children's book helps leaders



To everyone who added to the list…Thank You! Here are your recommendations:

The Little Prince

Tales of Archie

The Gruffly

Pete the Cat

Frog & Toad

The Attic

Miss Twiggley’s Tree

Harold and the Purple Crayon

The Velveteen Rabbit

Because A Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!

Oh the Places you Go!

A Wrinkle in Time

Treasure Tree: Helping Kids Understand Their Personality

Where the Wild Things are

Yertle the Turtle

The Bible

Charlotte’s Web



Beyond The Laces

Hieronymus White

The Perfect Square

The little Virtues

The Three Questions

You Are Stardust

The Happy Prince and Other Stories

A Christmas Carol

Zen Shorts

If the World were a Village

Stuart Little

Green Eggs and Ham

Phantom Tollbooth


Giraffes Can’t Dance

The Precious Present

Ferdinand the bull

The Day the Crayons Quit (and) The Day they Returned Home

I love You Forever

Goodnight iPad

Pumpkin Soup

Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach. – Adora Svitak TedTalk: Adults Can Learn From Kids

I recently posted a picture of an incredible book I was reading to my son at a bedtime called “What Would You Do With A Problem” and it sparked both a great dialogue within my network and reopened my eyes to the intrinsic power and impact a children’s book can have on adults.

Long before the internet, we had these things called “books”…

Overtime, books have changed and evolved in many ways but the essence of the stories has essentially remained the same and their impact has shaped the lives of millions.

My five year old loves to read and looks forward to having myself or my wife read to him at bedtime. As I was combing through his piles of books the other night, I realized how incredibly powerful many of them were. What I discovered was that:

  • The content was great but the context was greater.

The lessons these books are teaching our young kids is/was truly powerful and I began to take inventory on which books I had and have read to my son which us grown ups should (re) read to further our own growth and development.

“All I have learned, I learned from books.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Here are 13 amazing books all adults should read to enhance their leadership skills:

  • What If Everybody Did That? This book is wonderful to teach cause and effect. Students can think about what would happen if we don’t think before acting and the consequences of our behavior. Moral: Just because some else does something doesn’t always make it right.
  • The Little Engine That Could This book is a classic and encourages children to try their best while teaching the value of optimism and hard work.
  • Oh, The Places You Will Go This book focuses on the journey of life and the unforeseen challenges that follow when entering a new chapter in your life. Embracing the unknown and unfamiliar for what’s possible is the heart of the storyline.
  • The Missing Piece This book revolves (no pun intended) around the grand adventure of searching for the perfect piece to complete oneself. A life long journey to find peace, balance and wholeness is a quest many of us take and many more of us discover that along the way that we have everything we need already to be happy and whole.
  • What Do You Do With An Idea? This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an ideathat seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult and what to do with it. A story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it space to grow, and to see what happens next.
  • The Heart and The Bottle A story for all leaders at all levels exploring themes of love, loss and how and why we protect ourselves from others. Losing your way is common place in life but finding the will to move forward and restoring hope is at the core of the message.
  • Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs A wonderful tale about being passionate for innovation and dealing with the challenges that unfold when things don’t go exactly as planned.
  • The Dot A powerfully simple and touching tale about the importance of believing in oneself and empowering one’s creative spirit. A tale designed to teach you to never give up, make sure you start and be open to what you discover in the process.
  • Stuart Little A story to teach us about the importance of diversity, inclusion and emotional acceptance.
  • Beautiful, Oops! A story about the importance of making and embracing mistakes and how powerful of a learning opportunity making a mistake can be. A mistake can be an adventure in creativity and a portal of self-discovery.
  • The Giving Tree Wildly recognized as one of the most popular books of it’s times, this particular story has been open to a variety of interpretations but one common theme throughout is the concept and understanding of “give and take” and how it plays a critical role in relationships to others (including self).
  • Zero A topic that is always important in today’s society which is self: image, respect and love. This story highlights the need and desire to change to fit in and feel important only to realize in the end, there is true value in respecting yourself for who you are and who you are not. Being different isn’t a curse but a gift.
  • Harriet The Spy Often misunderstood for a mere children’s book about an aspiring girl detective who fills her day with adventure, Harriet can actually teach us far more about life. Overall themes include: developing your curiosity, creating structure, time management the importance of journaling and how to deal with peer pressure and accountability.

The floor is yours: What book would you add to this list?

Please leave your comment below as your insights are greatly appreciated and a learning opportunity for everyone reading this article.

With leadership,

Joshua /

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