The More you read - Dr SeussWhy Audio Books?
For me, it’s because in a busy day, it’s often hard to find time to read. However, for those of us that commute or travel or workout or do chores or yard-work where our minds can absorb audio, there is a unique opportunity to expand our horizons. With time, it’s also possible to consume them at higher speeds now that they’ve gotten better at compressing audio. Reading at 3x to 4x speeds on an hour’s commute each way provides for the equivalent of 6-8 hours of learning each workday.

Of the books I consume, I believe the books I’ve listed below are of value to a Talent Whisperer; however, I break them out into categories leading with those I would find most valuable to a Talent Whisperer.



Adam Grant Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success
Grant shows that the styles of givers, takers and matchers have a surprising impact on success.
Brené Brown Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Brown describes how vulnerability can help build connections, but also goes into the downsides of shaming and how to be resilient in the face of organizations and relationships when shaming arises.
Carol S. Dweck Mindset – The New Psychology of Success
Dweck’s Growth Mindset was a concept I was first introduced to by a colleague of hers in 2001 in the context of education and I immediately saw how this also was applicable to engineers. In this book, Dweck dives into what she discovered as to how this plays out in various scenarios since she first coined the term “Growth Mindset.”
Daniel Coyle The Culture Code – The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
In The Culture Code, Coyle digs into what makes some teams so much more effective than other and what role the leaders play in that. He opens with an example of a competition between a team of kindergartners and a team of MBAs at Stanford, where the kindergartners come out ahead – fascinating read.
Daniel Coyle The Talent Code – Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Anything
In The Talent Code, Coyle explains how deep learning can occur through doing multiple short repetitions with immediate feedback to build myelin along the neural pathways as we learn see post Applying the Talent Code
Daniel H. Pink Drive – The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us
Pink destroys some of our basic misconceptions about how much money motivates us and digs into the research about what actually drive people to accomplish great outcomes. The notion is also summarized in a fun RSA Animation
Emily Chang Brotopia – Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley

Emily Chang exposes a shockingly realistic and graphic portrayal of what goes on in the Valley behind close doors.

Edgar H. Schein Humble Consulting: How to Provide Real Help Faster

Schein presents a more collaborative approach to consulting that revolves are working more closely, co-actviely with the client to together arrive at transformation that the client feels more ownership of than they might through more tradityional consulting.

Edgar H. Schein Organizational Culture and Leadership
Schein helps you appreciate the importance of culture within a business. Two examples he uses are DEC and Ceiber Geigy – and US and a German company – have worked in both countries, the pros and cons of each resonated well with me.
 Gary Klein  Seeing What Others Don’t – The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights

Klein starts with the notion of improving organizations coming with reducing errors and increasing insights. Six Sigma and similar approaches focus on reducing errors often at the expense of innovations. Klein navigates the reader through his research leveraging various examples to arrive at how we can improve insights and ultimately balance with reducing errors.

Co-Active Coaching, 3rd Edition Changing Business, Transforming Lives
The founders of the first coaching organization, They dig into what they have learned on how to transform lives and what co-active coaching is that is the core of what The Coaches Institute strives to achieve.
Ian Leslie
Curious – The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It
In CURIOUS Ian Leslie makes a passionate case for the cultivation of our desire to know. Curious people tend to be smarter, more creative and more successful. But at the very moment when the rewards of curiosity have never been higher, it is misunderstood and undervalued, and increasingly practiced only by a cognitive elite.
 Jocko Willink, Leif Babin The Dichotomy of Leadership – Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win
A follow-up to their book Extreme Ownership – How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. In Dichotomy, the authors make it clear that one absolute or extreme approach is actually not the ideal approach. Rather, to be effective as a leader, you need to chose between one appraoch or another based on situation, circumstances and people involved. While Extreme is an excellent read, Dichotomy is much more nuanced and hence more applicable in real world scenarios.
John Dickson Humilitas – A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership
Dickson observes that many highly successful leaders also demonstrate humility. He traces the origins and perceptions of humility, but still comes away leaving you feel he sees is as a paradox rather than recognizing humility can come from confidence of needing to prove oneself and openess to receiving critical feedback.
Kim Scott Radical Candor – Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
Scott was an executive at Google and then at Apple, where she developed a class on how to be a good boss. Being honest with individuals on your team is sometimes hard, but tremendously value – see also post: The Room Where it Happens
Liz Wiseman Multipliers – How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter
A very insightful look into how leaders can be accidental diminishers in their enthusiasm to help their teams move forward. Wiseman explores why some leaders drain capability and intelligence from their teams while others amplify it to produce better results. It starts out a bit black and white, but I walked away thinking we’re all along a continuum between diminisher and multiplier.
Marcus Buckingham First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
Buckingham explains how great managers don’t hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom.
Meg Jay Supernormal – The Untold Story of Adversity and Resilience
Clinical psychologist Meg Jay explores the varried ways many among us have faced and processed adversity, sometimes overcome it and sometimes it is what has shaped resilient a highly successful people in the traditional sense.
Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – A Leadership Fable
Great read that Brad Smith handed out to us at Intuit a long time ago. My one comment was that he forgot to include a mirror – It was valuable to all, but those that needed it most seemed to recognize the traits in others while overlooking these traits in themselves that we all carry to some degree.
Patty Azzarello

Rise – 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life
Patty Azzarello became the youngest general manager at Hewlett-Packard at age 33, ran a $1 billion software business at 35, and became a CEO at 38. She provides some interesting insights as to how she achieved this.
Ray Dalio
Principles – Life and Work
Ray Dalio speaks to his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency as the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life.
Robert Coram
Boyd – The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War
Interesting on various levels – Boyd was inspired to improve the way things work and found interesting ways to fight the establishment to bring his areas to light. Starting with the dynamic of two opposing fighter pilots with the capabilities of two different planes, he came up with strategies and design improvements that lead to the F15 and F16, but then took that to a more generic approach of team work which lead him to come up with the OODA Loop which later had a lot of similarities to the Toyota Products System (TPS)
Simon Sinek Start with Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Sinek dives into the notion that what unites great teams can come from their leaders finding and communicating a shared objective that everyone can internalize.
Tim S. Grover Relentless – From Good to Great to Unstoppable
Grover was the personal trainer/coach of Michael Jordan, Cobbe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and others – His book speaks to pushing individual to the extreme to excel at levels that go well beyond those less driven and committed. It is an interesting contract to Gregg Popovich’s approach to coaching teams as referenced Goyle’s in Culture Code




Angela Duckworth Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Marcus Buckingham First Break All the Rules
Brad Stone The Everything Store – Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
Brad Stone The Upstarts – How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World
Chris Anderson FREE – the Future of a Radical Price
Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence
Daniel Goleman Primal Leadership
Daniel Goleman Social Intelligence – The New Science of Human Relationships
Daniel Kahneman Thinking, Fast and Slow
Daniel H. Pink A Whole New Mind – Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
Daniel H. Pink Drive – The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us
Eliyahu Goldratt The Goal A Process of Ongoing Improvement
Eric Ries The Lean Startup – How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Jim Collins Built To Last
Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford The Phoenix Project A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
Jim Collins Good to Great
Katty Kay, Claire Shipman The Confidence Code – The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know
Kerry Patterson Crucial Conversations
Malcolm Gladwell Blink – The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking
Malcolm Gladwell Outliers – The Story of Success
Malcolm Gladwell Tipping Point
Marcus Buckingham First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Fooled by Randomness The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
Nassim Nicholas Taleb The Black Swan – The Impact of the Highly Improbable
Patrick Lencioni The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Paul Stolt The Adversity Quotient @ Work
Peter Block Flawless Consulting – A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used, Third Edition
Although targeted at Consultants, Block’s insights and advice are applicable in many group settings seeking improvements.
Peter F. Drucker The Five Most Important Questions – You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization
Seth Godin Tribes – We Need You to Lead Us
Stephen R. Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People & the 8th Habit
Sun Tzu Art of War
Tom Kelley with Jonathan Littman The Ten Faces of Innovation
Tom Rath Strengths Finder 2.0
Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves Emotional Intelligence 2.0

For Spirit Guides – Perspectives and Philosophies



Byron Katie Loving What Is
Chade-Meng Tan Search Inside Yourself – The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)
Christopher Chabris, Daniel Simons The Invisible Gorilla And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us
Dalai Lama Art Of Happiness
Dan Millman Way of the Peaceful Warrior – A Book That Changes Lives
Dean Radin PhD, Deepak Chopra Supernormal – Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities
Eckhart Tolle Power of Now
Friedrich Nietzsche Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Gregory David Roberts Shantaram
Hermann Hesse Siddhartha
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Beyond Religion – Ethics for a Whole World
Jack Kornfield A Path With Heart
Jack Kornfield Beginners Guide to Buddhism
Jack Kornfield Roots of Buddhist Psychology
J Krishnamurti Reflections on the Self
Kahlil Gibran The Prophet
Lao Tzu (Stephen Mitchell) Tao Te Ching
Miguel Ruiz The Four Agreements
Pema Chodron Getting Unstuck
Pema Chödrön From Fear to Fearlessness
Rhonda Byrne The Secret
Richard Carlson, PH.D Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Robert Coles The Moral Intelligence of Children: How to Raise a Moral Child
Robert Wright Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Enlightenment
Susan Cain Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Thich Nhat Hanh Teachings On Love
Viktor E. Frankl Man’s Search for Meaning




Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
Dan Brown Da Vinci Code
Dan Millman Way of the Peaceful Warrior – A Book That Changes Lives
Esther Hicks,
Jerry Hicks
Ask and It Is Given, Volume: The Law of Attraction
Garth Stein The Art of Racing In the Rain
Howard Zinn 20th Century – A Peoples History
Jon Krakauer  Into Thin Air
Lance Armstrong  Its not about the Bike (My Journey Back to Life)
Laura Hillenbrand Unbroken – A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Lois Lowry Giver
Mel Levine, M.D_ Myth of Laziness
Melinda Gates The Moment of Lift – How Empowering Women Changes the World
Michelle Obama Becoming
Mitch Albom For One More Day
Naomi Klein The Shock Doctrine – The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Niall Ferguson The Ascent of Money – A Financial History of the World
Paul Hawken Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
Paulo Coelho Alchemist
Peter Wohlleben The Hidden Life of Trees – What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World
Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow A Briefer History of Time
Susan Cain Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Thomas L. Friedman World Is Flat – A Brief History Of The Twenty-First Century
Yuval Noah Harari Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind
Wyatt Webb It’s Not About the Horse