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A Reading List for Strengthening Your Leadership Chops

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Now that the new year is well underway, it's time to switch gears from thinking about what goals to set for the months ahead to thinking about how to actually pull them off. For federal leaders looking to do better in 2016, there are a number of highly readable books that offer a great starting point and some helpful insights.

Because we just finished the college football bowl season, the first book you may want to pick up is, "Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season," by Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and Wayne Coffey. Meyer breaks the mold of cliché-riddled leadership books by offering rock-solid principles on motivation, team building and empowerment as well as behind-the-scenes details about how he has built winning football programs at multiple schools and become a much better leader in the process.

For a look at leadership in the political arena and government, you would be well advised to check out "Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush," a biography written by Jon Meacham. Considered by many to be one of the best books of 2015, Meacham offers terrific leadership insights from George H.W. Bush, a man who served as president, vice president, congressman, ambassador and director of the CIA. While the book made headlines for Bush's candid and critical assessments of people like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, it also offers insights into a leader who sought compromise and practiced civility with his political opponents to get things done.

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