THE ADJUTANT GENERAL'S READING LIST

MGONLB
  • 19 STARS: A STUDY IN MILITARY CHARACTER AND LEADERSHIP by Edgar F. Puryear, Jr.

This valuable book examines the lives and careers of Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall, and George S. Patton through their own eyes as well as the recollections of hundreds of others who worked with and knew them personally. This is a great study for up-and-coming Guardsmen to better understand the fundamentals of leadership and preparation.

  • 1776 by David McCullough

This is a brisk narrative of the Revolutionary War from the summer of 1775 to George Washington’s stunning twin victories at Trenton and Princeton in late 1776. McCullough shows that remarkable endurance, fierce dedication to the American cause, and Washington’s leadership were all essential. Together, these factors propelled a minuscule and ill-equipped American army to overcome severe hardships and defeats and saved the American Revolution from collapse during the war’s first, and most tumultuous, year.

  • AIRPOWER APPLIED: U.S., NATO AND ISRAELI COMBAT EXPERIENCE by John A. Olsen
Airpower Applied highlights the evolution of airpower and its impacts on the history of warfare. Related through a critical examination of 29 case studies in which various US-led coalitions and Israeli airpower played significant roles, Olsen offers perspectives on the political purpose, strategic meaning, and military importance of airpower.

  • AS A MAN THINKETH by James Allen
As a Man Thinketh explains and promotes the direct connection between what we think and the direction our lives take. Allen shows how, in our own thoughts, we all hold the key to every condition, good or bad, that enters into our lives, and that, by working intelligently and reflecting upon our thoughts, we may transform our individual circumstances.

  • CALL SIGN CHAOS: LEARNING TO LEAD by Jim Mattis and Bing West
Call Sign Chaos is the account of James Mattis' storied Marine Corps career. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas. He makes it clear why America must return to a strategic footing so as not to continue winning battles but fighting inconclusive wars.

  • DARING GREATLY: HOW THE COURAGE TO BE VULNERABLE TRANSFORMS THE WAY WE LIVE, LOVE, PARENT, AND LEAD by Brene Brown
Brown explains how vulnerability is the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment. She writes: “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.” In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting our true selves be seen.

  • DESTINED FOR WAR: CAN AMERICA AND CHINA ESCAPE THUCYDIDES’ TRAP? by Graham Allison
Thucydides’ Trap is a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a hegemonic one. In Destined for War, Allison posits that Thucydides’ Trap is the best lens for viewing US-China relations in the 21ST Century. Through uncanny historical parallels, Allison reveals how clashing powers have kept peace in the past.

  • DRIVE: THE SURPRING TRUTH ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES US by Daniel H. Pink
Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money. That is a mistake, says Pink. In this book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. Drive examines the three elements of true motivation (autonomy, mastery, and purpose) and offers smart techniques for putting these into action.

  • EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2.0 by Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 succinctly explains how to deal with emotions creatively and employ intelligence in a beneficial way. Delivered in a step-by-step methodology, the prescribed program is designed to develop core Emotional Intelligence (EQ) skills that will enable Nevada Guardsmen to achieve their full potential.

  • GATES OF FIRE: AN EPIC NOVEL OF THE BATTLE OF THERMOPYLAE by Stephen Pressfield
At Thermopylae, a rocky mountain pass in northern Greece, the feared and admired Spartan soldiers stood three hundred strong. Theirs was a Herculean mission: to hold the pass against the invading Persian Army. Day after bloody day they withstood the terrible onslaught, buying time for the Greeks to rally their forces.

  • GOOD TO GREAT: WHY SOME COMPANIES MAKE THE LEAP AND OTHERS DON'T by Jim Collins
What are the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great? Over five years, Jim Collins and his research team analyzed the histories of 28 companies, discovering why some organizations make the leap and others don't.

  • IT WORKED FOR ME: IN LIFE AND LEADERSHIP by Colin Powell
Colin Powell, one of America's most admired public figures, reveals the principles that have shaped his life and career in this inspiring and engrossing memoir. Powell's memoir is a trove of wisdom for anyone hoping to achieve their goals and turn their dreams into reality.

  • LEADERSHIP: IN TURBULENT TIMES by Doris Kearns Goodwin
In Leadership, Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights)—to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. This seminal work provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field.

  • LEADERS EAT LAST: WHY SOME TEAMS PULL TOGETHER AND OTHERS DON’T by Simon Sinek
Sinek looks at the creation of loyalty in organizations, the evolutionary basis of leadership, and lessons about leadership. He stresses that the principal cause of failure in organizations is the tendency to focus more on numbers and short-term results than on the people in the organization.

  • LEADING CHANGE by John P. Kotter
In this classic book on leadership, Kotter describes a proven eight-step change process: establishing a sense of urgency, creating the guiding coalition, developing a vision and strategy, communicating the change vision, empowering others to act, generating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing even more change, and institutionalizing new approaches in the future. All members of the Nevada National Guard can benefit from an examination of Kotter’s methodology.

  • PERSONAL MEMOIRS: ULYSSES S. GRANT by Ulysses S. Grant
This classic and honest account by one of America’s greatest generals is among the finest military commander autobiographies ever written. It offers valuable insights into leadership and command that apply to all levels and in all times. The personal strength and strategic insight Grant demonstrated under almost unimaginable stress during critical junctures of America’s bloodiest war makes him a fascinating case study.

  • SERVANT LEADERSHIP: A JOURNEY INTO THE NATURE OF LEGITIMATE POWER AND GREATNESS by Robert K. Greenleaf
Servant Leadership provides a practical philosophy that replaces traditional autocratic leadership with a holistic, ethical approach. Greenleaf's seminal work: helps leaders find their true power and moral authority to lead; encourages collaboration, trust, listening, and empowerment; and offers a mechanism for long-lasting change.

  • START WITH WHY: HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE EVERYONE TO TAKE ACTION by Simon Sinek
Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, he discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way and it is the complete opposite of what everyone else does.

  • SUPREME COMMAND: SOLDIERS, STATESMEN, AND LEADERSHIP IN WARTIME by Eliot A. Cohen
Using case studies from the United States, France, Britain, and Israel, Cohen argues against the wisdom that civilian leaders should set wartime objectives and then cede control over how the war is fought to military leaders. Rather, war is an activity in which the political and the military aspects are so intertwined that civilian leaders, who leave how the war is prosecuted solely in the hands of military leaders, risk losing the war. These officials must remain in a constant dialogue in which civilian leaders continually assess whether military actions are, or are not, moving the nation toward victory.

  • TEAM OF TEAMS: NEW RULES OF ENGAGEMENT FOR A COMPLEX WORLD by Stanley McChrystal
Based on his experience leading the Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq, McChrystal provides guidance on how to use small teams to infuse organizations with dynamic and adaptive leadership. He distinguishes between problems that are “linear” (easily understood and predictable) and “nonlinear” (complex systems where the causes and effects are far more difficult to understand). Hierarchical organizations can deal with linear problems, but nonlinear problems require a network of teams that is decentralized, empowered, situationally aware, and adaptive.

  • THE FUTURE OF POWER by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
This exploration of the changing nature of power considers the dramatic role that the internet and information technologies have played in redefining how nations project power and influence. Nye considers the transformation of power as defined during the Cold War, with its emphasis on industrial capacity, nuclear weapons, armed forces, and the current era, where non-state actors and cyberattacks have become increasing threats.

  • THE GENERALS: AMERICAN MILITARY COMMAND FROM WORLD WAR II TO TODAY by Thomas E. Ricks
Ricks traces how the promotion and relief of generals in the U.S. Army changed from the 1940s to the present day. During World War II, generals who failed to perform to the expected standard were relieved. After the war, the Army gradually abandoned this approach for one in which the relief of general officers became rare and almost never. Only a return to the World War II method, the author argues, can reinvigorate the military’s senior leadership and its wartime performance.

  • THE LANDMARK THUCYDIDES: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR by Robert B. Strassler
Thucydides is recognized as a pioneer in the writing of military history. His study of the protracted Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta in the fifth century BC is the definitive work. Strassler’s book opens the world of ancient military campaigns and battles, and the valuable political, military, and moral lessons it holds.

  • THINKING, FAST AND SLOW by Daniel Kahneman
In this book, the author takes us on a tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think and the way we make choices. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. He exposes the extraordinary capabilities, and also the faults and biases, of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior.

  • WORLD ORDER by Henry Kissinger
Kissinger investigates the roots of international harmony and global disorder. Drawing on his experience as one of the foremost statesmen of the modern era, he presents an assessment of what he argues is the ultimate challenge for the twenty-first century: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historical perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism.