THNK’s 2020 reading list

Jessica Krueger
Article by: Jessica Krueger
THNK’s 2020 reading list

There are many reasons that I enjoy working at THNK but it’s the people that I appreciate the most. One of the things I love most about this eclectic and diverse community is their desire to connect, share, and learn from each other.   

In that spirit, I asked the THNK Community to share what they’ve read, watched, and listened to this year that has most inspired them as a leader. The responses, including a book about how to breathe, a television comedy series, and a four-word life philosophy, were as varied and unique as I had hoped. Check out the full list of recommendations below:


1. Book | "Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art" by James Nestor

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art: James Nestor

“When things become challenging like in this year, we know we have to ‘breath through’ it. But, how do we do this properly? This book is a great read for anyone who wants to learn more about how to breathe and the effects on performance and health.” – Paul van ‘t Veld (THNK Faculty)

Check out the book >

2. Book | "Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World" by Jacqueline Novogratz Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World (9781250222879): Novogratz, Jacqueline: Books

“This book is timely with the stress and uncertainty of 2020 forcing us to pause and recalibrate our systems in creative and moral ways.” – Luma Shihabeldin (THNKer AMS Class 9)

Read more >


3. A four-word philosophy

“Stand alone, carry others.”
– Naval Ravikant

“It gives me a lot of energy! It is a philosophy of life in four words.” – Franklin de Bekker (THNK Faculty & THNKer AMS Class 12)

4. Poem | "Vulnerability" by David Whyte

“It is a deep invitation to be humble and human. For me, 2020 was a year in which I needed that. And I imagine that many of us needed it: to be allowed to be vulnerable and still feel valued and connected, and to be called to how we want to inhabit our vulnerability.” – Patrick Leenheers (THNK Faculty & THNKer AMS Class 1)

Read the poem >

5. Book | "A Book of Silence" by Sara Maitland

A Book of Silence: Maitland, Sara: 9781582436135: Books

“For me, the need for all humans to have a voice and to use their voice, especially the vulnerable and invisible, is important. This book gives voice to silence – ironic, it seems, but essential as I understand now more fully the need for us to balance the internal journey with the outer one. I discovered that silence is what feeds voice. Silence is the space to recalibrate and hear, what needs to be spoken. It is an antidote to the external imperative to do, perform, achieve, produce. No creative work can happen without silence. That got me thinking, but with my heart not my head.” – Ingrid Bruynse (THNKer AMS Class 14)

Read more >


6. TV show | Ted Lasso

best leadership resources

Although it’s not a book, THNK’s Mandy Chooi recommends the sitcom Ted Lasso “for some comic relief.”

Learn more >


7. Book | "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: McKeown, Greg: 8601407068765: Books

“The best book I read this year. I really love the central idea (as I understand it): In a world where we are over-scattered and overwhelmed, it’s time to take a different approach, and do less but better.” – Bechara Abi Assi (THNK Faculty)

Check out the book >

8. Book | "Questions Are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life" by Hal Gregersen | Questions Are the Answer, Hal Gregersen | 9780062876966 | Boeken

“I loved how he showed that great questions both help create innovative solutions and build relationships.” – Rajiv Ball (THNK Partner)

Read more >

9. Quote by Alan Watts

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”
– Alan Watts

Recommended by: Natasha Bonnevalle (THNK Partner)

10. Book | "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking: Cain, Susan: 9780307352156: Books

“I listened to many audiobooks this year that helped me see through paradigms. ‘Quiet’ focuses on the paradigm of extroversion associated with leaders and gives some great historical context.” – Rod Ben Zeev (THNK Faculty)

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11. Book | "What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture" by Ben Horowitz

What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture: Horowitz, Ben: 9780008356118: Books

“Such a quirky yet clear and helpful way to think about organizational culture!” – Roshan Paul (THNKer AMS Class 1)

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12. Book (+ Masterclass!) | "The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company" by Robert Iger, Joel Lovell

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company: Iger, Robert: 9780399592096: Books

“This is a great read for anyone who loves Disney and for people interested in how you think strategically about growing a creative business. His Masterclass is also a treat!” – Mark Vernooij (THNK Partner)

Read more >

13. Article | "Creative Leadership: Creating Through a Crisis"

“In this article, author and THNKer Paulina Larocca says, ‘Accept that your world and your circumstance have irrevocably changed.’ The reason you avoid this is you have equated it with a real death – instead of seeing it not as an end, but as the start of a new beginning can be even better and more prosperous for you, your people, and your community.” – Betty de Haan (THNK Faculty)

Read the article >

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