Recommended Reading for Nonprofit Leaders

Investing time in reading should be a priority for every nonprofit and association leader.

Expanding personal perspectives, generating creative ideas, and keeping up with trends affecting your organization are all important benefits of the intellectual stimulation reading can provide.

Sometimes it’s good to read outside your profession for a mental break from everyday pressures. Enjoying a good book can be relaxing and a welcomed respite.

Included in my latest reading are these recommendations that I thought nonprofit and association leaders would find beneficial.


Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

This is the book for unlocking secrets of highly successful groups.

Tips are provided for creating connections, recognizing what’s important to others, and building teams of individuals who are willing to work together.

A great resource for developing a culture that is positive, collaborative, and supportive.


The Paradox Principles by Price Waterhouse Change Integration Team

This book is about how high-performance companies manage chaos, complexity, and contradiction to achieve superior results.

Published in 1996, the case studies and shared advice offered then are certainly applicable today.

Actions to deal with the disruption, uncertainty, and change being addressed more than 25 years ago could easily be applied to today’s very similar situations.


Race For Relevance 10th Anniversary Edition by Mary Byers and Harrison Coerver

The original edition provided a review of challenges facing associations and a crystal ball look into the future on what organizations must do to remain relevant.

The major disrupters identified then have accelerated and challenges addressed in the first edition are even more prevalent now.

Associations would do well to heed the recommended action strategies that are provided.

The advice shared is certainly applicable to nonprofits and chambers of commerce.


The Magicians of Main Street by Chris Mead.

A terrific history of America and its Chambers of Commerce from 1768-1945. There is a catch-up epilogue that covers the period since 1946.

This book provides historical insights on social, economic, and political issues faced by our nation as well as military conflict.

The role played by Chambers as influencers in these challenges is quite revealing.

A valuable context to have since many of the same issues exist in present day form. This should be required reading for anyone working as a Chamber professional.


I hope you find these recommendations as enjoyable to read as I have and will benefit from the excellent advice they provide.

What is your latest read and what would you recommend to others?

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