Turning the Page on Your Career: Leadership’s Recommendations for Professional Reading – Part 2

We’re diving back in for another round of book recommendations from members of the Paycom leadership. If you’ve been hunting for some first-rate advice on leadership and business, we’ve got a few books you need to know about! Here are the books some of our executives encourage you to add to your reading list.

Dickens Aubourg, Director of Product Management

1. The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter — Michael D. Watkins

This has been an excellent resource for me when I’ve taken on new roles throughout my career. It provides a simple framework that will help any leader, manager or individual contributor make an immediate impact and deliver quick wins.

2. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. — Brené Brown

I appreciate how Brené’s authenticity comes through in this book. This book is a reminder of why being vulnerable is essential to receiving feedback and being courageous. Clarity is kindness.

3. Rare Leadership: 4 Uncommon Habits for Increasing Trust, Joy, and Engagement in the People You Lead — Marcus Warner and Jim Wilder

This book offers a different take on emotional intelligence.  An easy read, it provides analytical research and practical guidance for building trust and engagement with the people you lead and influence.


Sam Norman, Senior Executive Vice President of Sales

1. Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times — Donald T. Phillips

It is a unique read. It parallels Lincoln’s leadership as president with modern-day leadership. Principled leadership is something we need more of. It’s also a refresh on history as well as practical leadership stories and examples that can be applied to modern day.

2. The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals — Chris McChesney, Jim Huling and Sean Covey

It’s very practical. This book shows how to be more effective and execute at a higher level. There are several tangible takeaways. It’s so easy to get distracted these days from the noise (i.e., phones). If you want to be successful and an ultra-high performer, you have to be great at execution.

3. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business — Charles Duhigg

This dovetails off the execution concept. It is really about how to break bad habits and make good ones, whether that is diet, work habits, etc. It provides ways to spot triggers that spawn ineffective behavior vs. effective behavior.


Kesha Jones, Manager of Banking

1. The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity While Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work — Laura A. Liswood

This book truly shaped the way I think about diversity, inclusion and equity. It can help anyone at any level to broaden their understanding of what they include in their definition of diversity, but it also begins the process of challenging subconscious biases. It’s an easy read, written in a very relatable way and is one of my favorites! If you really love this book and want to go deeper, try Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji.

2. Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships and Being Ridiculously in Charge — Henry Cloud

Something I observed early in my career was the challenge that comes from unclear boundaries, both in one’s personal life and in professional settings. This book is both for leaders and contributors who know that leadership is happening everywhere in your life. Learning how to set appropriate boundaries frees up mental and physical space, invites in creativity, increases the ability to be your best self and gives others permission to do the same. For a more faith-based slant and personal touch, try Henry Cloud’s other book by a similar name, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life.

3. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups — Daniel Coyle

I love making sure people around me have a sense of belonging in the space we share. This book is about how high-performing teams operate but also how to create a safe space in your workplace for those around you. For leaders and contributors alike, this book outlines how to create a workplace that you actually want to engage with. For more Daniel Coyle, I also have The Talent Code queued up for my next read!


It looks like our summer reading list just got a little bit longer! We’d like to thank leaders for sharing their recommendations and insights on the content that has fueled their leadership journey.

We’ll back soon with more book recommendations, but if you’d like to start the next chapter in your own professional journey, apply for a position at Paycom today!