Best brain books for 2013

by | Dec 9, 2013 | Blog | 0 comments

Gustav sitting on Your Brain at Workhair salon Looking for a list of the best change leadership books published in 2013?

You won’t find it here.

This year, I’m breaking from my popular tradition.

Instead, I’m offering my “go to” list of favorite books about the brain. This topic is top-of-mind now that I’m serving as a teaching assistant and student for the Executive Masters in Neuroleadership Program through the Neuroleadership Institute.

These seven books are ideal for us lay people who want to understand neuroscience well enough to apply it.

With these books, you’ll gain ideas on how to improve your professional and personal leadership in a brain-healthy way.

(Caveat: I still haven’t learned how to better my position with my alpha dog, Gustav, pictured above. He ignored the fact that I had my copy of Your Brain at Work on my lap at the hair salon when he decided he wanted some lap time.)

These books are listed according to their publication date, starting with most recent.

  1. Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect by Matthew D. Lieberman, 2013.  An enlightening and entertaining read about how our brains are made to connect, not just to think and feel. Yes, we are much more social than we think.
  2. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant, 2013. Ground-breaking research, explanation and stories of how success is increasingly becoming dependent on how we interact with others.
  3. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, 2011. A dense and important book about how we think, including our faults and biases that are almost impossible to overcome.
  4. Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders by Srinivasan S. Pillay M.D., 2010.  Practical, helpful suggestions on how to apply brain science to improving leadership.
  5. Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long by David Rock, 2009. An instructive guide on how to better manage the vast quantities of information we’re presented with as well as better cope with colleagues and family members.
  6. On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not by Robert A. Burton, M.D., 2008. Provocative read about the inconsistencies between our thoughts and knowledge. For example, feeling certain—feeling that we know something—is more of a mental sensation than a factual condition based on evidence.
  7. Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work by David Rock, 2006. Brain-based guidebook on how to improve other peoples’ thinking as well as your own.

By the way, there are intentionally seven books here. To avoid overwhelming others, I’ve learned that it’s best to provide no more than seven items.

Do you have a favorite book that that feeds your brain that didn’t make this list? If so, please add it in comments.

Also, what’s on your reading list for 2014? Please share!


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