Read This Series: TheSchoolHouse302 monthly video-blog features great books for you to lead better and grow faster 

Here you’ll find links back to our #readthisseries so that you can return to our vblog on book recommendations by topics for leaders. We want you to be able to lead better and grow faster, and reading is one of the best strategies for you to do that. This page is always growing and developing based on our topics so return back often.

Our list of books by topic is not a comprehensive list of the books in our library but rather the list of books that we’ve curated, from the many titles we sample, that we think you should absolutely start with. If you want more titles in any of the topics, or you want us to cover a topic that we haven’t yet, just comment below and let us know about it.


Johnson, S. (1998). Who moved my cheese? An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life. New York: Penguin.

Kotter, J. (1996). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Reeves, D. (2009). Leading change in your school: How to conquer myths, build commitment, and get results. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Culture (School Culture & Organizational Culture)

Blanchard, K. & Bowles, S. (1998). Gung ho! Turn on the people in any organization. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

Marquet, L.D. (2012). Turn the ship around! A true story of turning followers into leaders. New York: Penguin.


#readthisseries: Data

Bernhardt, V. (2004). Data analysis for continuous school improvement. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

Boudett, K., City, E., & Murnane, R. (2005). Data wise: A step-by-step guide to using assessment results to improve teaching and learning. Harvard Education Press.

Lencioni, P. (2007). The three signs of a miserable job. Wiley.

Rose, T. (2015). The end of average: How we succeed in a world that values sameness. New York: HaperOne.

Wheelan, C. (2013). Naked statistics. New York: W.W. Norton @ Company, Inc.

Employee Motivation and Retention

#readthisseries: Employee Motivation & Retention

Gallup. (2016). First, break all the rules: What the world’s greatest managers do differently. New York: Gallup Press.

Gordon, J. (2010). Soup: A recipe to nourish your team and culture. Hoboken: Wiley.

Sinek, S. (2013). Leaders eat last: Why some teams pull together and others don’t. New York: Penguin.

Energy and Enthusiasm

#readthisseries: Energy & Enthusiasm

Croce, P. (2004). Lead or get off the pot! The seven secrets of a self-made leader. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Gordon, J. (2007). The energy bus: 10 rules to fuel your life, work, and team with positive energy. New Jersey: Wiley.

Kotter, J. (2014). Accelerate: Building strategic agility for a faster-moving world. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Mankins, M. & Garton, E. (2017). Time, talent, energy: Overcome organizational drag & unleash you team’s productive power. Boston: Bain & Company, Inc.

Maxwell, J. C. (2011). The five levels of leadership: Proven steps to maximize your potential. New York: Hachette Book Group.

Sanborn, M. (2004). The Fred factor. How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Schultz, H., & Yang, D. J. (2014). Pour your heart into it: How Starbucks built a company one cup at a time. New York: Hachette Book Group.


Vaynerchuck, G. (2016). #AskGaryVee: One entrepreneur’s take on leadership, social media, & self-awareness. New York: HaperCollins.

Goal Setting

Gazzaely, A. & Rosen, L. (2017). The distracted mind: Ancient brains in a high-tech world. Boston: MIT Press.

Hamilton, L. (2010). Force of nature: Mind, body, soul and, of course, surfing. New York: Rodale, Inc.

Hill, N. (2007). Think and grow rich. Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc.

Pozen, R. (2012). Extreme productivity: Boost your results, reduce your hours. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.


#readthisseries: Innovation

Catmull, E. (2014). Creativity, INC. Overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration. New York: Random House.

Groopman, J. (2007). How doctors think. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Kelly, K. (2017). The inevitable: Understanding the 12 technological forces that will shape our future. New York: Penguin.

Levitt, S. & Dubner, S. (2009). Freakonomics: A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything. New York: First Harper Perennial.

Wagner, T. (2012). Creating innovators: The making of young people who will change the world. New York: Scribner.

Wettrick, D. (2014). Pure genius: Building a culture of innovation. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

Leadership (In General)

Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2016). Learning leadership: The five fundamentals of becoming an exemplary leader. San Francisco: Wiley.

Maxwell, J. (1993). Developing the leader within you. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Maxwell, J. (1998 & 2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: Follow them and people will follow you. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Phillips, D. (1992). Lincoln on leadership: Executive strategies for tough times. New York: Hachette Book Group.


#readthisseries: Listening

Behar, H. (2009). It’s not about the coffee: Lessons on putting people first from a life at Starbucks. New York: Penguin.

Lindahl, K. (2003). Practicing the sacred art of listening: A guide to enrich your relationships and kindle your spiritual life. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths.

Maxwell, J. (2014). The 15 invaluable laws of growth: Live them and reach your potential. New York: Hachette Book Group.

Long-Term Decision-Making

Collins, J. (2009). How the mighty fall: And why some companies never give in. Harper Collins.

Drucker, P., Christensen, C.M., Porter, M. & Goleman, D. (2010). HBR’s 10 must reads: The Essentials. Harvard Business Review.

Lewis, S. (2015). The rise: Creativity, the gift of failure, and the search for master. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Organizational Growth

#readthisseries: Organizational Growth

Bachelder, C. (2015). Dare to serve: How to drive superior results by serving others. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Kohler Publisher, Inc.

Stoeckel, H. & Andelman, B. (2014). The Wawa way: How a funny name & 6 core values revolutionized convenience. Philadelphia: Running Press.

Wahl, E. (2013). Unthink: Rediscover your creative genius. New York: Random House


Ferriss, T. (2016). Tool of titans: The tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers. New York: Timothy Ferriss.

Planning and Preparation

#readthisseries: Organizational Fitness

Collins, J. & Porras, J. (1994). Built to last: Successful habits of visionary companies. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Collins, J. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap and others don’t. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Collins, J. (2009). How the mighty fall: And why some companies never give in. CollinsBusiness Essentials.

Shapiro, R. (2009). Dare to prepare: How to win before you begin. Crown Business.


#readthisseries: Positivity

Gordon, J. (2008). The no complaining rule: Positive ways to deal with negativity at work. Hoboken: Wiley and Sons.

Gordon, J. (2012). The positive dog: A story about the power of positivity. Hoboken: Wiley and Sons.

Gordon, J. (2017). The power of positive leadership: How and why positive leaders transform teams and organizations and change the world. Hoboken: Wiley and Sons.


#readthisseries: Priorities

McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2012). The 4 disciplines of execution: Achieving your wildly important goals. New York: Free Press.

McKeown, G. (2014). Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less. New York: Crown Business.

Professional Dialogue

#readthisseries: Professional Dialogue

Grote, D. (2011). How to be good at performance appraisals: Simple, effective, done right. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Hallowell, E. (2011). Shine: Using brain science to get the best from your people. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Maxwell, J. (2014). Good leaders ask great questions: Your foundation for successful leadership. New York: Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Service-Based Leadership

Denis, W. (1979). Psychology of winning.

Frankl, V. (1959). Man’s search for meaning. Boston: Beacon Press Books.

Morgan, A., Lynch, C. & Lynch, S. (2017). Spark: How to lead yourself and others to greater success. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Systems Thinking

#readthisseries: Systems Thinking

Kaplan, L. & Koval, R. (2009). The power of small: Why little things make all the difference. New York: Random House.

Senge, P. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art & practice of learning organizations. New York: Random House, Inc.

Useem, M. (1999). The leadership moment: Nine true stories of triumph and disaster and their lessons for us all. New York: Three Rivers Press.


#readthisseries: Teamwork

Blanchard, K., Randolph, A., & Grazier, P. (2005). Go team: Take your team to the next level. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Hansen, M. (2009). Collaboration: How leaders avoid the tramps, create unity, and reap big results. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Krzyzewkski, M. (2009). The gold standard: Building a world-class team. New York: Hachette Book Group.

Lencioni, P. (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team. San Francisco: Wiley.

Maxwell, J. (2008). Teamwork 101: What every leader needs to know. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

We hope you enjoy our selections for our #readthisseries. We believe that Seneca said it best about sharing knowledge. Don’t forget to comment, like, request a topic, or forward to a friend.

Nothing will ever please me, no matter how excellent or beneficial, if I must retain the knowledge of it to myself. And if wisdom were given to me under the express condition that it must be kept hidden and not uttered, I should refuse it. No good thing is pleasant to possess, without friends to share it. I shall therefore send to you the actual books; and in order that you may not waste time in searching here and there for profitable topics, I shall mark certain passages [and selections], so that you can turn at once to those which I approve and admire ~ Letter VI from Seneca, On Sharing Knowledge

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