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Roselinde Torres recommends

The leadership expert shares books and articles that dig deeper into her big questions about courage, diversity and leadership.

Where are you looking to anticipate change?

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    Adaptive Leadership

    Roselinde Torres et al.
    BCG Perspectives, December 13, 2010

    Adaptive leaders have a distinct style that’s invaluable during times of uncertainty and change. They learn through experimentation, canvas a wide range of views to scope out their options and reward accomplishment with autonomy.

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    The Five Traits of Highly Adaptive Leadership Teams

    Roselinde Torres and Nneka Rimmer
    BCG Perspectives, December 21, 2011

    Adaptive leadership teams have a handle on the basics of effective teamwork, but they also have five added traits that less successful teams lack. It’s these traits — the 'special sauce,' so to speak — that fuel high performance.

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    Fighting Corporate Hubris

    Hans-Paul Bürkner
    BCG Perspectives, June 6, 2013

    The best managers follow what we call the Perpetuity Principle. They serve as stewards of their companies and, by doing so, develop profitable, sustainable and trusted businesses. They focus on results, ensure that substance triumphs over style and champion a true humility.

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    Own the Future

    Michael Deimler et al. (Editors)
    Wiley, 2013

    Drawing on BCG’s experience advising organizations on how to achieve and sustain competitive advantage, this book offers 50 powerful ideas to help you chart your organization’s path to future leadership in an era of accelerating change.

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    Transforming Leadership

    James MacGregor Burns
    Grove Press, 2003

    This book provides stories about leadership in settings as diverse as monarchies, tribes and academia. It profiles individuals who had the foresight to see where their worlds were going and to mobilize and empower others so they could help shape that future.

How diverse is your network?

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    Jazz vs. Symphony

    John Clarkeson
    BCG Perspectives, 1990

    John Clarkeson, a former CEO of BCG, wrote this piece nearly 25 years ago. 'Prescient' best describes his take on how future leaders wouldn’t be able to rely on exclusive decision-making authority, the overwhelming force of personality, or a monopoly of information.

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    Is Your Team Stuck?

    Michael Shanahan and Roselinde Torres
    BCG Perspectives, April 5, 2012

    Bold leadership makes a big difference in turbulent times. Companies can exploit their competitors’ paralysis and make important, even game-changing, moves that position them for enduring success. It happened during the Great Depression, and it’s happening now.

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    Creating Minds

    Howard Gardner
    Basic Books, 2011

    Gardner’s book was first published more than 20 years ago, but its insights into the creative process — told through the stories of seven remarkable individuals from different fields — remain just as relevant today. While they shared some traits, they all followed different paths to success.

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    Thinking in New Boxes

    Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny
    Random House, 2013

    Thinking outside the box is easier said than done. Luc and Alan describe a different approach to stretching people’s perspectives. When people think in new boxes, they learn how to ask the kinds of questions that will unlock creativity, innovation and opportunity.

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    The Idea of Justice

    Amartya Sen
    Belknap Press, 2011

    It’s important to look at complex issues — in this case, the theory of justice — from multiple perspectives, rather than through a lens shaped exclusively by one’s own context and understanding. You end up seeing more alternatives, more shades of grey.

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    The Social Animal

    David Brooks
    Random House, 2012

    The two characters in this book come together despite having grown up on opposite ends of the social spectrum. It’s a compelling reminder that diversity can make for strong bonds and great collaborations.

Are you courageous enough to abandon the past?

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    What Matters Now

    Gary Hamel
    Jossey-Bass, 2012

    In today’s world, you have to be comfortable with change and willing to adapt. This book features case studies of companies that had the courage to abandon tried and true management models in favor of new ways of working.

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    Lighting the Way

    Karenna Gore Schiff
    Miramax Books, 2007

    The title says it all. Karenna Gore Schiff profiles women who were true trailblazers. They were ahead of their time on socially controversial issues, and they faced huge odds in trying to instill meaningful change.

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    Anthony Sampson
    Vintage Books, 2000

    There’s no shortage of insightful books about Nelson Mandela, including this authorized biography. I like this one because it provides an objective and comprehensive perspective on how he was shaped by the world he lived in, and how he in turn reshaped it.

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    My Beloved World

    Sonia Sotomayor
    Vintage Books, 2014

    Sonia Sotomayor provides intimate, candid details about her upbringing and her determination to pursue her dream. It’s a deeply personal story, but it would resonate with anyone who seeks to fulfill their highest potential.

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    You Learn by Living

    Eleanor Roosevelt
    Harper Perennial, 2011

    A great source of practical lessons, this book defines fulfillment as a combination of professional and personal satisfaction. It’s a nice, rounded view and it highlights the value of making a difference in the lives of individuals and in society.

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    Personal History

    Katharine Graham
    Vintage Books, 1998

    Katharine Graham assumed control of The Post Co. in 1963, after her husband’s suicide. Her transition from shy homemaker to one of the most respected leaders in the male-dominated world of publishing was remarkable. A true pioneer, she was the first woman to head a Fortune 500 company.