Words to Work By

Featuring new wisdom from a biohacker, a self-development expert and a handful of leadership gurus, these are the season’s must-read (or listen to) business titles.

Dare To Lead

Social scientist Brené Brown has amassed a huge following for embracing her self-described identity as an “authentic mess.”

Her work on vulnerability, imperfection and courage has made her a self-development guru who counts Pixar, IBM and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as clients.

Her newest book puts her groundbreaking research into practice, offering concrete ways for even the most uninclined to step up and lead. Brown’s work is especially effective in audio—while she may not be a professional narrator, her warm, authoritative voice is simply the most authentic vehicle for delivering her message.

The Infinite Game

Former ad exec Simon Sinek rose to fame after a blockbuster TED talk (“How Great Leaders Inspire Action”), so he’s definitely among the new guard in leadership and management.

Following up bestsellers “Start With Why” and “Leaders Eat Last,” his new book, “The Infinite Game,” begins with a simple question: How do you win a game with no end? With his usual clarity, Sinek slyly moves the goal posts, showing how “infinite” thinkers achieve success by playing the long game. Do yourself a favor and get this one in audio: The author is a proven narrator of his own work, and you can adjust the listening speed to save yourself valuable time.

Game Changers: What Leaders, Innovators, and Mavericks Do to Win at Life

With apologies to Joe Rogan, Dave Asprey is the world’s most famous biohacker—if you’ve ever put butter and MCT oil in your coffee or tinkered with supplement ratios for peak performance, you can probably thank him.

Now, the “Bulletproof Radio” podcaster and “Head Strong” writer is back with practical techniques for becoming happier, healthier and smarter, culled directly from thought leaders, scientists and executives. No knowledge of raw foods or psychedelic drugs is required. Expect actionable, science-backed wisdom you can use in your own playbook immediately.

Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace

Not every entrepreneur is a leader—building a business, successful or not, doesn’t always translate into knowing how to lead and manage people.

Fortunately, leadership expert John C. Maxwell (“The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”) knows how to impart this essential knowledge in an efficient way to busy, high-achieving standouts in their fields. Guiding today’s leaders through one of the most unpredictable eras in modern business, Maxwell reveals how to be nimble and transition smoothly over both organizational and individual changes.

And more

The BB&T Leadership Institute’s consultants share a pair of their all-time favorites.

The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results
By Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter
Harvard Business Review Press, $30

The Leading Brain: Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance
By Friederike Fabritius and Hans Hagemann
TarcherPerigee, $26

By Kat Johnson

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