Reading

Embodied Leadership – Pete Hamill - as Pete says, ‘we don’t need leaders who know about leadership, we need leaders who embody the capacity to lead in the midst of ambiguity and complexity.’ In a world full of information, this new book is a refreshing approach to learning at a much deeper level. Highly recommended.

Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World – this is a must-read for anyone troubled by the over-reliance on ‘positive thinking’. It’s a provocative, but important read, especially for anyone working in the coaching or personal development field. Highly recommended.

Playing the Enemy (Filmed as “Invictus”): Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made the Nation – this is a moving book that tells the true story of how Nelson Mandela was able to reach out to all sides in South Africa, and enable a peaceful transition to democracy. Essential reading for leaders on the art of “blending” and navigating different perspectives.

A General Theory of Love – Fari Amin, Thomas Lewis, Richard Lannon – remains one of the most important books I have ever read. Not an easy read, but a rigorous exploration of the importance of emotions, and a demonstration that emotions can be learned. Scientific and beautiful at the same time. Anyone interested in people, professionally or personally, should read this book.

The Spell of the Sensuous – David Abram. A rich visceral book about our relationship to nature, and how it has changed since the invention of language, especially the written language. We’ve moved from being part of nature, connected and at one with it, into being able to talk about it, and use it, but being very disconnected from it.

The Anatomy of Change – Richard Strozzi Heckler. Heckler is a master somatic coach, and this book is a very good exploration of the importance of the body as a territory for learning. If you’re looking for one book on working with the body in coaching, then this is it.

The Power of Myth – Joseph Campbell. Of all of Campbell’s wonderful books on mythology, this is the most accessible, based on a series of interviews he did with Bill Moyers. It’s a rich exploration of the territory of mythology and its application and relevance to today’s world. It stresses the importance of meaning and ritual and story-telling, and the cost of a world that lives without them.

Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life – by Fernando Flores – trust is critical in our organisational and personal lives, and yet it’s hard for us to define and articulate it. This book explores the different components of trust, and explains how to build and maintain trust.

Deep Economy – Bill McKibben – a book that explores how the forces of individualism and the pursuit of endless progress are inextricably linked, and the impact of that on community and connection. A sober book, absolutely pertinent to the times we are living in.

A Geography of Time – Robert Levine – a lovely book, full of stories and comparisons, about how different countries and cultures view time, and a rich exploration of different cultural discourses.

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