These are some of my favorite books on various topics related to personal and professional development. I realize that people's book tastes vary widely and any recommendation can be a "hit or miss." However, I hope you will find something of interest here and enjoy it as much as I did.

Self-Discovery & Understanding Leadership & Skill Development
Spiritual Growth

For Self-Discovery and Understanding

What Type Am I? book cover What Type am I?
By Renee Baron

The author has put together an entertaining book on personality types based on the 16 types defined by Myers and Briggs. Baron's cartoons, quotes, and suggestions help us to better understand our type, celebrating the pluses and showing us how to soften the minuses.

People Patterns book cover People Patterns
By Stephen Montgomery, Ph.D.

This easy to read book looks at the 4 temperaments as explained in the longer and more detailed books by Dr. David Keirsey, Please Understand Me I and Please Understand Me II.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking book cover Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
By Susan Cain

What are your Myers-Briggs letters? If the first of the four is an "I" then you are an Introvert, and if you are a strong "I," this book is for you. Cain has created a well-researched work that brings self-understanding and value to those in our population who may feel under valued and, maybe even, a bit out of place.

Strengths Finder: 2.0 book cover StrengthsFinder 2.0
By Tom Rath

The author describes 34 common talents or strengths based on Gallup's 40-year study of human strengths. Each book includes a unique access code to an online assessment that will identify your top 5 strengths.

Let Your Life Speak book cover Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
By Parker Palmer

This is a little book with a big message. Palmer urges us to listen to our life telling us who we are before we tell our life what we should be doing with it.

The 5 Love Languages book cover The Five Love Languages
By Gary Chapman

What's your love language? In other words, are you aware of what you need to feel loved? And what is your spouse's love language? When you expressing your love for your spouse, are you speaking his/her primary love language? This book includes an assessment for husbands and an assessment for wives as well as a description of each "language."

For Leadership Skills and Other Skill Development

Quiet Influence: The Introvert's Guide to Making a Difference Quiet Influence: The Introvert's Guide to Making a Difference
By Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, PhD

Everyone in a professional role needs to influence others. All too often, the workplace has valued and championed a more extroverted approach: speaking loudly, spending time talking things up, and aggressively convincing others. In this book, Dr. Kahnweiler helps introverts become effective influencers at work by not trying to act like extroverts, but, instead, by embracing their own natural abilities and perfecting some core skills. Through her research, the author has identified 6 strengths and has devoted a chapter to cultivating each.

Quiet Leadership book cover Quiet Leadership
By David Rock

Leadership coach David Rock outlines a "coach approach" to leading people to greater performance. In Part One of his book he shares recent brain research, and in Part Two he connects these discoveries to 6 steps for bringing out the best in those we lead.

Strengths-Based Leadership book cover Strengths-Based Leadership
By Tom Rath and Barry Conchie

The authors use several decades of Gallup data to guide us to more effective leadership. Each book includes a unique access code to an online assessment that is a leadership version of the StrengthsFinder program. This assessment identifies one's leadership talents from 34 possibilities. The second half of the book gives tips for leading from each of the 34 talents.

5 Languages of Appreciation in Workplace book cover The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
By Gary Chapman and Paul White

When it comes to receiving messages of appreciation at work, we don't all speak the same language. The authors describe 5 "languages" that managers, supervisors, and co-workers can use to best communicate appreciation in the workplace. And yes, these are the same languages found in Dr. Chapman's The Five Love Languages. In this new book, the emphasis is on how showing appreciation enhances the work climate by impacting employee satisfaction and engagement. Readers can discover their primary appreciation language by taking an online inventory. (The language of Personal Touch is not included in this inventory.)

What Got You Here Won't Get You There book cover What Got You Here Won't Get You There
By Marshall Goldsmith

Sometimes our habits can hold us back in the workplace. Goldsmith takes us through 20 interpersonal behaviors that might be the cause and then offers food for thought on how we might change for the better.

Great Souls book cover Great Souls: Six Who Changed the Century
By David Aikman

Former foreign correspondent for TIME magazine, David Aikman takes the reader through the historical background, the family experiences, and the cultural settings of six individuals who greatly impacted the 20th century.

Daring Greatly book cover Daring Greatly
By Brené Brown

The author shares her research on shame, vulnerability, and courage in a way that is enjoyable and sometimes LOL-funny. From her interviews with research participants she has learned much about worthiness, shame resilience, and joy. The next to the last chapter focuses on the dehumanizing effect of shame in schools and the workplace. The final chapter looks at parenting that fosters "daring greatly."

The Power of a Postive No book cover The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes
By William Ury

Ury addresses delivering 2 different kinds of NO's: 1.) when responding to a request to do something we don't want to do or can't do and 2.) when speaking out against inappropriate behavior. The author gives us steps to take in order to say NO skillfully and wisely.

Leadership in Turbulent Times book cover Leadership in Turbulent Times
By Doris Kearns Goodwin

A beautifully written study of the leadership talents and development of four American presidents—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.

Good to Great book cover Good to Great
By Jim Collins

An old book but still a good one. Collins and his team of researchers studied various companies and identified the qualities that distinguish great leaders from good ones.

For Spiritual Growth

Making All Things New book cover Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life
By Henri Nouwen

This small book was written as a response to questions Nouwen frequently received concerning what it means to live a spiritual life. It is a quick read and a gentle introduction to the spiritual life that is a gift…yet, paradoxically, requires human effort.

Celebration of Discipline book cover Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth
By Richard J. Foster

First published in 1978, this book continues to be viewed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality. Foster includes a chapter on each of the following disciplines: meditation, prayer, fasting, study, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, worship, guidance, and celebration.

Christian Meditation book cover Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God
By James Finley

Since the 3rd century Christians have practiced meditation. It can be the beginning of a self-transforming journey, helping us to be more awake, compassionate, and Christ-like human beings. The chapters in the first part of this guide to contemplation are a bit of a "deep dive;" however, beginning with Chapter 8, the author suggests practical guidelines that are very helpful to those wishing to develop this spiritual practice.

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