We’ve compiled a few book recommendations to help add to your skillset, expand your window of possibilities, or just be inspired.
1. Good to Great and the Social Sectors by Jim Collins
This 40-page book is about taking good organizations to the next level. Collins dives right into five crucial areas of organizational success in our sector: 1) “Define Great,” which answers questions on what greatness is and how to pursue it. 2) “Level 5 Leadership” shows what influential and adept leaders look like. 3) “Getting the Right People on the Bus” lays out how you can hire the right people. 4) “The Hedgehog Concept” this chapter focuses on sustainability and longevity by using the Greek parable, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” 5) “Turn the Flywheel” talks about building strong momentum.
If you haven’t read this absolute classic yet, now’s the time!
2. The Non-Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success by Steve Rothschild
In eight chapters, Rothschild covers how to “measure the right things to drive great results,” “use your purpose and mission to drive great outcomes” and “identify your true customers.” He also lays out seven principles of supporting personal empowerment, measuring what counts, having a clear and appropriate purpose, and being learning-driven.
His book is easily relatable and applicable to various situations.
3. How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work: Seven Languages for Transformation by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
“Why is there such a big gap between our hopes, intentions and decisions?” and “Why do we find it difficult to make important changes, and even when we do, why are they so frequently short?” are some of the questions raised by Kegan and Lahey.
Their book will help you arrive at your own answers and resolve conflicts between your intention and your action.
4. Give and Take by Adam Grant
Grant identifies three kinds of people: givers, takers and matchers. According to his research, effective leaders are givers because they focus on what others need and are naturally generous in sharing their time and expertise. Exceptional leaders also enjoy interactions that help others expand their skills and knowledge.
Explore these three archetypes to learn where you land and consider whether you can shift a bit to maximize effectiveness.
5. Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath
The Heath brothers are out to transform how nonprofit companies communicate with their advocates. Stripping away all of the fluff means that your messages will “stick” with your audience. You’ll also learn the mechanics of applying “the human principle,” creating “curiosity gaps,” and mastering the “Velcro Theory of Memory.”
Take your personal and corporate communications to the next level with these messaging experts.
Whether you’re just starting at your first nonprofit organization or you’ve been a leader for years, these must-read books can help you reach your goals and achieve success. Happy reading!
By Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS