Understanding Leadership

To kick off the decade, here are my top picks for books that have the potential to have a lasting impact on your thoughts and actions.

Adam Grant, Ph.D. from University of Michigan in organizational psychology; B.A. from Harvard University

Grant is recognized as Wharton’s top-rated professor and one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers and Fortune’s 40 under 40. His “Adam Grant Picks 20 Leadership Books to Read in 2020,” is a comprehensive list covering several key facets of developing leadership skills. These books focus on major themes for 2020: problem-solving, relationships, rhythms of work and life, identity and happiness, and memoirs and autobiographies. The leadership techniques and life skills presented in these books are all part of the solution for developing innovation in one’s own engineering leadership capabilities.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs, Pioneer of the personal computer revolution

Innovation in engineering leadership is an innovative concept in itself. Bringing innovation into a field where soft “people” skills are not traditionally valued as much as science-based facts faces many challenges. This list, a work-in-progress, includes books that address both why innovative leadership is key to the future of engineering and how to actually implement innovative leadership in the field.

Steve Jobs, John Sculley and Steve Wozniak, Apple Computer, 1984.

Understanding Virtual Worlds

Research continues as to how extensive the use and benefits of virtual worlds could be.

Dr Sue Gregory, Chair of Research, School of Education , University of New England, Armidale, Australia, and Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Virtual Worlds Working Group

The Journal of Virtual World Research is an online, open-access academic journal that adheres to the highest standards of peer review and engages established and emerging scholars from anywhere in the world. The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is a transdisciplinary journal that engages a wide spectrum of scholarship and welcomes contributions from the many disciplines and approaches that intersect virtual world research.

A virtual world is a [persistent] computer-simulated representation of a world with specific spatial and physical characteristics, and users of virtual worlds interact with each other via representations of themselves called “avatars”.

Technical definition: School of Computer Science, Stanford University

Although the above definition is technically correct, to understand the “reality” of virtual worlds and the innovative opportunities they offer for education and training, the following reading list is recommended.