A Growth Advocate's Favorite Reads

Updated on
May 3, 2024

by Samara Anderson

Building the industry bookshelf one recommended read at a time.

Leading others doesn’t mean hitting a ceiling to our own growth. In fact, continued growth may be the most necessary yet overlooked aspect of leadership--both in the workplace and as a human. I find that immersing myself in the perspectives of leaders I admire sparks the curiosity in me to push forward in my own path, and taking the quiet time to read their words is one of my favorite ways to do so.

My latest picks reflect a common theme--I’m inspired by trailblazers who recognize true bravery (the kind that coexists with fear but is chosen in spite of it) and seek out the “why” in their surroundings to fuel their growth. I feel motivated by the way these authors lead by example, prioritizing happiness and humanity as vital elements of professional life.

Even if we don’t manage people for a living, we are all leaders in our own lives and the relationships that fulfill them. And we can all use a little push now and then to grow into our potential.

by Michelle Obama

"What I knew from working in professional environments—from recruiting new lawyers for Sidley & Austin to hiring staff at the White House—is that sameness breeds more sameness, until you make a thoughtful effort to counteract it." - Michelle Obama

by Glennon Doyle

“What we need are women who are full of themselves. A woman who is full of herself knows and trusts herself enough to say and do what must be done. She lets the rest burn.”  - Glennon Doyle

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
by Brené Brown

“I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” - Brene Brown

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams

“There are going to be frustrations in life. The question is not: How do I escape? It is: How can I use this as something positive?” - Dalai Lama XIV

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know
by Malcolm Gladwell

“The conviction that we know others better than they know us—and that we may have insights about them they lack (but not vice versa)—leads us to talk when we would do well to listen and to be less patient than we ought to be when others express the conviction that they are the ones who are being misunderstood or judged unfairly.” - Malcolm Gladwell

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