We often allow ourselves pockets of time to relax in the summertime, whether through vacations, staycations, or outdoor activities. Naturally, when we think of summer reading, we often think of reading for leisure on pool days, beach excursions, or evenings on the deck. But as we enjoy the weather and take time for a reset from the frantic pace of other seasons, it can also be a good time to get to professional books that, despite our best intentions, have been collecting dust in the corner.

Adding a professional book or two into the mix can help us accelerate our professional growth and cultivate our ideal work life, but in a more relaxed setting. Consider these recommendations for your next professional development read.

01. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. // Brené Brown

About: Brown combines two decades of research into this innovative discussion on what it means to bring vulnerability into the workplace and why leaders should step up to build courageous cultures. When she asked 150 company executives what needs to change for successful leadership in complex environments, the answer boiled down to this: “we need braver leaders.”

Apply: Whether or not you’re in a management role, you have the power to bring your whole self to work and to lead with vulnerability. Follow Brown’s tips for how to clarify expectations, increase empathy among team members, and fully confront your weaknesses.

Sneak peek: “From corporations, nonprofits, and public sector organizations to governments, activist groups, schools, and faith communities, we desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts.”

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