5 Book Recommendations from Badass Female Leaders

  • By: joannafurlong
  • Posted: January 9, 2017

A new year means a fresh slate, across the board, from your diet to your habits to your personal development and career goals. You now have an entirely new, squeaky-fresh year ahead of you. A chance to do things right. Rather than just training your bod by squeezing in extra runs, how about dedicating 15 minutes a day to enlightening your mind?

leadership books for women

The following books have been recommended to us directly from our global network of badass female leaders. These books have been mentioned in interviews, at events and in private conversations. We thought we’d share the love and pass on these great reads in hopes that you, too, can benefit.

Getting to Yes

Here’s an idea: negotiation can be a lot more about meeting mutually beneficial goals and a hell of lot less about the nasties. It’s not about throwing up your arms in a victory pose and screwing over the other side. Every party can come to a satisfying agreement.

Getting to Yes is based on the Harvard Negotiation Project, experts in conflict resolution and negotiation. It will walk you through every step of the process, giving you strategies you can apply tomorrow to both business and life.

Read this if: you want to do some catch-up education on one of the most critical skills you can have in life: negotiating like a boss (not a biatch).

Little Bets

For some, successes and losses are black and white. Either you win or you lose. Either you get it right or you F it up. But what about all the gray area in between? And, is that perspective helping you live a healthy and productive life?

Little Bets explores the idea that big wins unfold in small steps or phases—or, little bets. And failures. Sometimes big innovation isn’t about taking on the biggest of ideas and perfectly succeeding but in making your way along a windy path (with all of its twists and boulders and wrong turns).

Read this if: you want to get outside of your own head and make big things happen—one shuffle at a time.

Start with Why

Start with Why reminds us to focus on purpose. In the chaos of trying to do so much (too much?) many organizations lose sight of their original purpose, or why, for existing. This happens to individuals, too. When you’re pulling an all-nighter, or grinding your teeth through a migraine-inducing meeting, have you ever thought about WHY you’re there? That answer alone may give you the strength to push on, or alter your path.

Read this book if: you want to discover meaningful ways you can confidently transition throughout your career and do work you love—and know it’s all worth it in the end.

David and Goliath

Malcom Gladwell delivers great insights in a way in which you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be itching to stay up later to turn the page. In David and Goliath, Gladwell explores the notion of underdogs. How is it that unexpected heroes arise, despite circumstances that seek to bring them down? Despite challenges and disadvantages such as coming from underserved communities, lack of education, losing loved ones—leaders (and success stories) emerge.

Women in tech have always faced brick walls of challenges. While we’re breaking through them, we won’t stop rooting for the underdog.

Read this book if: you want to feel like you can knock out a 300-pound sumo wrestler.

Wonder Women

Take Wonder Women and stick it on your nightstand or coffee table, or in your laptop bag. Each chapter makes for a fast, easy and uplifting read. Wonder Women explores 25 women rock stars…er, “innovators, inventors and trailblazers” who changed history. It’s a book you can enjoy in delicious little bites over time, and never feel like you’ve fallen behind.

Read this book if: You like the look of your jaw hanging open. Because it will be hitting the floor when you read about these incredible women. Girl Power!


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