• Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist at Wharton, bestselling author, and host of the TED podcast WorkLife.
  • In this piece, Grant outlines his top 10 leadership reading recommendations for the fall.
  • He categorizes these into 3 groups based on their subject matter.

As the summer winds to a close and COVID surges again, I can’t think of a better distraction than some brain candy. Here are my top choices from the new idea books for August and September:

Motivation and resilience

1. Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman

IMHO, this is the most important book ever written about time management. A journalist presents a searing indictment of productivity hacking and profound insights on how to make the best use of our scarcest, most precious resource.

2. Everyday Vitality by Samantha Boardman

A psychiatrist broadens her attention from alleviating mental illness to promoting mental health, combining an impressive command of science with deep empathy for patients.

3. No Cure for Being Human by Kate Bowler

With grace, wisdom, and humor, a historian and divinity expert encourages us to cut back on self-help Kool-Aid and teaches us how to make more of our lives.

Diversity, inclusion and belonging

4. Unbound by Tarana Burke

The courageous founder of the #MeToo movement delivers her long-awaited memoir on fighting for justice, equity, and empathy.

5. The End of Bias by Jessica Nordell

In a time when many people are diagnosing prejudice but few have taken real steps to solve it, a journalist offers a gripping narrative of the science of how individuals, groups, and institutions can move toward prevention and cure.

6. Power for All by Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro

Get ready to rethink your understanding of authority and influence as two leading researchers unpack what power is, how it’s gained and lost, and how it can be used for good.

Leadership and management

7. My Life in Full by Indra Nooyi

One of the world’s most respected CEOs—and the first immigrant and woman of color to lead a Fortune 50 company—shares the lessons of her experiences on building a career, formulating strategies, and steering organizations toward responsibility.

8. Bringing Up the Boss by Rachel Pacheco

A surprisingly useful, surprisingly funny guide to being a first-time manager—by a manager turned management professor.

9. The Raging 2020s by Alec Ross

A State Department innovation advisor fearlessly confronts one of the fundamental challenges of our time: fixing the broken social contract between people, business, and government.

10. Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, and Deron Triff

Memorable stories and actionable insights from many of the greatest founders and leaders of our time might just help you turn your biggest, boldest ideas into reality.

2021 Autumn Reading List recommendations
2021 Autumn Reading List recommendations
Image: Adam Grant

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Adam Grant is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife. He shares insights on work and psychology in his free monthly newsletter, Granted.