MANAGING THE NEW NORMAL: 10 BOOKS TO HELP YOU BUILD A GREAT CULTURE THROUGH COVID
1. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts by Brené Brown
Brené Brown writes great material on vulnerability and empathy. In this book, Brown focuses on how tough conversations aren't just important in life, they're particularly important for leaders.
If you're a leader, read Brené Brown's work, starting with this book, to learn how you can become more vulnerable as a leader. Vulnerability and empathy are two of the keys to great leadership. It will help your people to build trust with you which is more important than ever in times like these.
2. The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick Lencioni
Any organisation can be smart but becoming healthy is another thing. That's why it's the advantage according to Patrick Lencioni. I use the 6 questions of clarity with clients all the time to help them take their organisation to the next level.
This book is a manual to building a great organisation that will be the envy of your competitors. Forget the same old same old and let Lencioni show you 20+ years of consulting experience in one book distilled to just show you how to build something awesome. Culture 101 reading!
3. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek
Purpose is behind anything. The less you realise that the less you'll be able to thrive. Why is at the core of what you spend your time and money on and Simon Sinek is the best in the world at breaking down how it affects leadership.
If you want to build a great culture through COVID then make sure you know your organisation's why and go massive on that. It's a winner.
4. Good to Great by Jim Collins
Jim Collins is a genius. He analyses meta data for years on end and then pulls a handful of research proven principles from said data. If you want to build a great organisation or team or family then look closely. In Good to Great Collins looked at businesses that went from average to exceptional and how they made the jump.
 
What you need to do to get from here to where you want to be is likely to be counter-intuitive. Remember that the next time someone whose business is failing is giving you advice on how to run yours. The way to build great culture right now in the new normal will seem counter-intuitive but going big on values, aiming to be a level 5 leaders and building your flywheel are ideas that might sound counter-intuitive now but in 15 years you can be a great organisation that's sustained greatness like the organisations Collins studied.​
5. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Navy SEALs are crazy but they're also not as superhuman as they seem. There are some gold principles behind what they do and in how they operate that any ordinary Joe or Joanne can go and put into practice.
 
Jocko Willink's book and his podcast are so popular because he hits hard but you know he cares - think Gordon Ramsay. Reading his work is like having a Navy SEAL sargent coaching you one on one through the pages.
6. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
Culture eats strategy for breakfast - Peter Drucker. But culture STARTS with the leadership team. A millimetre of misalignment at exec team level will turn into a kilometre of a gap on the ground.
 
Building a healthy team is 101 for culture and Lencioni's 5 dysfunctions is my favourite playbook for building team. I use this book all the time with teams I work with and I've used it myself in teams I lead. When I first came across it, I read it in one night. Maybe you should too!
7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey 
An oldie but a goodie. I couldn't resist adding it here. Some of the age old truths you'll here like 'important vs urgent' started with Covey. Immerse yourself for the first time (or the 100th time) in Covey's gold on self leadership.
 
Remember, culture starts with what you model. If you want people to 'x' then start by asking, 'Do I model that?' Lots of great things to work on as a leader are contained in Covey's 7 habits masterpiece.
8. The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
The Enneagram is one of the tools I use with teams most often. That's because it goes incredibly deep. Where other profiling tools look at how you behave, Enneagram really looks at how you're wired.
 
By understanding how you're motivated and what drives you, you'll be a better leader for others and a better person for the people in your life. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to grow as a person.
9. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant
Three of the most powerful words any leader can learn to say, "I don't know." As you manage your leadership during COVID, decision making is more important than ever. Great culture starts with vulnerability and empathy and both of these involve being brutally honest with yourself about what you don't know.
Adam Grant brings a psychological perspective to thinking that every leaders needs to lean into.
10. Thinking, Fast and Slow: by Daniel Kahneman
As mentioned above, decision making is especially important right now, and will be for the next few years. The quality of your decisions comes down to how you think.
 
Daniel Kahneman's work is helpful for every leader to take a step back from critiquing those around them and instead to start building culture by critiquing their personal leadership through the lens of how you think.
Managing the new normal: 10 books to help you build a great culture through COVID
1. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts by Brené Brown
2. The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick Lencioni
3. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek
4. Good to Great by Jim Collins
5. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
6. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey 
8. The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
9. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant
10. Thinking, Fast and Slow: by Daniel Kahneman