Want to become a better leader on the field or in the classroom but don’t know where to start? Throughout the past decade, the U.S. Coast Guard has built a reading list for men and women who want to become stronger leaders, learn about Coast Guard history and stay up-to-date on current issues. Many of these books have become modern classics and are required reading for everyone from football captains to corporate CEOs.
The full list contains nearly 40 books, but we’ve picked out five of our favorites below. Browse through all the recommendations on the Coast Guard website.
Rescue Warriors: The U.S. Coast Guard, America’s Forgotten Heroes
This book recounts some of the most exciting missions in Coast Guard history, highlighting men and women who demonstrated true heroism. Whether you’re interested in Coast Guard history or looking for examples of great leaders, this book, added to the list as the 2010 Commandant’s Choice, is a terrific place to start.
The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership
This book is full of advice you may never have heard before. The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership, written by former USC president Steven Sample, expounds the unconventional. Find out why Sample recommends reading the classics instead of the news and performing the jobs of those you manage.
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL
Find out what real heroism looks like in this account by former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. In a fast-paced, first-person narrative, Luttrell shares details of his SEAL training and recounts the mission that led to the largest loss of life in Navy SEAL history. This book is hard to put down.
Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition
Great leaders shine brightest when circumstances become most difficult. The authors of Leading at the Edge draw 10 lessons from a failed South Pole expedition led by Ernest Shackleton in 1914. Despite having his ship drift off course and get crushed during the expedition, Shackleton managed to keep his entire crew together and safe.
Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World
This book by Chris Lowney draws leadership lessons from the Jesuits, today’s largest religious order. Although it lacks a breathtaking narrative like Lone Survivor or Leading at the Edge, the book reveals important truths from a number of extraordinary people throughout history.
Have you read a book you’d recommend to aspiring leaders? Let us know on our Facebook wall.