Professional Development Books | Dick Massimilian

Book Shelf

Professional Development Books

Great leaders never stop learning. Buy Dick’s book, How to Lead an Effective Meeting, below or browse the digital bookshelf for a list of professional development books he recommends. For additional resources, visit Dick’s blog and Leadership Resources pages.

  • 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

    This book is a masterpiece of original thought, fascinating synthesis and provocative inquiry. It has twelve chapters, each one of which showcases a “rule.” Chapter titles are clever and creative, e.g., “Stand up straight with your shoulders back,” “Do not bother children when they are skateboarding,” or my personal favorite, “Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.” It is not an easy book to read; there is so much to absorb in each chapter that at times you feel like you have to come up for air. Stick with it. This is the rare tome that can actually alter your life.

    The book has sold over 3 million copies. When someone asks me for the single best book they can read to elevate his or her leadership acumen, I recommend this book.

  • The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

    Willink and Babin are former Navy SEALS whose predecessor book, Extreme Ownership, has been widely acclaimed. Dichotomy of Leadership, the sequel to Extreme Ownership, explores the pitfalls of pushing any individual strength, or any credo or any rule, too far. It is about finding the balance inherent in being a leader, something with which leaders invariably grapple. Chapter titles include, “Resolute but not overbearing,” “Aggressive not reckless” and “Plan but don’t overplan.” Chapters start with a recount of a battle scenario, tee up a real-life leadership dilemma the authors faced, then discuss a relevant business situation. It’s an entertaining as well as an enlightening read.

  • I Love Capitalism by Kenneth Langone

    This is the remarkable story of a kid from Long Island who eventually donated $200 million to New York University Medical Center. Langone’s candor and authenticity shine throughout the book. He is unabashedly ambitious, creative and tenacious. This is an easy, enjoyable read about the leader as a pioneer and about what is possible in America.

  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

    This book has many strengths. The story of how a rowing crew from the University of Washington captured the Gold Medal in the Berlin Olympics in 1936 is inspiring. The book contains lessons on teamwork, perseverance and the tough choices leaders sometimes have to make. It is superbly written.

  • Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

    I dare you not to be inspired by this book. It is hilarious, heart-rending, wise, articulate and authentic. Every leader should learn the lessons Vance teaches about class structure in the United States. J.D. Vance is destined for great things. Don’t miss this book.

  • Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley & Henry Lodge

    Every leader needs stamina. The older we get, the less we are able to take stamina for granted. This book offers great insight into what to do to look and feel your best well into your eighties. Published in 2007, many of the book’s recommendations are now widely accepted. For a look at why some people over 65 are vigorous and active while others are not, read this.

Just For Fun!

We all need a great non-business page turner. Here are my favorites:

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

    The book is about a blind French girl and a young German radio operator in WW II Europe. Once I started reading, I did not stop for almost two days.

  • Red Platoon by Clinton Romesha

    Incredible firsthand account of the defense of a remote Afghanistan outpost in 2009. The characters are vividly drawn and the narrative will elevate your adrenaline level. The author received the Medal of Honor as a result of the actions described in the book. Phenomenal.

  • Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger

    A lifelong northeastern Yankee, I read this book before I moved to Texas. It’s superbly written. After living here the last decade, I now realize how beautifully it captures the Texas football culture. Even if you’ve seen the movie or watched the television series, I think you will love this book.

How to Lead an Effective Meeting

Dick has written How to Lead an Effective Meeting (and get the results you want), a practical guide for leaders on how to use meeting time most productively.

Order Today!

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