Book Recommendations: Part One, Leadership & Teamwork

(Note from Dan: Over the next three entries I will recommend a variety of books. I’m going to focus on three concentrated areas: leadership and teamwork, strategy and execution, and innovation and branding.)

Leadership and Teamwork

I admit this is the section I have invested most of my reading in over the course of my lifetime. As a kid I read hundreds of biographies of famous people before I started high school. They inspired me in so many ways. Mainly, I wanted to know how these people made their impact on the world. After college I’ve read another 500 books or so, mostly on leadership, teamwork, and human dynamics. So here are some of what I consider to be the best of the best:

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Clayborne Carson

On Leadership by John Gardner

My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas Gandhi

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Walt Disney by Neal Gabler

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Leadership & Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute

Leading With The Heart by Mike Krzyzewski

Gifted Hands by Ben Carson

Churchill: The Power of Words by Martin Gilbert

Organizing Genius by Warren Bennis

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson

Russell’s Rules by Bill Russell

Self-Worth, Part Nine: The Purpose of Having a Purpose

One way that you can increase your sense of self-worth is to attach yourself to a cause that you believe is worthwhile. As you pour yourself into the cause, you begin to realize more and more that your life, who you are right now, matters a great deal because you can see the impact you are making on the world. This is not a placebo effect. You can see the aftereffect of the value you are creating for other people by applying what is within you. If you constantly try to be someone you are not in order to achieve something that matters a great deal to someone else, you are essentially living a false life. Find a purpose that you really believe is worthwhile and pour yourself into it.

Self-Worth, Part Seven: Self-Discipline Sustains Self-Worth

Self-discipline is the ability to continually take responsibility and maintain your integrity through your choices in a sustained way over the long term.

An athlete or a musician demonstrates self-discipline by practicing for thousands of hours even after he or she has already mastered a certain skill. A person demonstrates self-discipline in his or her life by doing what he or she thinks is the right thing to and by taking responsibilities seriously in his or her various roles in life over and over and over again. To do the right thing a few times will help your sense of self-worth a bit, but to make what you consider to be the right choices thousands of times in your lifetime will help strengthen your sense of self-worth exponentially.