Book & Films

Jeffrey’s Professional Development Recommendations

Abbott, E. A. (1884). Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. London, England: Dover Publications, Inc.
Your perspective of the world is limited to what you know and how you were trained.  This book reminds us that working with a multitude of audiences (faculty, students, stakeholders, administrators) requires we expand our perspective.  It also reminds us not to allow our view of the world and stereotypes to blind us to the potential in others.

Card, O. S. (1994). Ender's Game. Mass Market Paperback.
A young boy’s journey to become a leader in a world preparing for war with an interstellar foe.  What does Ender do to encourage and empower his platoon?  Do you avoid struggle and pain, or do you allow your team to struggle and grow?  A fun read for sci-fi buffs.

Catmull, E. & Amy Wallace. (2014). Creativity Inc.: overcoming the forces that stand in the way of true inspiration. Random House.
Philosophy on creating an environment that allows creativity and innovation to reign. 

Donnithorne, L. (1993). The West Point Way of Leadership. Currency Doubleday.
Accountability, honor, and integrity are foundations of all great leaders.  These are learned behaviors.  The four acceptable responses at West Point: 1) Yes, 2) No, 3) I don’t understand, 4) No excuse, it won’t happen again.  Leaders step up in times of challenge to be the playmaker, not because of selfish reasons, but because of a sense of duty to the cause and the team members around them.

Fernandez, C. F. (2014). It-Factor Leadership: Become a Better Leader in 13 Steps. Carrboro, North Carolina: Fast Track Leadership, Inc.
Self-exploration of who you are as a leader through psychometric testing and applied growth strategies.  Check out the FastTrack leadership seminars that the Fernandez’s offer at

Heath, Chip & Dan Heath. (2010). Switch: how to change things when change is hard. Crown Business.
Great examples of how change has occurred when thought to be hard or impossible.  Inspiring and instructive, the examples highlight ways to create change in human behavior.

Heifetz, R. A. (1994). Leadership Without Easy Answers. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.
Concept of adaptive vs. technical challenges.  Know how to identify and when to apply techniques.  Using the wrong techniques can destroy morale and momentum.  Once you read this book, you’ll probably look at leadership challenges completely differently.

John R. Curry, A. L. (2013). Responsibility Center Management: A Guide to Balancing Academic Entrepreneurship with Fiscal Responsibility. NACUBO.
The book for understanding RCM and the variations found in use at more than 60 universities.  An insightful book for understanding the UA’s RCM budget system.

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York City, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Do you respond to challenges without thinking?  Read this book and I bet you’ll realize you are on autopilot more than you think.  Kahneman, a Nobel laureate, challenges the reader to slow down and think through various scenarios before responding.  Develop your sense of prediction through move and countermove thinking.  Learn about your cognitive biases and heuristics in your decision making.

Kim, W. C. & Renee Mauborgne. (2005). Blue Ocean Strategy: how to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant. Harvard Business Review Press.
Develop your strategic thinking through creating open market space.  What areas does your unit compete in?  Can you grow academic or research programming in space where you’ll have top-of-mind dominance with students and sponsors?

Knapp, D. E. (2000). The Brand Mindset. New York City, New York: McGraw-Hill.
A good read that will open the world of brand management.  Brands are more than just marketing, they are the sum of beliefs that consumers have of a company/organization.  The brand of the UA, CALS, your unit, and your personal brand are created with each action.  Do you know what your brand is?  Are you actively creating it or passively allowing it to determine your potential?

Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading Change. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.
A must read for anyone creating change within an organization. 

Lencioni, P. (2002). The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.
A leadership parable for developing high performing teams.  The triangle and story cement important concepts that will probably create the framework for the way you view all team interactions.

Maxwell, J. C. (2003). There's No Such Thing As "Business" Ethics: there's only one rule for making decisions. First Warner Books.
The golden rule applies to all interactions, not just business interactions.  Think about long-term consequences to relationships, not just short-term gains. 

Scott, K. (2017). Radical Candor: be a kick-ass boss without losing your humanity. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Develop your skill in direct and honest communication with your employees and your supervisors.  Learn through examples ways to improve your direct candor and avoid ruinous empathy, manipulative insincerity, or obnoxious aggression.  A good read to support clear, honest, and empathetic conversations, especially in the higher education environment.

Anspaugh, D. (Director). (1986). Hoosiers [Motion Picture].

Attenborough, R. (Director). (1982). Gandhi [Motion Picture].

Hancock, J. L. (Director). (2009). The Blind Side [Motion Picture].

Hood, G. (Director). (2013). Ender's Game [Motion Picture].

Howard, R. (Director). (1995). Apollo 13 [Motion Picture].

Lean, D. (Director). (1962). Lawrence of Arabia [Motion Picture].

Lumet, S. (Director). (1957). 12 Angry Men [Motion Picture].

Maxwell, R. F. (Director). (1993). Gettysburg [Motion Picture].

Menéndez, R. (Director). (1988). Stand and Deliver [Motion Picture].

Miller, B. (Director). (2011). Moneyball [Motion Picture].

Schaffner, F. J. (Director). (1970). Patton [Motion Picture].

Spielberg, S. (Director). (2012). Lincoln [Motion Picture].

Wallace, R. (Director). (2010). Secretariat [Motion Picture].

Weir, P. (Director). (1989). Dead Poet's Society [Motion Picture].