Briefings Magazine

Books for Leading into an Uncertain Future

To be a better leader requires first being a better human.

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"It’s not personal ... It’s strictly business.” This quote has echoed throughout capitalism since its infamous declaration in The Godfather in 1972. But roughly 50 years later that sentiment is shifting, which is evident in today’s most influential business and leadership books. The ruthless pursuit of financial and professional gain is no longer shielded by the doctrine of “strictly business.”

Instead of publishing myopic manuals on how to win influence, today’s authors are urging readers to examine the structures they operate within and to exert influence to reorganize those structures in service of a better world and future. The subtext: to be a better leader requires first being a better human. This collection of recent titles will educate and inspire executives to both be and do better. (Because, spoiler alert, it didn’t end well for the source of that infamous quote—or those around him.)

The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the 21st Century’s Greatest Dilemma

By Mustafa Suleyman

A path forward into a rapidly changing future.

The Perfection Trap: Embracing the Power of Good Enough

By Thomas Curran

How vulnerability and acceptance nurture abundance and equity.

The Case for Good Jobs: How Great Companies Bring Dignity, Pay, and Meaning to Everyone’s Work

By Zeynep Ton

The competitive landscape is changing—and for good reason.

Material World: The Six Raw Materials That Shape Modern Civilization

By Ed Conway

A journey to uncover the invisible underpinnings of modern life.

The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise

By Pico Iyer

What we strive for and where it leads.

Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock

By Jenny Odell

An urge to revise conceptions of time and value.


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