The following list of books does not constitute endorsement by the GUIDON, Fort Leonard Wood, the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense.
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — If you’re like me, then social distancing has provided time for other hobbies, like reading. Here are my top six recommendations for books on teamwork, leadership and building trust, in no particular order:
"Band of Brothers," by Stephen Ambrose
By this point, most of us have either watched or heard of the famous television drama series of the same name, but how many have read the source? Originally formulated from interviews Ambrose conducted with veterans, this World War II account follows Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division throughout the European Campaign.
"Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot," by the late Navy Vice Adm. Jim Stockdale
This book is a collection of speeches and essays by the late Navy Vice Adm. Jim Stockdale, who survived more than seven years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.
His accounts of his harrowing experience include ruminations on character, leadership, morality in the face of danger, resilience and ethics. If you are looking for a book about overcoming adversity, then this is the one for you.
"The Blind Side," by Michael Lewis
In this moving football biopic, Lewis chronicles the rise of offensive tackle Michael Oher and discusses the interconnectedness of offensive lines, specifically left tackles, with their quarterbacks, whose traits of being predominantly right-handed led to the former position’s prominence in modern football.
"The Infernal City," by Greg Keyes
This quick read is far different from the other non-fiction titles on this list as it is a fantasy novel — an unlikely place to find applicable lessons, perhaps, but a valid one nonetheless.
In Keyes’ adventurous text, two friends discover the importance of leaning on each others’ strengths as well as trusting each other in unfamiliar — and hostile — environments.
"The Like Switch," by Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins
Perhaps best enjoyed on audiobook during morning commutes, this book by ex-FBI agent, Jack Schafer, can help in every aspect of life where there is interpersonal communication.
From friendships to interacting in the workplace, from fostering healthy romantic relationships to making a good impression on anyone you come in contact with, Schafer teaches readers how to build trust with others and what he calls “empathic statements.”
"Radical Inclusion," by retired Gen. Martin Dempsey and Ori Brafman
This recommendation incorporates both the themes of leadership and cooperation. Among other topics, Dempsey and Brafman discuss emerging changes of the digital age, how leaders can build trust with their subordinates and what role unifying narratives may play in team-building.
I have tried my best to provide a variety of genres, hopefully proving that readers can find valuable stories of trust, teamwork and leadership even where they might least expect them.
Now, go and read!