The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Summer Reading List Recommendations From Your Higher Ed HR Peers

That professional development conference or in-person skills course you excitedly marked on your calendar at the beginning of the year may not be happening now due to COVID-19, but HR pros can still engage in professional development opportunities on their own time. A great place to start is by building a robust reading list of professional development and leadership books that will both challenge you and help you grow in your HR role.

Recently in CUPA-HR Connect, some higher ed HR pros shared some books on their summer reading lists. Topics range from organizational culture and the power of optimism to leading the workforce of the future and why some teams pull together and others don’t. Here’s a list of some of the books mentioned and a short description of each:

  • The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle
    Unlocks the secrets of highly successful groups and provides tomorrow’s leaders with the tools to build a cohesive, motivated culture.
  • Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
    Based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers and culture shifters, Brené Brown shows how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead.
  • Life is Good by Bert Jacobs and John Jacobs
    This inspiring book of wisdom, life lessons and self-help from National Geographic celebrates the power of optimism: the driving force behind the authors’ beloved, socially conscious clothing and lifestyle brand, now worth more than $100 million.
  • Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
    Why do some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other, and other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure? The answer, Sinek found, was that great leaders sacrifice their own comfort — even their own survival — for the good of those in their care.
  • Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, and Turn Excuses into Results by Cy Wakeman
    Filled with dynamic examples, innovative tools and diagnostic tests, this book shows you how to become a reality-based leader, revealing how to uncover destructive thought patterns with yourself and others, diffuse drama and lead the person in front of you, stop managing and start leading, and empower others to focus on facts and think for themselves.
  • Leading the Workforce of the Future: Inspiring a Mindset of Passion, Innovation and Growth by Brigette Tasha Hyacinth
    As the workplace evolves in the direction of innovation, digitalization and rapid change, leaders must follow suit in order to remain relevant and engaging to this multigenerational workforce. This book provides concrete advice and best practices on how to engage and retain top talent.

Is there a book that has been beneficial to you throughout your HR journey? Be sure to share it with your peers in the Summer Reading List thread in CUPA-HR Connect.


The CUPA-HR office will be closed Fridays through August 19.