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MCF Intersection

A regular snapshot of the trends, news and research in the world of philanthropy — and its impact on business.


A fresh year demands fresh ideas, and a new crop of books to be released in the coming months promises to deliver them. Which should you add to your to-read queue? Few are better positioned to offer recommendations than star Wharton professor and bestselling author Adam Grant.

As one of the leaders of The Next Big Idea book club (along with fellow luminaries Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink), Grant sifts through dozens upon dozens of new releases looking for the freshest and most thought-provoking titles. As a celebrated author, he also knows what keeps people turning the pages. On LinkedIn recently he shared his picks for most notable upcoming leadership books.

1. Nine Lies about Work by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall (out April 2nd)

"This is one of the most provocative, lucidly written books I've read on work," raves Grant. "Be prepared to throw your strategic plan out the window and become well-lopsided instead of well-rounded."

2. Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan (out February 19th)

"Imagine a world of work that enhances our dignity and freedom instead of degrading and constraining us. That's what Aaron Dignan helps organizations create," claims Grant.

3. Range by David Epstein (May 28)

"In a world that's increasingly obsessed with specialization, star science writer David Epstein is here to convince you that the future may belong to generalists," is Grant's encapsulation of this pick.

4. The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek (out June 4th)

"This is Simon Sinek's biggest idea yet," Grant believes. "If you think success is about winning and losing, you've already lost."

5. The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates (out April 23rd)

The debut book from the exec turned philanthropist focuses on gender equality and "shows how we can all take steps to create equal opportunities for education, healthcare, work, and family leave--and how much that matters for the health of every society," writes Grant.

6. Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani (out February 5th)

"The perfect is not just the enemy of the good; the pressure to be perfect is the enemy of girls around the world," argues Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani in this one, according to Grant.

7. Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle (out April 16th)

"Silicon Valley's best-kept secret is... a former football coach named Bill Campbell, who became so indispensable that Steve Jobs went on a weekly Sunday walk with him and the Google founders said they wouldn't have made it without him," says Grant. This book explains Campbell's playbook.

8. From the Ground Up by Howard Schultz (out January 28th)

This one traces the Starbucks CEO's journey from a Brooklyn housing project to the heights of business success. "He intersperses his personal journey with his vision for building socially responsible companies and communities," notes Grant.

9. To Stop a Warlord by Shannon Sedgwick Davis (out April 2nd)

One of Grant's more unexpected picks, this book traces the story of a human rights foundation founder who hired private contractors to train an army to defeat a Ugandan warlord guilty of turning children into soldier and sex slaves. "It's impossible to read her memoir without feeling moved to do more to help those with less," Grant insists.

10. The Bartering Mindset by Brian Gunia (out March 14th)

Negotiating expert Brian Gunia "does something unusual here: he offers insights about bargaining that are both novel and useful," writes Grant.

Check out Grant's complete post for nine more incredible leadership reads.