World renowned author Thomas Friedman who wrote The Lexus and the Olive Tree and The World is Flat has passionately argued that the new fast changing global economy requires that we constantly acquire new skills and re-educate ourselves to stay relevant. My Harvard Business School professors have agreed emphasizing that within this new global economy that those with advanced educations will earn disproportionately more and more and those who are not educated will be left behind. Furthermore, author John Maxwell has famously opined, “All leaders are readers!” One thing is certain, continuous education and reading is critical to advance and stay relevant in this economy.
Over dinner I once asked Harvard professor Krishna Palepeu, senior advisor to the Harvard University President what advice he would give his children to be successful in this new world. Without a second thought he said, “Travel the world and understand all the different cultures, speak a second language, and become a lifelong learner.” This is excellent advice I have given my children and take to heart as well.
I was blessed early in my career to have mentors that inspired me to become a lifelong learner and it has had a tremendous impact on my career. I can say that I feel I have learned more post collegiately via intensive reading than I did during my days in school. Below is a list of books that have had a profound impact in my life as a business professional and I highly recommend them to you. I also include a list of other resources like podcasts, education sites, and job sites that I have found to be very valuable. If you have a few you like that are not on this list please let me know.
- Speed of Trust – Stephen Covey
- Trust: The one thing that makes or breaks a leader – Les Corsba
- Good to Great – Jim Collins
- Leading Change – John Kotter
- Execution – Larry Bossidy
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John Maxwell
- The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader – John Maxwell
- The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player – John Maxwell
- Executive Intelligence – Justin Menkes
- What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith
- The Lexus and the Olive Tree / The World is Flat – Thomas Friedman
- Making Your Leadership Come Alive – Jeremie Kubicek
- Platform – Michael Hyatt
- The Road to Reinvention – Josh Linkner
- Click – Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman
- The Leap: Launching Your Full-Time Career in our Part-Time Economy
- This is Your Life – Michael Hyatt
- Start-up School – Seth Godin
- Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders – Stanford Technology Ventures Program
- HBR IdeaCast – Harvard Business School
- The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast – Andy Stanley