Of all of the books I read in 2010 on Governance and Leadership, here are my top five:
- The Truth about What Nonprofit Boards Want by June Bradham. The author identifies nine myths about boards and then responds with the truth. My favorite myth/truth was Myth#4: CEO and Board members are colleagues. Nothing more. Truth #4: Engaged boards have an inspired CEO who forms a partnership with board members and demonstrates a passion for the mission while keeping ego in check.
- Clear Leadership: Sustaining real collaboration and partnership at work by Gervase Bushe. There were two concepts in the book that helped me develop additional insight — the interpersonal mush that occurs in organizations and how leaders can use the skills of clear leadership to develop clarity; and the nature of successful partnerships in organizations.
- Artistry Unleashed: A guide to pursuing great performance in work and life by Hilary Austen. The author builds on the Knowledge System developed by Roger Martin and develops the parameters of qualitative intelligence (QI). She demonstrates how qualitative intelligence will help leaders address those enigmatic organizational problems that defy quantitative solutions.
- The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, Marty Linsky. I found this book to be very helpful in addressing difficult problems in organizations. While we know how to resolve technical problems, adaptive problems can be challenging because they require changes in the way people think and organizations act. The authors offer new insight on how to successfully manage those adaptive challenges.
- Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk. This little book introduced me to the role of social media and its impact on business. The author reminded me of the power of passion and commitment as we continue to re-think and re-frame how we will do business in the future.