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Best Books of 2018

November 12, 2019

Best Books of 2018 across Business, Leadership & Civics

My favorite reads of 2018 covered a variety of topics ranging from understanding power dynamics to emerging leadership models and startup strategies. I wrote a suggested reading list for 2018 last year and wanted to continue sharing the books that influenced my thinking during 2018.

1) New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World - and how to make it work for you.

One of the keys to being successful while leading is being literate in power dynamics. Traditional command and control style power is losing effectiveness, and doesn't feel aligned to the way I lead. I prefer creating collaborative and transparent environment to inspire people's best.

2 ) You're more powerful than you think: a citizen's guide to making change happen.

Eric Liu was one of the speakers at the Code to America Summit 2018. His guidebook to understanding how to power flows between leaders and every day citizens is helpful with evaluating policy situations and options to shift power.

3) So You Want To Talk About Race

Ijeoma Oluo masterfully provides historical context mixed with personal storytelling to offer a relatable text on how race intertwines with every day.

4) Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing The World

Anand Giridharadas explains how the elite use charity to whitewash their hoarding of resources and monopolies. When they do speak up they often advocate for charity rather than a just system.

5) LeapFrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs

Nathalie Molina wrote the new startup bible for the rest of us. Historical data shows that the secret to successful startups before was being white, rich and male. She debunks the shortcuts they used to get ahead and re-frames the hacks for everyone else.

6) The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy

Mariana Mazzucato, economist, explains that modern economies reward activities that extra value rather than create it. She scrutinizes the way economic value has been accounted for and injects truth into startup stories that have been misrepresented (Such as all the innovations that make our smart phones "smart" were invented by the federal government.) This allows certain entities to pose as value creators when in reality they are moving around value or destroying it.

7) Dare To Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations.Whole Hearts

Brene Brown created another bestseller now focused on expanding the definition of leadership to anyone who ACTS like a leader, not simply those with title or power. She uses research, stories and examples to draw a picture of what daring leadership looks like in practice.

8) Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America

Alissa Quart, executive editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, examines the lives of many middle-class Americans who can now barely afford to raise children. Through firsthand storytelling, she explains how our country has failed its families.

9) Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine

This was recommended to me from a wine sommelier friend to better understand my own palate and get better at picking wines that are my favorites. It's written in understandable terms - fruity, etc so it was great to understand what flavors I enjoy leading me to specific regions for wines.

These are some of my favorite reads from 2018. What were yours? Tweet to me and let me know!

Katie M. Wilson
Katie Wilson is a communications strategist/producer and the founder of Prosperity CoLab.

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