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Ultimate Summer Reading List

Quiet by Susan Cain

It’s hard to deny that we expect our leaders to be extroverted and outgoing, with exuberant charisma that effortlessly draws people in. Yet, this doesn’t explain why we have seen such a dramatic increase of introverts in leadership positions over the years. In this book, Susan Cain discusses the rise of the ‘’Extrovert Ideal’’ over the course of the 21st century, and how this has led to introverts being undervalued despite being more conscientious, empathetic and transformational. Drawing from both research and true personal accounts, Cain introduces the reader to successful introverts and highlights the tremendous value introverts can bring to leadership positions.

“There's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas. (...) We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run.”

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Is it better to be feared or to be loved? Renaissance Italy set the stage for intense political conflict, and Machiavelli penned this practical guide (argued by some as a guide on “how not to rule”) for Lorenzo de’ Medici, the ruler of Florence in that era. In doing so, he reflects on autocratic regimes, principalities of people, and most importantly, power. This is one of the books that has changed the world, and remains an important influence in our society, acting as a cautionary tale and rhetoric exposition pertaining to political realism as it illustrates what our world would look like if viewed or contemplated from a perspective void of morality. There are situations where leaders must get their hands dirty to avoid catastrophic outcomes - but at what price?

“There is such a gap between how one lives and how one should live that he who neglects

what is being done for what should be done will learn his destruction rather than his preservation.”

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Companies have grown accustomed to the dreaded dilemma...where the customer didn’t get what they want how they wanted it. In other words- time for a relationship-fix. Lucky for us, Carnegie has compiled an insightful series of anecdotes reflecting on emotional breaks and how to maximize the potential in every relationship. Split into four sections: relating to people, how to make people like you, how to win people over with your way of thinking, and leadership, Carnegie arms us with the necessary tools to calm stormy waters, no matter the context. You can come to think of this book as the bible of personal development and cultivation of interpersonal skills.

“People who can put themselves in the place of other people, who can understand the

workings of their minds, need never worry about what the future has in store for them.”

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg

When Sheryl Sandberg’s husband suddenly passed away, she was certain she would never feel happy again. Stuck in a self-proclaimed ‘’void’, her close friend and Wharton professor of psychology, Adam Grant, explained to her that there are steps to overcoming grief. Beyond this, strength isn’t something that we are born with, but rather is something we develop over time. In her book, Option B, Sandberg connects her own experience with Grant’s research to showcase the many ways individuals cope with hardship. Option B shows us how to overcome difficult times, without losing sight of our boundless potential to shape and change our own future.

“People who can put themselves in the place of other people, who can understand the

workings of their minds, need never worry about what the future has in store for them.”

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

“Just do it.” - the iconic, widely recognized slogan of an iconic, widely recognized brand. You know it, we know it, and Nike knows it. Famous for their shoes, check-mark logo, and lifestyle branding, this athletic apparel company only continues to succeed. So what’s the story behind the name? The sheer perseverance and vision of the founder, Phil Knight, and how hard he worked to get Nike to where it is today. In his comprehensive memoir, Knight details the running career that inspired the creation of the brand, and the many challenges he faced in gaining his first sponsors and sports endorsement deals. Shoe Dog highlights the many risks and setbacks every entrepreneur and leader faces in achieving their dream, and the importance of harnessing the talent to make that vision a reality, and share it with the world.

“Have faith in yourself, but also have faith in faith. Not faith as others define it. Faith as you define it. Faith as faith defines itself in your heart.”

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