The Carson College of Business Online MBA Programs is proud to share its reading list for business leaders based on recommendations from program faculty and staff to ring in 2021. Our recommended reading list covers leadership, communication, growth and development, and emotional intelligence. We encourage you to use this list to jumpstart your 2021 reading goals and even share with your team.
Author: Daniel Kahneman
Recommendation by: Chip Hunter, Carson College of Business Dean
Subject: How we think and make decisions
Reason for recommending: Kahneman is a Nobel Prize winner in economics, even though he is trained as a psychologist. This is a fascinating summary of his work – and a great read. Every page seems to have something in it that we can use to improve our decision-making.
Associate Dean’s Recommendation:
Author: Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott
Recommendation by: Cheryl Oliver, Associate Dean, Professional Programs
Subject: Personal growth
Reason for recommending: Using psychology, sociology and economics, the authors reframe our old notions about education, work, and recreation. They focus on creating and re-creating who we are at different phases in our lives for long term enjoyment and fulfillment.
Graduate Programs Faculty Recommendations:
Author: Matt Johnson and Prince Ghuman
Recommendation By: Darrel Muehling, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing and International Business (Online MBA)
Reason for recommending: “Blindsight is a rigorous examination of how top brands sneak into our brains and grab the best real estate. Deftly mixing neuroscience, psychology, and fun stories, the book is a delight to read; it will grip you from the start, and leave you feeling smarter.”
Author: Stephen Krempl
Recommendation By: Debi Mundell, M.Ed., 599 Course Instructor (Online MBA)
Subject: Communication, strategy, and leadership growth
Reason for recommending: After experiencing Stephen Krempl’s talk at a conference last year, I knew the 5% Zone book would be a great, helpful read. With competition in the workforce, how are you able to communicate more confidently, connect personally, and standout to senior management ahead of your peers in your organization? This book shows you the visibility strategies that will get you recognized and rewarded in any organization! It will outline the mindset, tips, techniques, and the five situations where you can make the most impact.
Author: Timothy C. Winegard
Recommendation By: Jerman Rose, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of International Business (Online MBA)
Subject: History and science
Reason for recommending: COVID has taught us that factors outside the courses taught in business school affect every personal and business decision. This fascinating study demonstrates this lesson in a very readable account of how mosquito borne diseases literally changed the course of history. I recall a friend of mine who served two tours as an army medic in Vietnam saying he lost more men to malaria than to combat injuries.
Author: Susan Cain
Recommendation By: Garth Mader, MBA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship (Online MBA)
Subject: Emotional Intelligence, Interpersonal Relationships, and Group Dynamics
Reason for recommending: In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
Author: Kevin Ashton
Recommendation By: Michael Jordan, DBA, Adjunct Faculty (Online MBA/Executive MBA Programs)
Reason for recommending: This book is about the “process” of creativity—the underlying energy behind all great discoveries. Rather than the myth of the “eureka moment,” creativity is driven by intention, passion, focus and lots of work. Creativity resides within all of us; it is our natural birthright. By way of example, Ashton discusses the back stories behind several creative efforts from Mozart to the Wright brothers. In short, everyone should cultivate creativity with themselves. Creativity = Purpose = Prosperity.
Graduate Programs Team Recommendations:
Author: Russ Harris
Recommendation by: Mitch Swanger, Director of Admissions and Student Services
Subject: Personal wellness
Reason for recommending: A mindfulness-based book for reducing stress, overcoming fear, and creating a rich and meaningful life.
Author: Chip Heath & Dan Heath
Recommendation by: Matt Beer, Military and Veteran Affairs Manager
Subject: Business and Leadership
Reason for recommending: Whether you are building a team, serving a customer, or nurturing personal relationships…moments matter. Creating shared opportunities for connection, pride and insight do not just happen on their own, and this book reveals research and shares practical ways to intentionally shape and elevate your most important moments.
Author: Dr. Richard Carlson
Recommendation by: Meghan Steinbeiss, Senior Student Support Advisor
Reason for recommending: I know that you all have more than enough pages of reading to do for class, so I am recommending a quick, easy read that packs a big punch. This book was “prescribed” to me by my own doctor to help me get through graduate school. Dr. Carlson’s ideas are simple, but they will remind you to pick your battles and lend your headspace to the issues that are most important. The chapters are short, so you can work your way through 1-2 chapters in just a few minutes when you need a boost. This book will help you to accept imperfection, recognize when you are ruminating, and lighten up overall when life gets tough. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Marjan Apostolovic/Shutterstock