March is National Reading Month!

My job as President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa puts me on the road and in airplanes a lot, which gives me a great opportunity to catch up on reading. For the past several weeks, I have had my nose buried in Honors in Action and College Project entries and have enjoyed reading the stories of Phi Theta Kappa at its best—but, because March is National Reading Month, I wanted to share four books that I believe are worthy of your PTK Reading List. Enjoy!

Susan Cain

Public speaking is the number one fear in the world (yes – more than squirrels and death.). Nearly 10 out of every 10 Phi Theta Kappa members mention overcoming a fear of public speaking as something they are working towards. And while you may see me speaking in front of large groups of students and college presidents, I would be much more comfortable sitting behind a desk crunching numbers. This book offers strategies but also sharpened my awareness and appreciation of the introvert, and why it can be amazingly effective to be a “Quiet” person.

Friend and Foe
by Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer

The Executive Team at PTK strives to work within a framework of cooperation; however, in an effort to do the best and be the best we can as an organization, sometimes we can’t (or won’t) soften on our positions on a given topic or issue. And, while I appreciate the passion of the team to champion certain projects or ideas, the fact remains that we have to work together, despite our differences.

It starts slow, but keep reading if you want to learn how to strike a balance between competition and cooperation and how to win by shifting in between. Because, after all, no one wins when we all die in the ditch…

Turn the Ship Around
David Marquet

This one is a true story. It is a real-life example of how the leader-follower approach just doesn’t work – even in the military. Using the concepts in this book, leaders can learn when and how to give control to others. At Phi Theta Kappa we are in the process of examining processes in order to determine if they truly add value to the organization in hopes of empowering staff at all levels to make meaningful and impactful decisions.

This book turns traditional leadership on its head and the results are extraordinary. If the captain of a nuclear submarine can give control to those under him, so can we.

Lean In
Sheryl Sandberg

When I was in high school, my algebra/trigonometry/calculus teacher, Rebecca Becnel, often had women visit our classes encouraging us to go into science, mathematics and engineering—and into college in general. Well, we listened! Through steady growth we now have a larger proportion of females in college, and especially community college. Even our Phi Theta Kappa’s membership is 66% female. However, you don’t see these same proportions of women in leadership roles in the workforce. This book focuses in on our own behaviors–the behaviors of women that may contribute to this. Remember: women leaders, to have it all must juggle it all. My favorite quote from this book is “Done is better than perfect.”

Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner is the President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. If you want to get in touch with Lynn, please contact

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