Tocci has been spending a lot of time recently focusing on workforce training, improving leadership skills, and developing each employee’s unique strengths. To support these efforts, here is a selection of related books that we have found to offer great insight into personal development and leadership.
Collective Potential Collaborative Construction Environments
By Andreas Phelps, PhD
Andreas is working as Tocci’s instructor for our two-year Workforce Training program funded through the Workforce Training Fund Grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. His book provides social insight into the success of a project.
Summary: Information flow is the foundation of any project. However, the major limiting factor is not the lack of information, but the inability to effectively integrate useful information into a project. By bringing together the fields of organizational science, organizational behavior, and information science, this book explores the interplay of social, technical, and technological factors influencing information flow. By understanding these concepts, managers can strategically leverage the social and technical characteristics of their project team, processes, and tools to enable positive iterations of trust and learning.
The Road to Character
By David Brooks
Summary: Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade.
Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
By Stephen R. Covey
One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations. Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity–principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t Hardcover – January 7, 2014
By Simon Sinek
As Simon Sinek noticed in his travels around the world, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. Some of these teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other.
Far more common, unfortunately, are teams that seem doomed to infighting, fragmentation, and failure, no matter what incentives are offered. But why?
The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general who explained a USMC tradition: “Officers eat last.” Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What’s symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: great leaders sacrifice their own comfort—even their own survival—for the good of those in their care. This principle has been true since the earliest tribes of hunters and gatherers. It’s not a management theory; it’s biology. Our brains and bodies evolved to help us find food, shelter, mates, and especially safety. We’ve always lived in a dangerous world, facing predators and enemies at every turn. We thrived only when we felt safe among our group.