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Bringing Positivity to HR Leadership

An open book with light coming out of it.

The learning that took place at the SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition didn't end in New Orleans. By taking a look at all of the books sold at the SHRMStore during the event, we can gain some perspective on what resources HR professionals are embracing to further their careers. While our keynote, Masters Series and mega session speakers' books are perennial top sellers, each year we survey those books and other HR titles that topped the charts to see what stood out.

This year, books focused on certain HR topics you'd expect to be popular—employee relations, compliance, performance management—experienced healthy sales. And information on leadership was once again in high demand. However, something different this year was that leadership and HR books that focused on staying positive were the ones most likely to be snatched up by attendees!

Some phenomenal keynote speakers led the positive and team-oriented leadership initiative with their sessions and books. Kat Cole, Laszlo Bock and Patrick Lencioni all delivered keynotes that touched on important aspects of leading a team, focusing on cultivating the right behaviors and keeping your team advancing with a positive outlook. Laila Ali helped connect these leadership dots by highlighting the importance of spirit and personal power.

We also saw the debut of HR on Purpose (SHRM, 2017) by Steve Browne. This much-anticipated book focuses on having passion for the HR profession and the value of connecting with people. Browne joins longtime Annual Conference favorites Cy Wakeman and Steve Gilliland as a promoter of the exponential value of positivity.

Whether it was these or other inspiring sessions that galvanized attendees, or a matter of HR professionals embracing the behavioral competencies that define their mission, the theme of doing it all with a positive approach stole this year's show. I have a feeling this will continue to shape attendees' outlook and approach for the remainder of 2017—and that can only make the workplace and the world a better place!

Here are some of the books that contributed to the positive-leadership trend:

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead (Twelve, 2015) by Laszlo Bock.

Small Changes, Big Impact: Maximize Your Presence and Leverage the Power of Your Personal Brand (BookBaby, 2012) by Nadia Bilchik and Kat Cole.

The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues (Jossey-Bass, 2016) by Patrick Lencioni.

Reach: Finding Strength, Spirit and Personal Power (She Be Stingin' Inc., 2017) by Laila Ali.

HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion (SHRM, 2017) by Steve Browne.

Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, and Turn Excuses into Results (Jossey-Bass, 2010) by Cy Wakeman.

Hide Your Goat: Strategies to Stay Positive When Negativity Surrounds You (Advantage Media Group, 2013) by Steve Gilliland.

180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm: The "How To" Handbook for Everyone (The Walk the Talk Co., 2010) by Barbara A. Glanz.

Holy Cow!: How to Create an Amazing Workplace that Steers Passion, Performance and Prosperity (Amazon Digital Services LLC, 2017) by Tracy Butz and Steve Gilliland.

Trustology: The Art and Science of Leading High-Trust Teams (Wise Guys Publishing LLC, 2013) by Richard Fagerlin.

Andrea Cale is manager of the SHRMStore.



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