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  • Megan Jagger

The Soulful Leadership Book Club

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

Welcome to the Soulful Leadership Book Club, here you will find a list of all the books that have been recommended by the hosts and guests throughout ‘The Search For The Soulful Leader. If you have any additional suggestions or recommendations to add to the list, we would love to hear, please write to us at


Gareth R. Jones and Rob Goffee- Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?: What It Takes To Be An Authentic Leader

Recommended by Ben Osborn

First, organizations desire leaders, yet structure themselves in ways that kill leadership. They encourage either conformists or role players with an impoverished sense of who they are and what they stand for. Second, the main body of leadership literature focuses on the characteristics of leaders. The underlying assumption is that leadership is something we do to other people when in fact, leadership should be seen as a relationship between the leader and the led.

Stephen (Shed) Shedletzky

Recommendation: Rich Diviney- The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance

During his twenty years as a Navy officer and SEAL, Rich Diviney was intimately involved in specialized SEAL selection, whittling hundreds of extraordinary candidates down to a handful of elite performers. But Diviney was often surprised by who succeeded. Those with the right skills sometimes failed, while others he had initially dismissed became top performers. Why weren't the most skilful candidates the ones who would succeed best in some of the world's toughest military assignments?

Through years of observation, Diviney cracked the code: beneath obvious skills are a successful recruit's core attributes, the innate traits for a person's performance as an individual and in a team. This book defines these key attributes - including cunning, adaptability, and even narcissism - so you can identify and understand your own and those of people around you, helping you perform optimally in all areas of your life.

Garry Ridge

Recommendation: What got you here. Won't get you there- Marshall Goldsmith

In this book, you’ll discover how you can reach your full potential by eliminating 21 harmful workplace behaviours. Learn how to rescue your reputation after you’ve treated your colleagues poorly, why learning to listen is crucial to professional success, and how becoming too goal-oriented can harm your career.

Paul Kinkaid

Reccomended: Kim Scott - Radical Candor

Radical Candor offers a guide to those bewildered or exhausted by management, written for bosses and those who manage bosses. Drawing on years of first-hand experience, and distilled clearly to give actionable lessons to the reader, Radical Candor shows how to be successful while retaining your integrity and humanity. Radical Candor is the perfect handbook for those who are looking to find meaning in their job and create an environment where people both love their work, their colleagues and are motivated to strive to ever greater success.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - Patrick M. Lencioni

In keeping with the parable style, Patrick Lencioni begins by telling the fable of a woman who, as CEO of a struggling Silicon Valley firm, took control of a dysfunctional executive committee and helped its members succeed as a team. Story time over, Lencioni offers explicit instructions for overcoming the human behavioral tendencies that he says corrupt teams (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results). Succinct yet sympathetic, this guide will be a boon for those struggling with the inherent difficulties of leading a group.

Turn the Ship Around - L. David Marquet

Captain David Marquet was used to giving orders. In the high-stress environment of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, it was crucial his men did their job well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance and the worst retention in the fleet.

One day, Marquet unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. He realized he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things. Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Before long, his crew became fully engaged and the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet.

No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet's approach to create a workplace where everyone takes responsibility for their actions, people are healthier and happier - and everyone is a leader. In his latest book, Leadership is Language, Marquet builds on what he teaches in Turn the Ship Around!, showing us how to lead our teams to success through the language that we use.

Madeleine Homan Blanchard

Recommended: Bury my heart at conference room B - Stan Slap

Description from the author: Bury My Heart at Conference Room B is about igniting the massive power of any manager's emotional commitment to his or her company-worth more than financial, intellectual and physical commitment combined. Sometimes companies get this from their managers in the early garage days or in times of tremendous gain, but it's almost unheard of to get it on a sustained, self-reinforced basis. Of course, your company is only going to get it if you're willing to give it. Slap proves that emotional commitment comes from the ability to live your deepest personal values at work and then provides a remarkable process that allows you to use your own values to achieve tremendous success.

This is not soft stuff; it is the stuff of hard-core results.

Rob Dube

Recommended: Small Giants - Bo Burlingham

For myself and the many that I encounter and have read the book, Small Giants, Companies that Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, it is life-changing.

The author, Bo Burlingham, highlights leaders and their companies from around the world, most of whom you would have never heard about, and writes about how they are leading with purpose, caring for the totality of the employees' lives, and exceeding industry standards for profit. I was inspired by the stories, enough so to change how I was leading my company.

Jon Bircher:

Recommended: The Carpenter - Jon Gordon

Description from Jon: The Carpenter is a powerful leadership story about investing heart and soul in our work, people, and customers. I started really getting to know people, properly listening to them, exploring who they are and who they wanted to be and before I knew it, I found myself loving and caring and wanting to serve much more often. Simple truths at the heart of soulful, servant leadership⁠.

Recommended: The Heart-Led Leader- Tommy Spaulding

Description from Jon: The Heart-led Leader by Tommy Spaulding and The Carpenter by Jon Gordon are two books Jon mention in his episode. Both books bring to life what it means to bring our heart, as well as our mind, body, and soul into leadership. ⁠ ⁠ Tommy tells inspiring stories about leaders who have added love into their leadership mix, making the 18-inch journey from head to heart. Putting this stuff into practice may just change your life, and the lives of those you are privileged to lead.

Anjet Van Linge:

Recommended: Nature & the Human Soul - Bill Plotkin

I was recommended the book when I was in the middle of a sabbatical year. Someone said I should read it because it so beautifully traces the development of our soul, the maturing of our psyche through the lens of the cycles of nature, a lens I still often use.

It combines for each stage a human archetype and an element of nature. Like ‘The Apprentice at the Wellspring’ (Chapter 8) or ‘The Artisan in the Wild Orchard’ (Chapter 9), it helped me see why I had been restless prior to my sabbatical year, and also what I needed to attend to to allow a gentle shift into another stage to unfold. Being asked to write this triggers me to go back to it, as soul development is never done, and restlessness is often a sign of being on a threshold.

Andrew Baughen

Recommended: Grow the Pie - Alex Edmans

A description from Andrew: I like Grow the Pie because it gives a positive approach to being a soulful leader, which focuses energy on the generosity of pie growing rather than the competitiveness of pie splitting. I also appreciate how Alex Edmans writes grounded in research and case studies so that when he says that ‘an enterprise’s ultimate goal is to create value for society’ and that ‘profits are an outcome not a goal’ he’s not just spouting fuzzy wishful thinking, but backs up his claims with data on how organisations can both do good and do well. It’s a win win book!

Phil King:

Recommended: Still Moving - Deborah Rowland

Description from Phil: ‘Still Moving’ is a game changer in leadership literature. It's a book full of anecdotes from the field, as well as a solid grounding in over 20 years of research. Still Moving offers a practical guide for Leaders looking to explore the mindset and skillset required to successfully navigate complex change.

Recommended: Awakening a Leader’s Soul- Gaurav Bhalla Description from Phil: The book ‘awakening a leader’s soul’ is a unique approach to discussing leadership, that explores ideas through poetry. This was a fairly unfamiliar, challenging concept to me, which I welcomed and enjoyed. It allowed me to really add some ‘meat’ and clarity to the term ‘soulfulness’.

Cass Rix:

Recommends: Spirituality and emotional intelligence- Gilmore Crosby

Description from Cass: I was intrigued by the idea that the author, a Lutheran Pastor, would reference texts as diverse as Tolle to Hawking, Goleman and Covey to the Dalai Lama.

Drawing inspiration from his own leadership and coaching experience, alongside his family’s research that created ‘The Crosby EQ Hierarchy’, Crosby helps readers to make sense of the emotional journey that any leader, might go through in their personal development.

He makes a strong and relatable case, in lay-person’s terms, for linking emotional (read spiritual) and professional skills, awareness and experience to live a more meaningful, purposeful and productive life and fulfil leadership potential.

In a world where leaders are called to be so many things, one of which might be ‘all knowing, perfect role models’ this book suggests that leadership today demands a focus on developing emotional and spiritual awareness. Crosby goes as far as to suggest that it is the absence of allowing ourselves to ‘notice, ‘name’ and really ‘feel’ our emotions and honour our spiritual selves that moves us away from great leadership.

A favourite reference appears quite early on in the text, challenging the idea that emotions are considered ‘irrational’ or ‘fluffy’, ‘troublesome’ or ‘inappropriate’…

‘For age, (we) have put cognitive intelligence on a pedestal, unwittingly settling for and even fostering lower EQ by trying to ‘control’ their emotions through denying of ignoring them. Ironically, such an attempt is based on ‘fear’ of emotion, and hence is an emotional/irrational approach to emotion… It is more rational to accept emotion as a constant part of being human’

Paraphrasing, for me this suggests that emotions are not the problem, they are simply a part of being human… and perhaps accessing, feeling and processing them is a critical part of the journey of our growth as humans and leaders.

Food for thought…


Andrew Baughen - The Because approach : innovating Church for All

This book will help you discover the 'because' behind every activity your church does. Why the Because Approach? Because everybody needs to be asking 'Why?' 'Why do we do this?' And most importantly: 'So what?' Andrew Baughen provides a holistic approach that will refresh your spiritual memory. What exactly is God calling you to? Read and remember why you had that heart transplant in the first place.

Brad Dalton - DNA of winner

We all have our own version of Vishen Likhiani, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg talent within us. We unearth much of what produces these types of winning rosters, winning teams, winning workplaces and winning individuals inside The DNA of A Winner.

In all of the cases above, individuals are writing their dreams down, they’re eating the dream, they’re sleeping the dream, they talk about the dream and they accomplish the dream starting not on the pedestal but at square one. Starting small and targeting the best versions of themselves. No one creates success alone.

Thomas Reichart & Justin Tomlinson- Live With Intent

Live with Intent mixes anecdotes from the world of business, politics, and history to guide you into discovering new horizons with the use of practical exercises, affirmations, and unique techniques. These Strategy Implementation and Leadership Experts who authored this unique product suite will get you to understand:

  • where you are now,

  • where you are going, and

  • how to get there

Diana Osagie- Courageous Leadership

This book is for any leader who finds themselves in challenging circumstances and needs a dose of support and encouragement.A funny, real life story from a woman who found a way through the challenges of leadership and came out in one piece.Leaders, it's time to stop merely surviving your leadership journey and to start thriving instead!One book, one can do this!

Madeleine Homan Blanchard - Leverage your Best Ditch the Rest: The Coaching Secrets Top

Scott Blanchard and Madeleine Homan, co-founders of, share their groundbreaking program, honed by fourteen years of high-level executive coaching and consulting. They offer new perspectives on how to spend your precious and limited resources, time, emotions, passions, and energy to generate the best results.

The three-part process begins with a twenty-five-question self-assessment, then moves on to the Three Perspectives -- major life queries that focus on how you are perceived, your own self-image, and self-imposed limitations. The final step, the Seven Leverage Points, offers fresh insight into the choices you make and how you conduct yourself in business and in life. You will find immediately applicable tools to appraise and manage your work environment and personal gifts. You will be guided to make tiny but crucial shifts in getting needs met and drawing boundaries.

Rob Dube- Do Nothing

As business leaders, we are so often called to do things: make decisions, fix problems, manage money. But, the irony is, the more we do, the less control we have. Effective leadership requires composition, control, and focus—skills which are all strengthened by learning to donothing.

Years of practicing mindful meditation have helped Rob Dube become an acclaimed entrepreneur, propelling his leadership to new heights. In donothing, he shares his experiences with meditation and silent retreats, the wisdom of other business leaders who have established meditation routines, and scientific studies that prove the positive effects of meditation on the mind, body, and heart. He also teaches you how to meditate—the easy part!—and the best ways to turn a daily practice into a lifelong habit.

Garry Ridge- Tribe Culture: How it shaped WD40 company,

What's the secret to having an engaged and productive company? It’s All About the People - don't be a soul sucking CEO.

It’s often said, with nods of wise agreement, that any organization is nothing without its people. Countless books and courses on leadership, over many decades, address this well-known and accepted axiom. Then why are nearly 70% of all employees in the U.S. disengaged at work? Clearly, the conferences, books, courses and motivational speakers are insufficient to make a difference.

This book written by Garry Ridge, WD-40 Company Chairman and CEO will be a look “under the hood” of one of the world’s most recognized brands, where employee engagement is above 93%, 98% say they “love to work at WD-40 Company”, and 97% say that their “opinions and values are a good fit” for WD-40 Company. This high engagement has resulted in a company that has doubled in revenue in the last decade and is on a trajectory to double again in the next. In 2017, Inc. magazine named Garry Ridge fourth on the World’s Top Ten CEOs that totally lead in a unique way and in 2019, received the #1 Coach for Culture Creation by Marshall Goldsmith Thinkers50.

Garry Ridge & Ken Blanchard - Helping People Win at Work: A Business Philosophy Called "Don't Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A"

Ken Blanchard’s Leading at a Higher Level techniques are inspiring thousands of leaders to build high-performing organizations that make life better for everyone. Now, in Helping People Win at Work, Blanchard and WD-40 Company leader Garry Ridge reveal how WD-40 has used Blanchard’s techniques of Partnering for Performance with every employee--achieving levels of engagement and commitment that have fortified the bottom line.

Ridge introduces WD-40 Company’s year-round performance review system, explaining its goals, features, and the cultural changes it requires. Next, he shares his leadership point of view: what he expects of people, what they can expect of him, and where his beliefs about leadership and motivation come from. Finally, Blanchard explains why WD-40 Company’s Partnering for Performance system works so well--and how to leverage its high-value techniques in your organization. In this book, you’ll learn how to:

· Stop building failure into your mentoring of employees

· Set goals using the SMART approach: specific, motivational, attainable, relevant and trackable

· Help people move through all four stages of mastery

· Create a culture that shares knowledge and encourages nonstop learning

Thomas Reichart & Justin Tomlinson- Live With Intent

Live with Intent mixes anecdotes from the world of business, politics, and history to guide you into discovering new horizons with the use of practical exercises, affirmations, and unique techniques. These Strategy Implementation and Leadership Experts who authored this unique product suite will get you to understand:

  • where you are now,

  • where you are going, and

  • how to get there.

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