our frustrations, as well as those of others we work wit

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