Best Books About Women Leaders (December, 2018)





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1) Becoming Michelle Obama

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

"In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare."

"In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same."



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2) I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

The bestselling memoir by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

I Am Malala. This is my story.

"Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren't allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn't go to school."

"Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school."

"No one expected her to survive."

"Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. In this Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir, which has been reimagined specifically for a younger audience and includes exclusive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world -- and did."

"Malala's powerful story will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles and the possibility that one person -- one young person -- can inspire change in her community and beyond."




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3) Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

By Sheryl Sandberg

#1 New York Times Best Seller

Named a Best Book of 2017 by Barnes & Noble and Amazon

"From Facebook’s COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks."

"After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build."

"Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy."

"Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B."

"We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it."



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4) Think, Learn, Succeed: Understanding and Using Your Mind to Thrive at School, the Workplace, and Life

By Dr. Caroline Leaf

"Our thought lives have incredible power over our mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. In fact, our thoughts can either limit us to what we believe we can do or release us to experience abilities well beyond our expectations. When we choose a mindset that extends our abilities rather than placing limits on ourselves, we will experience greater intellectual satisfaction, emotional control, and physical health. The only question is . . . how?"

"Backed by up-to-date scientific research and biblical insight, Dr. Caroline Leaf empowers readers to take control of their thoughts in order to take control of their lives. In this practical book, readers will learn to use"

"- The 5-step Switch on Your Brain Learning Program, to build memory and learn effectively"

"- The Gift Profile, to discover the unique way they process information"

"- The Mindfulness Guide, to optimize their thought life and find their inner resilience"

"Dr. Leaf shows readers how to combine these powerful tools in order to improve memory, learning, cognitive and intellectual performance, work performance, physical performance, relationships, emotional health, and most importantly a meaningful life well lived."

"Each of us has significant psychological resources at our fingertips that we can use in order to improve our overall well-being. Dr. Leaf shows us how to harness those resources to unlock our hidden potential."



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5) Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: that’s a lie."

"As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore."

"With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be."

"With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle--and how to give yourself grace without giving up."

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6) The Go Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

By Bob Burg

“Most people just laugh when they hear that the secret to success is giving. . . . Then again, most people are nowhere near as successful as they wish they were.”

"The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. Desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his many devotees sim­ply as the Chairman."

"Over the next week, Pindar introduces Joe to a series of “go-givers”: a restaurateur, a CEO, a financial adviser, a real estate broker, and the “Connector” who brought them all together. Pindar’s friends teach Joe the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and help him open himself up to the power of giving."

"Joe learns that changing his focus from getting to giving—putting others’ interests first and continually adding value to their lives—ultimately leads to unexpected returns."

"Imparted with wit and grace, The Go-Giver is a classic bestseller that brings to life the old proverb “Give and you shall receive.” "

"Nearly a decade since its original publication, the term “go-giver” has become shorthand for a defining set of values embraced by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Today this timeless story continues to help its readers find fulfillment and greater success in business, in their personal lives and in their communities."

"This expanded edition includes the text of the original business parable, together with a foreword by Arianna Huffington, a new intro­duction, a discussion guide, and a Q&A with the authors."



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7) Own It: The Power of Women at Work

By Sallie Krawcheck

A Wall Street Journal and Washington Post Bestseller, Own It is a new kind of career playbook for a new era of feminism, offering women a new set of rules for professional success: one that plays to their strengths and builds on the power they already have.

"Weren’t women supposed to have “arrived”? Perhaps with the nation’s first female President, equal pay on the horizon, true diversity in the workplace to come thereafter? Or, at least the end of “fat-shaming” and “locker room talk”?"

"Well, we aren’t quite there yet. But does that mean that progress for women in business has come to a screeching halt? It’s true that the old rules didn’t get us as far as we hoped. But we can go the distance, and we can close the gaps that still exist. We just need a new way."

"In fact, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future, says former Wall Street powerhouse-turned-entrepreneur Sallie Krawcheck. That’s because the business world is changing fast –driven largely by technology - and it’s changing in ways that give us more power and opportunities than ever…and even more than we yet realize."

"Success for professional women will no longer be about trying to compete at the men’s version of the game, she says. And it will no longer be about contorting ourselves to men’s expectations of how powerful people behave. Instead, it’s about embracing and investing in our innate strengths as women - and bringing them proudly and unapologetically, to work."

"When we do, she says, we gain the power to advance in our careers in more natural ways. We gain the power to initiate courageous conversations in the workplace. We gain the power to forge non-traditional career paths; to leave companies that don’t respect our worth, and instead, go start our own. And we gain the power to invest our economic muscle in making our lives, and the world, better."

"Here Krawcheck draws on her experiences at the highest levels of business, both as one of the few women at the top rungs of the biggest boy’s club in the world, and as an entrepreneur, to show women how to seize this seismic shift in power to take their careers to the next level."

"This change is real, and it’s coming fast. It’s time to own it."



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8) Speak with Impact: How to Command the Room and Influence Others

By Allison Shapira

Your voice matters, especially as a leader.

"Every day, you have an opportunity to use your voice to have a positive impact--at work or in your community. You can inspire and persuade your audience--or you can distract and put them to sleep."

"Nervous, rambling robotic--these presentation styles can ruin a talk on even the most critical topics. And with each weak performance, career prospects dim."

"To get ahead and make an impact, you need to deliver well-crafted messages with confidence and authenticity. You must sound as capable as you are."

"Public speaking is a skill, not a talent. With the right guidance, anyone can be a powerful speaker. Learn to conquer fear, capture attention, motivate action, and take charge of your career with Speak with Impact. Written by an opera singer turned CEO, speaker, and executive communication coach, the book unravels the mysteries of commanding attention in any setting, professional or personal."

"Whether it’s speaking up at a meeting, presenting to clients, or talking to large groups, the book’s easy-to-use frameworks, examples, and exercises help you:"

"- Kickstart the creative process"

"- Compose a clear and concise message"

"- Engage your audience through storytelling and humor"

"- Banish filler words and uptalk"

"- Strengthen and project your voice"

"- Use breathing techniques to overcome stage fright"

"- Use effective body language"

"- Build your executive presence"

"- Deliver presentations with confidence and authenticity"

"- When you know what to say and how to say it, people listen. Find your powerful voice… and step into leadership. Speak with impact."



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

By Brené Brown

"#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Brené Brown has taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong, and brave the wilderness. Now, based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers, and culture shifters, she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead."

"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."

"But daring leadership in a culture defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time as we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and AI can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage, to start."

"Four-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying the emotions and experiences that give meaning to our lives, and the past seven years working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe. She found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies all ask the same question:"

How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?

"In this new book, Brown uses research, stories, and examples to answer these questions in the no-BS style that millions of readers have come to expect and love."

"Brown writes, “One of the most important findings of my career is that daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100 percent teachable, observable, and measurable. It’s learning and unlearning that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart. Easy? No. Because choosing courage over comfort is not always our default. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and our work. It’s why we’re here.” "

"Whether you’ve read Daring Greatly and Rising Strong or you’re new to Brené Brown’s work, this book is for anyone who wants to step up and into brave leadership."



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10) Focus on Them: Become the Manager Your People Need You to Be

by Ryan Changcoco (Editor), Megan Cole (Editor), Jack Harlow (Editor)

Perfect the Skills to Excel as a Manager

"An engagement crisis, a management skill shortage, a retention problem―call it what you will, today's research and workplace insights emphasize that many employees leave managers. . . not companies."

"Good managers know they need to deliver results to be successful. But great ones? They understand the essence of managing encompasses something more: making connections, embodying the right skills, and developing their direct reports. They also realize managing well takes practice. With Focus on Them, you'll get the tools and know-how to excel as a manager."

"Edited by the Association for Talent Development's own management authority Ryan Changcoco, research expert Megan Cole, and content developer Jack Harlow, this book explores ATD's new management framework―the ACCEL model. Each chapter, written by a leader in management and talent development, focuses on one of the five skills all managers need:"

"- Accountability (Timothy Ito)"
"- Communication (Ken O'Quinn)"
"- Collaboration (Winsor Jenkins)"
"- Engagement (Hunter Haines)"
"- Listening and assessing (Michele Nevarez)"


"By investing in your own development―boosting your ACCEL skills―you signal to your employees that you're serious about their development and learning, too."

"Becoming a manager isn't climbing a mountain. By focusing on the basics, you can transform from a results-oriented manager to the super people manager your employees need."



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