What we are reading at Kindful

March 1, 2024

One of my favorite quotes is that “Leaders are Readers”. At Kindful, we put that notion in action through our “leadership readership” group. Every quarter, and sometimes more often, we embark to read a book on leadership together as a group. Then, every Thursday we have “Leadership Thursday” where we write up our thoughts on a set of chapters and then everyone gets a moment to share what stuck out to them when reading.

The power of reading is profound. Every idea, issue, notion, or solution has already existed so by reading we can unlock the easy button or discover the compass that points us in the right direction. In the past year our reading list has included:

In Joint Force Leadership, written by Jim Demarest (Air Force Fighter Pilot) and Mark McGinnis (Navy Seal) we learned the basics and vocabulary of leadership. Things like accountability, checklists, and after-action reviews. These are the foundational items on which all great leadership and great teams and great execution are built.

Extreme Ownership, written by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin (Navy Seals), teaches us that there are no bad teams, only bad leaders. This is a lesson on what leadership truly is and the responsibility leaders have to their mission and to their team members. What could more define a leader than to help their team members be their best in support of accomplishing a goal. If you seek to be a leader in any field then you are accepting the reality that it’s up to you to teach, inspire and lead your team as there are no bad teams, just bad leaders. Ultimately, this book is about the incredible humility and personal responsibility it takes to be a leader.

Once we understood what leadership was, established a leadership vocabulary and learned about the humility and responsibility of being a leader, we switched gears to learn about the research of how we, as leaders, could help our team members be their best. To learn more, we turned to organization psychologist Adam Grant’s book Hidden Potential. Hidden Potential opens our eyes to the research findings of how leaders can help their teams grow and excel. Everyone has potential but it’s up to the leaders to tap into and realize this potential. What could be worse than the waste of Hidden Potential.

And our next book is going to be The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, a leadership fable by Patrick Lencioni. In this book we will learn what blocks teams from success, so we know what to look for when leading our teams. In this fable we will see a story of a team turned from dysfunctional to exceptional. It’s not so much the team members that change but the expectations, culture, and taking ownership that leads a team to come together for an inspirational journey of improvement.

So, what are you reading? Well at Kindful our Leaders are Readers and the reading leads to developing exceptional leaders who in turn are able to inspire exceptional teams to provide exceptional care. So, what makes Kindful different? In at least some part it’s because at Kindful “Leaders are Readers”.