Category Archives: Personal Development

The primary focus of these books is on the professional development of the person reading. Readers will walk away with new insights that they can apply to their current leadership roles.

How will you measure your life?


Citation for Book: Christensen CM, Allworth J, Dillon K. How Will You Measure Your Life?. HarperBusiness; 2012

Recommended by:  Kyle Turner,

Star Rating (1-5): 5

Review: How will you gauge the outcomes of your personal and professional life? What will success look like? In his book, How Will You Measure Your Life, Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen discusses how to find answers to these important questions. Using a series of real-life vignettes, Christensen applies the issues of the modern business world to personal and professional life as a means to discover answers to three important questions:

• How can I be sure I find satisfaction in my career?
• How can I be sure my relationships become enduring sources of happiness?
• How can I avoid compromising my integrity – and stay out of jail?

This lecture-turned-text covers subjects such as personal motivation and incentives, intentional planning vs. unexpected opportunity, aligning resources, strategy and values, long term relationship investment, creating a consistent culture, troublesome outsourcing, the impact of small decisions, and more!

Readers will find this book to be insightful, motivating and deeply reflective. Regardless of your personal or professional background, the theories and ideas presented will aid in peeling back the layers of your life and help you determine if your own ship is sailing to your desired destination.

This book belongs on every person’s shelf. Teachers and learners will find it invaluable as they investigate and teach self-awareness, ethics and values, goal setting, career planning and more.


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Filed under Character/Values, Inspirational, Instructor Resources, Pharmacy Students-All

5 Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead


Citation for Book: Kubicek, J and Cockram, S.  5 Voices:  How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone you Lead.  Hoboken, NJ:  Wiley, 2016.

Recommended by:  Alan Spies,

Star Rating (1-5): 5

Review: Leadership is relational.  This book is a simple, powerful tool for improving the quality of relationships.  There are many books that promise to “change your life” or “maximize your capacity” but this book delivers because of its powerful simplicity. The reader can easily apply these proven principles in home and workplace. Jeremie and Steve (the authors) have masterfully created a resource that should be a mandatory read for every person who wishes to communicate and lead more effectively. I know it has humbly changed the way I view my own communication style. Before I read this book, I minimized and often resented the other four voices. Now, I actually seek voices that differ from mine. That is true transformation! If I could give this book 6 stars, I would do it.

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Filed under Personal Development, Pharmacy Students-All, Uncategorized

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking


Citation for Book:  Cain, S.  Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.  New York, NY:  Random House, Inc,; 2012.

Recommended by:  David Fuentes, Pacific University Oregon

Star Rating (1-5): 5 Stars


Through a thoughtful and insightful examination of the differences between extroverts and introverts, Susan Cain provides readers seeking to embrace their own authenticity in the workplace with a solidly researched four-part book featuring eleven chapters and titled, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking”.

Published in 2012, the book takes the reader on journey beginning with the research behind the extrovert mentality and why this has been adopted by the mainstream in career development as the “ideal”. The second part of the series connects the concepts of introvert and extrovert to biological beginnings and discusses useful strategies whereby introverts can access their own authenticity. Challenging the reader to self-examine and self-explore, the second part reviews the science behind our identities and our unique responses to stimuli. The third part explores the qualities of the extrovert in different cultures and discusses how different cultures express their preferences for, and against, traits commonly seen in both introverts and extroverts.

The final part emphasizes tools on how both introverts and extroverts can hone their skills for maximum effectiveness. Additionally, emphasis is placed on how individuals with different dispositions can best communicate with one another though seemingly speaking a different language. The book ends with a look to the future regarding how we, as educators, parents, and leaders can cultivate the skills of our younger introverts to help them embrace their unique preferences, recognize the differences between introverts and extroverts at early ages, develop necessary skills from both categories and better navigate through their early environment to maximize their mental, social, and physical development.

Anyone seeking to enhance their effectiveness in the workplace and in life would benefit from the simple, yet powerful, messages conveyed by Cain through a review of the relevant science and literature pertaining to introverts and extroverts.

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Filed under Changing Perceptions/Paradigms, Personal Development

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace – Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

appreciation at workplace

Citation for Book: Chapman G. White P. Revised and Updated: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace – Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People. Chicago, IL: Northfield Publishing, Inc.; 2012.

Recommended by:  David Fuentes, Pacific University Oregon

Star Rating (1-5): 5 Stars

Review: This book is for anyone seeking to maximize relationships and results in the workplace with natural extensions into one’s personal life. Chapman and White present a revised and updated work, “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” as 209 pages of reading addressing the five key areas of appreciating our colleagues in the professional realm. The concepts of this book were adapted to fit the workplace and address both the perspectives of hiring managers (or employers) and their employees as they provide a good discussion on the five different appreciation styles. Chapman and White urge us to also pay attention to our blind spots related to our least common (or comfortable) area of both giving and receiving appreciation. Finally, they end with the notion of what must be done in order to inculcate these languages in the workplace, as well as provide an overview of what the costs of not doing so may be. Books may also be accompanied by an Access code to find your own primary appreciation language to help guide your development. Overall, a quick, thoughtful and informative read.

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Filed under Instructor Resources, Personal Development, Skill Building

Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence

Goleman D, Boyatzis R, McKee A.  Primal Leadership:  Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence.  Harvard Boston, MA:  Business Review Press, 2004.

Recommended by:  Susanna Wu-Pong, VCU SoP

Star Rating: 4 (Really Liked It)

Review:  This book is a helpful addition to an EQ assessment.

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Filed under Personal Development, Pharmacy Graduate Students

On Becoming a Leader

Bennis W. On Becoming a Leader. Basic Books: New York, 2009.

Recommended by:  Alan Spies, U of OK CoP

Star Rating:  5 (It was great!)

Review:  This may be the finest leadership book I have read. Not only is this book a classic but it also provides inspiration for any leader. I have used many quotes from this book and each time I go back and re-read this book, I gain additional insight. In discussing this book with students, I have found that each student really enjoyed reading this classic.

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Filed under Inspirational, Instructor Resources, Personal Development

Strengthsfinder 2.0

Rath, T.  Strengthsfinder 2.0.  New York, NY:  Gallup Press, 2007.

Recommended By:  Kristin Janke, U of MN, CoP

Star Rating: 5 (It’s Great)

Review:  This book is perfect for its intended purpose.  It’s an affordable way to access the Strengthsfinder instrument.   In addition to access, it provides 30 brief pages of introduction to a positive psychology approach to focusing on and building our talents.  Students can read this quickly and then use the access number (provided in new copies of the book) to take the online assessment.  We use this with our entire student body and then use Now, Discover Your Strengths and Strengths-Based Leadership with students in leadership electives.  We’ve been using strengths in our pharmacy curriculum since 2002.  An AJPE article provides an overview and an Innovations article provides more details about the levels of learning our students can progress through.  I’d love to hear from folks that are using the Strengthsfinder!


Filed under Personal Development, Pharmacy Graduate Students, Pharmacy Students-All