Leadership Resources

April 22, 2020

A curated collection of Leadership Resources, recommend by current and former members of the Worcester State University community.

Leadership Books

Strengths Quest: Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career, and Beyond
Donald Clifton
Students and learners of all ages continually face the challenges of gaining direction, making decisions, and building self-confidence. Fortunately, the keys to successfully meeting these challenges — your own natural talents — already exist within you. Through these talents, you will produce your greatest achievements. Students who use their natural talents achieve the most — but they need to know what those talents are.
Recommended by Sarah Potrikus, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

The Now Factors of College Success
Jermaine Davis, Nancy Hunter Denney & Michael Miller
If you are headed to college, or already are a college student, The Now Factors of College Success offers a collection of fun-to-read observations about college life followed by to-the-point tips and advice on making the right decisions at the right time.
Recommended by Michael Miller, Keynote Speaker

Zing! 21 Insights on Maximizing Your Influence
Nancy Hunter Denney
Behind every successful and happy individual is a clearly defined sense of purpose. ‘How to Zing! Your Life and Leadership’ is based on the belief you exist to serve a greater good. Inspirational strategies, laws, principles, lessons, habits, and a few “fish tales” are merged into 21 insights on how to maximize your charismatic potential and enhance your ability to influence others. This book will help you become a more effective leader and live a more productive life.
Recommended by Kristie McNamara, Director, Student Involvement & Leadership Development

Stepping Forward: A Positive, Practical Path to Transform Our Communities and Our Lives
Richard C. Harwood
How do we bring people together when our society is breaking apart? What will it take to bridge our divides, overcome mistrust, and restore our belief that we can get things done together as Americans. In Stepping Forward, Richard C. Harwood gives us a new and inspiring blueprint to rediscover what we share in common and actively build upon it. He argues that to get the country moving in the right direction, these efforts must start in our local communities.
Recommended by Caitlin Kincaid, Class of 2023

Encouraging the Heart:  A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others
James M Kouzes & Barry Posner
Encouraging the Heart shows us how true leaders encourage and motivate those they work with by helping them find their voice and making them feel like heroes. Recognized experts in the field of leadership, authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner show us that, through love, leaders can encourage, and indeed allow those around them to be their very best.
Recommended by Sarah Potrikus, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

The Student Leadership Challenge:  Five Practices for Exemplary Leaders
James Kouzes & Barry Posner
Kouzes and Posner prompt students to address challenges and cynicisms and empower them to accomplish the extraordinary things of which they are capable. With engaging stories and keen insights the authors delve into the fundamental aspects of leadership to help students keep pace with our ever-changing world.
Recommended by Sarah Potrikus, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

FISH!  A remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
Stephen Lundin
Addressing today’s work issues (including employee retention and burnout) with an engaging metaphor and an appealing message that applies to any sector of any organization, FISH! offers wisdom that is easy to grasp, instantly applicable, and profound–the hallmarks of a true business classic. Imagine a workplace where everyone chooses to bring energy, passion, and a positive attitude to the job every day. Imagine an environment in which people are truly connected to their work, to their colleagues, and to their customers.
Recommended by Kristie McNamara, Director, Student Involvement & Leadership Development

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success
Amy Morin
Everyone knows that regular exercise and weight training lead to physical strength. But how do we strengthen ourselves mentally for the truly tough times? And what should we do when we face these challenges? Through her years counseling others and her own experiences navigating personal loss, Morin realized it is often the habits we cannot break that are holding us back from true success and happiness. Now Morin shares her tried-and-true practices for increasing mental strength. Increasing your mental strength can change your entire attitude. It takes practice and hard work, but with Morin’s specific tips, exercises, and troubleshooting advice, it is possible to not only fortify your mental muscle but also drastically improve the quality of your life.
Recommended by Caitlin Kincaid, Class of 2023

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership: A Guide for Students
Marcy Levy Shankman
Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
 is a groundbreaking book that combines the concepts of emotional intelligence and leadership in one model–emotionally intelligent leadership (EIL). This important resource offers students a practical guide for developing their EIL capacities and emphasizes that leadership is a learn-able skill that is based on developing healthy and effective relationships.
Recommended by Drew Melendez, Residence Hall Director, Clark University

You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
Jen Sincero
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.
Recommended by Caitlin Kincaid, Class of 2023

Difficult Conversations:  How to Discuss What Matters Most
Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen & Bruce Paton

Whether you’re dealing with an under performing employee, disagreeing with your spouse about money or child-rearing, negotiating with a difficult client, or simply saying “no,” or “I’m sorry,” or “I love you,” we attempt or avoid difficult conversation every day. Based on fifteen years of research at the Harvard Negotiation Project, Difficult Conversations walks you through a step-by-step proven approach to having your toughest conversations with less stress and more success.
Recommended by Dr. Linda Larrivee, Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences

Thanks for the Feedback:  The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well
Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen
The bestselling authors of the classic Difficult Conversations teach us how to turn evaluations, advice, criticisms, and coaching into productive listening and learning.  We swim in an ocean of feedback. Bosses, colleagues, customers—but also family, friends, and in-laws—they all have “suggestions” for our performance, parenting, or appearance. We know that feedback is essential for healthy relationships and professional development—but we dread it and often dismiss it.
Recommended by Dr Linda Larrivee, Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences

Be Our Guest:  Perfecting the Art of Customer Service
Walt Disney Company
Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service.  During the last twenty-five years, thousands of professionals from more than thirty-five countries and forty industries have collaborated with Disney Institute and learned to adapt the Disney best practices within their organizations.
Recommended by Brittany Rende, Intramural Program Manager/Assistant Sports Information Coordinator


Dose of Leadership with Richard Rierson
The Dose of Leadership Podcast is the ultimate leadership resource of inspiring and educational interviews with relevant and motivating leaders; real-life leadership & influence experts who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of the truth, common sense, and courageous leadership. The podcast interviews leaders from all aspects of life; business leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, military heroes, faith based leaders—all are highlighted on the Dose of Leadership Podcast.

Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso
Each week on Girlboss Radio, you’ll hear honest conversations with trailblazing women. These women go deep on what it takes to build a successful career or grow a business with staying power—while living life on their own terms and navigating personal and professional curveballs. Expect hilarious, vulnerable, ~useful~ conversations that humanize the known, champion the unknown, and laugh a little at the absurdity of life. Hosted by Sophia Amoruso, CEO and founder of Girlboss and Neha Gandhi, editor in chief and COO of Girlboss.

The Happiness Lab
You might think more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations would make you happy. You’re dead wrong. In “The Happiness Lab” podcast, Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness.

Heavyweight (from Gimlet Media)
Heavyweight is a podcast created by Jonathan Goldstein in which he helps people try to resolve a moment from their past that they wish they could change. Host Goldstein was described by the New York Times as “climb[ing] inside the stories that shape people’s lives to see if he can help them create better endings.”
Recommended by Ari Giasson, Class of 2022

How I Built This with Guy Raz
Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.


In the Thick
A podcast about politics, race, and culture. The Futuro Media Group presents a new political podcast where journalists of color tell you what you’re missing from the mainstream news.
Recommended by Linzy Martinez, Assistant Director, Student Involvement & Leadership Development

Intersectionality Matters!
Intersectionality Matters! is a podcast hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory.
Recommended by Linzy Martinez, Assistant Director, Student Involvement & Leadership Development

The Learning Leader Show with Ryan Hawk
Leaders are learners. The best leaders never stop working to make themselves better. The Learning Leader Show Is series of conversations with the world’s most thoughtful leaders. Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, World-Class Athletes, Coaches, Best-Selling Authors, and much more.


NPR Code Switch
What’s CODE SWITCH? It’s the fearless conversations about race that you’ve been waiting for. Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race with empathy and humor. We explore how race affects every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, food and everything in between. This podcast makes all of us part of the conversation — because we’re all part of the story. Code Switch was named Apple Podcasts’ first-ever Show of the Year in 2020.
Recommended by Linzy Martinez, Assistant Director, Student Involvement & Leadership Development

RISE Podcast
Tangible and tactical tools for your life and business. Hosted by New York Times Best-Selling Author Rachel Hollis, RISE is a series of bold conversations with fellow business powerhouses and personal development leaders that provides the listener with real-life valuable takeaways.

Side Hustlers with Carla Marie
Carla Marie sits down with people who follow their passion while working their regular job. You’ll be inspired by their drive to do what they love and it may even motivate you to start your own side hustle.


Something You Should Know
Sometimes all it takes is one little fact or one little piece of wisdom to change your life forever. That’s the purpose and the hope of “Something You Should Know.” In each episode, host Mike Carruthers interviews top experts in their field to bring you fascinating information and advice to help you save time and money, advance in your career, become wealthy, improve your relationships and help you simply get more out of life. In addition, Mike uncovers and shares short, engaging pieces of “intel” you can use to make your life better – today. Right now.

Straight Up with Trent Shelton
Straight Up with Trent Shelton is a weekly podcast featuring fire wisdom from the man himself. A former NFL wide receiver turned internationally successful motivational speaker, Trent brings his powerful, honest perspective to bring you the truth you need to hear – even if it’s hard to take. If you’re looking for content that will touch your heart and change your life, Straight Up with Trent Shelton delivers it straight to your ears see if he can help them create better endings.
Recommended by Caitlin Kincaid, Class of 2023

TED Talks Daily
Want TED Talks on the go? Every weekday, this feed brings you our latest talks in audio format. Hear thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable — from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between — given by the world’s leading thinkers and doers.

Ted Talks

Why Great Leaders Take Humor Seriously
Jennifer Aaker & Naomi Bagdonas, 2021
There’s a mistaken belief in today’s working world that leaders need to be serious all the time to be taken seriously. The research tells a different story. Based on the course they teach at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, behavioral scientist Jennifer Aaker and corporate strategist Naomi Bagdonas delve into the surprising power of humor: why it’s a secret weapon to build bonds, power, creativity and resilience — and how we can all have more of it.

The Danger of a Single Story
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2009
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Why I’m Done Trying to be “Man Enough”
Justin Baldoni, 2017
Justin Baldoni wants to start a dialogue with men about redefining masculinity — to figure out ways to be not just good men but good humans. In a warm, personal talk, he shares his effort to reconcile who he is with who the world tells him a man should be. And he has a challenge for men: “See if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper,” Baldoni says. “Your strength, your bravery, your toughness: Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?”

The Myth of Brining Your Full, Authentic Self to Work
Jodi-Ann Burey, 2020
Calls for authenticity at work ask for passionate people with diverse, fresh perspectives who challenge old ways of thinking. But too often workplace culture fails to support the authenticity of professionals of color and other underrepresented groups, leading instead to backlash and fewer opportunities. Writer Jodi-Ann Burey outlines steps toward exposing privilege and achieving true equity on the job — and implores those in leadership positions to accept responsibility for change.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Angela Lee Duckworth, 2013
Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

Everyday Leadership
Drew Dudley, 2010
We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.

How Your Brain Responds to Stories and Why They’re Crucial for Leaders
Karen Eber, 2020
How do the world’s best leaders and visionaries earn trust? They don’t just present data — they also tell great stories. Leadership consultant Karen Eber demystifies what makes for effective storytelling and explains how anyone can harness it to create empathy and inspire action.

6 Essential Lessons for Women Leaders
Jiulia Gillard & Ngozi Okonjo, 2020
In a rich conversation full of practical insights, former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard and former Finance Minister of Nigeria Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala reflect on their experiences as women leaders in positions of global power — and share six standout lessons on what it takes to lead and build solidarity in the face of gender bias and stereotypes.

Dare to Disagree
Margaret Heffernan, 2012
Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers — and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

Want to Truly Succeed? Lift Others Up While You Climb
Amber Hikes, 2021
It’s up to all of us to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace. No matter where you are in your career journey, it’s essential that you help others grow, even as you are growing yourself, says ACLU Chief Equity Officer Amber Hikes. She lays out three ways we can help each other succeed — and empower and advance those who historically have been left behind.

The Power of Diversity Within Yourself
Rebeca Hwang, 2018
Rebeca Hwang has spent a lifetime juggling identities — Korean heritage, Argentinian upbringing, education in the United States — and for a long time she had difficulty finding a place in the world to call home. Yet along with these challenges came a pivotal realization: that a diverse background is a distinct advantage in today’s globalized world. In this personal talk, Hwang reveals the endless benefits of embracing our complex identities — and shares her hopes for creating a world where identities aren’t used to alienate but to bring people together instead.

4 Steps to Hiring Fairly and Supporting Criminal Justice Reform
Nyra Jordan, 2021
Many companies have made strides when it comes to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but one group remains largely left out: people who have been involved in the criminal justice system. Social impact investor Nyra Jordan introduces us to “fair chance hiring” — the practice of hiring people with criminal justice records — and shares four steps companies can take to make sure everyone has a shot at getting a job.

How to Overcome our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them.
Vernā Myers, 2014
Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we’ve seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.

Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders
Sheryl Sandberg, 2010
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.

How to Discover Your “Why” In Difficult Times
Simon Sinek, 2021
What has the coronavirus pandemic taught us about ourselves and our relationships? In a deeply personal and wide-ranging conversation, leadership expert Simon Sinek shares his own experience caring for his mental health as the world shut down. He discusses why we need to nurture friendships (in both good times and bad), explains why anyone can be a leader — and reveals the secret to discovering your “why” in life.

How Great Leaders Inspire Action
Simon Sinek, 2009
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership — starting with a golden circle and the question: “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright brothers.

The Rigged Test of Leadership
Sophie Williams, 2021
The glass cliff: an experience of taking on a leadership role only to find that your chances of success have been limited before you’ve even begun. Equality activist Sophie Williams explores the research-backed reasons behind this workplace phenomenon and how it overwhelmingly affects underrepresented groups, despite a façade of progress and inclusion. Learn more about the biases and behaviors that set people up for failure — and what can be done to make the path to success in leadership better for everyone.

The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding
John Wooden, 2001
With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom.

Websites & Blogs

Campus Activities Magazine: issuu.com/naca
Growing Leaders: growingleaders.com/blog
Leadership Freak: leadershipfreak.blog
Leadership Insights: skipprichard.com/blog
Science of People: scienceofpeople.com/blog
StrengthsQuest: strengthsquest.com