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People Skills

Robert Bolton

A fabulous book to learn what we think of as the basics: Listening, stating your point o view and dealing with conflict. Turns out, mastering these skills is anything but basic. Bolton introduces models and techniques and demonstrates their use in case examples. An absolute must read for anyone, really anyone, who deals with people. I guess that is everyone.

The Wisdom Of Teams

Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith

What are high performing teams all about? Katzenbach and Smith show simple models of how to think about team performance and what it takes for a team to be truly high performing. There is also some secret sauce that you can not always replicate. A must read for everybody wanting to improve team performance.

Getting Naked

Patrick Lencioni

Patrick describes the way real impactful client service ought to look like. This is not a description of a new model, but more the description of how it ought to be if all human values are in the right place. What emerges is a fascinating picture of a world we do not know anymore

Social Intelligence

Daniel Goleman

Building on his seminal work "Emotional Intelligence", Goleman now explores the interpersonal realm. Digging deep into latest findings in neuroscience, he describes what makes for good interpersonal skills and how we develop them. This book includes fascinating insight into how our brains form from childhood onward and how behavioral patterns are formed early on.

The Trusted Advisor

David H. Maister

Making much the same point as Patrick Lencioni's "Getting Naked", The Trusted Advisor dives deeper into the science behind becoming trusted and offers practical mindset shifts, strategies and checklists to transform us into a more effective way of being with clients. If you are in the professional services industry, this is a must-read.

Our Iceberg is Melting

John Kotter

An easy, quick and vivid read on what it takes to make change happen in any organization or group of people for that matter. If you are new to change management, this is certainly a good intro.

Was That Really Me

Namoi L. Quenk

Have it, but have not read it yet.

Coaching with the Brain in Mind

David Rock and Linda J. Page

Have it, but have not read it yet.

The Fifth Discipline

Peter M. Senge

Have it, but have not read it yet.


Robert B. Cialdini

Have it, but have not read it yet.

Brain View

Hans-Georg Häusel

Brilliant book to understand the basic structure of the human brain and the neuroscience behind our daily decision making - with a twist on how to leverage for marketing to customers. Great read for anyone new to the field.

Collaborating with the Enemy

Adam Kahane

Conventional collaboration will not lead to success in challenging situations. Adam describes how to work with people you do not agree with or like or trust. It is not intuitive, but it requires a new approach that embraces discord, experimentation, and genuine cocreation.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen R. Covey

The classic book on personal change and how to get what we really want through implementing habits and developing the discipline of sticking with them.

Biological Psychology

S. Marc Breedlove and Mark R. Rosenzweig

A comprehensive survey of the biological bases of behavior. The book offers a broad perspective, encompassing lucid descriptions of behavior, evolutionary history, development, proximate mechanisms, and applications.

Thinking Fast And Slow

Daniel Kahneman

Truly one of my all time favorites, this book offers a powerful introduction to human decision making contrasting theories of economic rationality with behavioral economics and psychology. It vividly deails the thought traps (biases) we are all prone to.

True North

Bill George

Being a leader is about much more than title and management skills—it's fundamentally a question of who we are as human beings. Discover Your True North offers a concrete and comprehensive program for becoming an authentic leader, and shows how to chart your path to leadership success.

Learned Optimism

Martin E. P. Seligman

The father of Positive Psychology, Seligman provides  tools and techniques to bring optimism into our daily lives. He demonstrates how to not give up and experience the advantages of positive inner dialogue vs. listening to the saboteurs inside of you.

Adaptive Leadership

Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linsky, Alexander Grashow

A hands-on, practical guide containing stories, tools, diagrams, cases, and worksheets to help you develop your skills as an adaptive leader, able to take people outside their comfort zones and assess and address the toughest challenges.

The Happiness Advantage

Shawn Achor

A student of Seligman's, Achor is also a true entertainer. Combining positive psychology and human biases into an amusing read of why happiness is not a state to strive to but rather the means to an end. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work

Collective Genius

Linda A. Hill et al.

Leading innovation takes a distinctive kind of leadership, one that unleashes and harnesses the “collective genius” of the people in the organization. Leaders must create and sustain a culture where innovation is allowed to happen again and again.

A Primer in Positive Psychology

Christopher Peterson

A good introduction to Positive Psychology. Valuable for practitioners that are looking for exercises, videos, and other resources to use in their practice. Overall, I find the book lacks scientific rigor and dialectic discussion of the subject matter.

Thinker Dabble Doodle Try

Srini Pillay

The book challenges traditional ideas about productivity, revealing the lasting, positive benefits of adding deliberate and regular unfocus to your repertoire. A fascinating tour through brain wavelengths and rhythm, mindsets, and mental relaxation.

Winning from Within

Erica Ariel Fox

Erica takes a new approach to managing the voices in ourselves. Rather than shutting them up, she demonstrates how to use them in your advantage. The captain, the lookout, the warrior, the voyager, the lover, the thinker and the dreamer, they all have a time and a place for when to draw on them to get us where we want to be.

Mediating Dangerously

Kenneth Cloke

Mediating Dangerously shows how to reach beyond technical and traditional intervention to the outer edges and dark places of dispute resolution where risk taking is essential and fundamental change is the desired result.

The EQ Edge

Steven J. Stein, Howard E. Book

A great intro to Emotional Intelligence for those not familiar with the concept. Offers great reflective exercises to make you become more familiar with your own repertoire of emotional intelligence and learn techniques for greater self-awareness

Simple Habits for Complex Times

Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston

Simple Habits for Complex Times provides three integral practices that enable leaders to navigate the unknown. By taking multiple perspectives, asking different questions, and seeing more of their system, leaders can better understand themselves, their roles, and the world around them.

Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman

A "must read" on the concept of and science behind emotional intelligence (and why it may be so much more important than IQ) and its dominant role in decision making and individual success . See Goleman's definition of the 4 domains of Emotional Intelligence here

Internal Family Systems Therapy

Richard C. Schwartz Ph.D.

Dick illuminates how parts of a person can form paralyzing inner alliances resembling the destructive coalitions found in dysfunctional families, and provides straightforward guidelines for incorporating the IFS model into treatment.

The Black Swan

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The book is exciting for about the first three chapters, giving you good critical food for thought on rare events and our biases around estimating their likelihood correctly. However, I find the book becomes repetitive, the author is clearly narcissistic and the narrative is overly complex for the topic.


Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

A deep dive into human biases that, refreshingly, does not look at how to overcome them. Rather, the authors illustrate how we, as choice architects, can influence others to make the "right" choice by presenting it smartly. Written with all the best intentions of libertarian paternalism to help us help others make the right decisions on health, wealth ...

Wherever You Go There You Are

Jon Kabat-Zinn

I highly recommend this book if you are interested in starting a meditation practice. Jon makes it easy by demonstrating all the benefits meditation can bring to our lives and exercise by exercise enabling the reader to go deeper into practice.

Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect

Matthew D. Lieberman

Best read of 2017. A really well written book for non-scientists on the current state of neuroscience findings in relation to our need to be social with others. Matthew describes the state of research, combines it with findings in disciplines like psychology and draws implications on what this means in the real world ... and where cultural norms have moved us away from what mother nature wired into our system.

Leadership BS

Jeffrey Pfeffer

I believe in feedback and critical dialogue as great ways to evolve my own learning. So I was thrilled to read a book that takes a critical look at the Leader-ship Development industry. Even more so because I have my own issues with the unsubstantiated pieces of wisdom and half-truths that some self-proclaimed experts bring into the profession that have no interest at rooting their practice in science and evidence.
However, Jeffrey's book was not worth the read, mainly because he has no point and no solution. He criticizes the sad state of leadership, the ubiquity of bad leaders leading to hoards of disengaged and disillusioned employees. He blames the leadership development industry for not having produced better results because they pay to little attention to what actually makes people successful today. However his definition of success seems to be "climbing the corporate latter as fast as possible in without regard for moral and impact." So really he seems to hint to better leadership development meaning that we produce more of today's toxic leaders faster so people are not "fooled" that there is a better way. Sorry Jeffrey, but that can't be the way. I am not saying the industry has found the silver bullet yet, but giving up is not an option.


Carol S. Dweck

This a great book on one very simple concept. If you have a fixed mindset, you always worry about failing and how others may judge you. If you have a growth mindset, you take on challenges because you want to learn from them, not because you need to succeed immediately. The book outlines the theory that people with a growth mindset are willing to put in more effort, try out more and eventually succeed through their hard work. The scientific backing to these findings remains questionable to me though. Anecdotal stories, e.g., about success in sports, seem prone to survivor bias and the author fails to describe how fixed vs. growth mindset where clearly measured or induced in participants of experimental studies.

Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology

Daniel J. Siegel

I just started.

The Authentic Career

Maggie Craddock

What is it that makes you excel at one job and feel miserable at another. Why are others envious about what you are doing and you just want to get out? A guided exploration on what it is that you need to find fulfillment at work - be it in your current job or at the next opportunity you might want to pursue

Handbook of Coaching

Pamela McLean

My personal favorite on the profession of coaching. Comprehensive but succinct, the reader gets a theoretical foundation on the human psychology. Then, using the structured coaching philosophy and approach of the Hudson Institute, Pamela covers what it takes to be a coach and how to do it.

The Skilled Facilitator - Fieldbook

Roger Schwarz et al.

If you want to become a team facilitator and/ or mediator, this book is for you. From naming the self-awareness you require to giving you the techniques to use to make a good team into a high performing one, to mediate conflict or align a board of executives. Includes helpful tips on how to build your business.

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