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CSAF Leadership Library: July 2023
CSAF Leadership Library: April 2023
CSAF Leadership Library: February 2023
CSAF Leadership Library: November 2022
CSAF Leadership Library: September 2022
CSAF Leadership Library: July 2022
CSAF Leadership Library: May 2022
CSAF Leadership Library: March 2022
CSAF LEADERSHIP LIBRARY LETTER
Gen. Ronald Fogleman created the CSAF Professional Reading Program in 1996 to develop a common frame of reference among Air Force members -- officers, enlisted, and civilians -- to help each of us become better, more effective advocates of air and space power. Each CSAF since then has enhanced and continued the Professional Reading Program.
In 2021, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., who revised the program by renaming it as the CSAF Leadership Library and adding new media sources including podcasts and documentaries.
Welcome to the CSAF Leadership Library. This is a new way of looking at the traditional reading list – a fluid set of media that I have personally explored – that changes and evolves as novel ideas are published, recorded, and debated.
The Leadership Library will have periodic additions as I come across media and ideas I’d like to share to generate dialogue. My aim is that this Leadership Library sparks conversations for you with fellow Airmen, with your family, and with your friends.
CHARLES Q. BROWN, JR.
General, U.S. Air Force
Chief of Staff
~ Chief of Staff of the Air Force
Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.
Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission
Eileen Collins was an aviation pioneer her entire career, from her crowning achievements as the first woman to command an American space mission as well as the first to pilot the space shuttle to her early years as one of the Air Force’s first female pilots. She was in the first class of women to earn pilot’s wings at Vance Air Force Base and was their first female instructor pilot. She was only the second woman admitted to the Air Force’s elite Test Pilot Program at Edwards Air Force Base. NASA had such confidence in her skills as a leader and pilot that she was entrusted to command the first shuttle mission after the Columbia disaster, returning the US to spaceflight after a two-year hiatus. Since retiring from the Air Force and NASA, she has served on numerous corporate boards and is an inspirational speaker about space exploration and leadership.
National Geographic’s Limitless with Chris Hemsworth
What if you could combat aging and discover the full potential of the human body? Global movie star Chris Hemsworth explores this revolutionary idea in the new National Geographic original series, “Limitless with Chris Hemsworth,” created by Darren Aronofsky and hailing from his production company Protozoa Pictures and Jane Root’s Nutopia. Entertaining, immersive and life-changing, “Limitless” rewrites the rulebook on living better for longer.
The Anxious Achiever: Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health for Men in Business
In this episode, Morra speaks Mendoca, and also listener Darshan Patel, a regional lead at a global company who himself struggles with severe depression and bipolar disorder, and is looking to break the stigma around mental health in India in particular.
HISTORY This Week: Tuskegee Top Gun
January 11, 2022. Lt. Col. James Harvey arrives at Nellis Air Force base in Nevada for the first time in 73 years. He’s there to accept a plaque celebrating the last time he was there—for the Air Force’s first ever weapons competition. Back then, Harvey and the other Tuskegee Airmen on his team had squared off against the best military pilots around. They tackled high-skill tests of simulated aerial warfare… and they won. But over the decades, the official record of their victory was lost or neglected. Who were these exceptional Black pilots? And what did it take to rescue their accomplishments from obscurity and bring them into the light?
The HISTORY Channel’s Abraham Lincoln
The HISTORY Channel’s three-night documentary event “Abraham Lincoln” will be a definitive biography of the 16th president, the man who led the country during its bloodiest war and greatest crisis. Executive produced by world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize®-winning bestselling author Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Abraham Lincoln” is based upon Kearns Goodwin’s New York Times bestseller, “Leadership: In Turbulent Times.”
Veteran Chronicles: In Their Own Words
In Veteran Chronicles: In Their Own Words, Brig. Gen. Charles McGee reflects on his remarkable thirty-year career as one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. Although Gen McGee passed away in January at the age of 102 after “a life well lived,” his courage and embodiment of the core values continue to buoy us into the future.
Warriors in Their Own Words: Colonel “Bud” Anderson, America’s last living triple fighter ace
Colonel Anderson’s autobiographical account in the Warriors in Their Own Words podcast is another enthralling and heroic personification of Airmen rising to the challenge to meet seemingly impossible tasks and defeat the enemies of their time.
To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
How does a book about sales make better Airmen? Daniel Pink answers that question in To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. We must sharpen our ability to develop and articulate a simple, easy to remember, and consistent message regarding our Air Force’s modernization imperative to key stakeholders as well as the Airmen we are privileged to lead.
Heroes of the Sky: The Mighty Eighth Air Force
This Memorial Day, we pause alongside fellow Americans in a day of remembrance for the fallen who died in service to our nation, and we recognize and honor their remarkable contributions. National Geographic's Heroes of the Sky: The Mighty Eighth Air Force tells the story of Airmen that made the ultimate sacrifice through an awe-inspiring campaign that transformed the arc of World War II.
Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams
Inclusify reveals the unexpected ways that well-intentioned leaders undermine their teams, explains how to recognize the myths and misperceptions that drive these behaviors, and provides practical strategies to become an Inclusifyer.
Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well
Thanks for the Feedback is the first book to address this tension head on. It explains why getting feedback is so crucial yet so challenging, and offers a powerful framework to help us take on life’s blizzard of off-hand comments, annual evaluations, and unsolicited advice with curiosity and grace.
The Legend: The Bessie Coleman Story
In 1921, aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman arose from the poverty of the Texas cotton fields to capture the hearts of the Black population of America.
#GenZ with Dr. Meghan M. Grace - Episode 35: Gen Z and Leadership
Today, a new generation of strategic thinkers and mavericks defend our nation. Dr. Meghan Grace’s #GenZ podcast reveals insights into the values and behaviors of Generation Z so that leaders at all echelons, myself included, can better relate to what defines and motivates our youngest cohort of professional Airmen.
Red Tail Angels: The Story & Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen
Red Tail Angels is a three part documentary series on the formation, early years, contributions and legacy of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. Featuring interviews with historians, pilots, and many of the Tuskegee Airmen themselves.
All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard-Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy
All Blood Runs Red is the inspiring untold story of an American hero, a thought-provoking chronicle of the twentieth century and a portrait of a man who came from nothing and by his own courage, determination, gumption, intelligence and luck forged a legendary life.
Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times
Lincoln on Leadership is the first book to examine Abraham Lincoln's diverse leadership abilities and how they can be applied to today's complex world. Only ten days before Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office in 1861, the Confederate States of America seceded from the Union, taking all Federal agencies, forts, and arenas within their territory. To make matters worse, Lincoln, who was elected by a minority of the popular vote, was thought of by his own advisors as nothing more than a gawky second-rate country lawyer with no leadership experience.
The Playbook profiles legendary coaches as they share the rules they live by to achieve success in sports and in life. Featured coaches include the Los Angeles Clippers' Doc Rivers; two-time FIFA World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis; Premier League’s José Mourinho; Serena Williams’ famed tennis coach, Patrick Mouratoglou; and hall of fame basketball player and coach Dawn Staley.
HBR IdeaCast / Special Series: How Generative AI Changes Everything
HBR IdeaCast is cutting through the noise in the special series How Generative AI Changes Everything. How will this new technology upend workforce productivity? What impact will it have on creativity and innovation? How can you build an internal culture that uses generative artificial intelligence and adopt it effectively in your organization? What could it mean for your company’s strategy?
No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
Hard work is irrelevant. Be radically honest. And never, ever try to please your boss. Nominated as a 2020 Financial Times Business Book of the Year and a New York Times Bestseller.
The Prepared Leader: Emerge from Any Crisis More Resilient Than Before
From their unique perch at the top of two most prestigious institutions, Erika H. James and Lynn Perry Wooten provide a roadmap for leaders to help them lead through any crisis.
The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers
Gillian Tett’s The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers illustrates how the principles of anthropology can help us break down barriers and promote a greater degree of interdependence. Our innovative success emerges not from formal organizational “silos,” but through informal and unplanned interactions across our departments, staffs, and disciplines.
Managing Generation Z: How to Recruit, Onboard, Develop, and Retain the Newest Generation in the Workplace
Managing Generation Z: How to Recruit, Onboard, Develop, and Retain the Newest Generation in the Workplace by Kat Clowes and Robin Paggi is a practical guide for leaders at all echelons to understand, recruit, train, and lead the next generation of professional Airmen.
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Tomorrow’s Airmen face renewed 21st-century challenges of managing deterrence, preparing for near-peer conflict, and innovating an updated force design. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness illustrates how to reframe these wicked problems by using “nudges” to avoid bias and recognize subtle cues to modify how we make decisions.
Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard
Transformation requires we aggressively overcome the organizational inertia of the status quo. Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard is a story-driven account that reveals insights into the heuristics of our rational and emotional minds and how they relate to each other. I need your help implementing Action Order-B Mod 1 to switch our organizational behavior to streamline decision-making, eliminate redundancy, and limit bureaucratic layers.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
What can a film about the crew of a British ship during the Napoleonic Wars teach us about Agile Combat Employment? In Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World the climate of mutual trust, shared understanding, and commander's intent under the military leadership of Captain Aubrey represents a textbook case of mission command. What is most interesting is that the crew's ability to be ready to execute the mission in unpredictable ways and rapidly respond to the adversary's moves by moving fluidly across a theater of operations represents the essence of the ACE operating concept.
Harvard Business Review's Should you Collaborate or Compete
Modernizing into the Air Force we need to support integrated deterrence is not without its challenges, particularly within Action Order B. Harvard Business Review's Should you Collaborate or Compete podcast observes workplace dynamics and challenges us to rethink how leaders manage their formations to strike a more effective balance between collaboration and competition.
The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security
The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security is as much the story of Boyd’s innovative spirit as his groundbreaking ideas on warfare. Alongside a tenacity for out-maneuvering bureaucracy, Boyd was a maverick, and had innovation baked into his DNA. Who is the “Maverick” in your squadron?
Think Again reveals that we don’t have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. It’s an invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom?
Cautionary Tales Ep 6 – How Britain Invented, Then Ignored, Blitzkrieg
Blitzkrieg means “lightning war”, but despite the German name it was not a German invention. Back in 1917 a brilliant English officer developed a revolutionary way to use the latest development in military technology – the tank. The British army squandered the idea but two decades later later Hitler’s tanks thundered across Europe, achieving the kind of rapid victories that had been predicted back in 1917.
This is a common story: Sony invented the digital Walkman, Xerox the personal computer, and Kodak the digital camera. In each case they failed to capitalise on the idea. Why?
Challenger: The Final Flight
Engineers, officials and the crew members' families provide their perspective on the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and its aftermath.
The Origins of Victory: How Disruptive Military Innovation Determines the Fates of Great Powers
This book by military strategist Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr., is the definitive take on the race for military dominance in the twenty-first century. It shows how militaries that successfully pursue disruptive innovation can gain a major advantage over their rivals, while those that fail to do so risk exposing their countries to great danger.
AFTER WORDS: The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict between the US and Xi Jinping's China
Former prime minister of Australia and Asia Society president and CEO Kevin Rudd offers his thoughts on how the U.S. and China can co-exist and avoid war in the future. He's interviewed by United States Institute of Peace senior expert on China Carla Freeman. Learn more about your ad choices.
The Truth of the Matter: Wargaming a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan - CSIS' The Truth of the Matter
CSIS’s Mark Cancian joins the podcast to discuss the wargame exercise he created for a Chinese amphibious invasion of Taiwan. Cancian ran the game 24 times and in most scenarios, the United States/Taiwan/Japan defeated a conventional amphibious invasion by China and maintained an autonomous Taiwan. However, this defense came at a high cost. The United States and its allies lost dozens of ships, hundreds of aircraft, and tens of thousands of service members. Taiwan saw its economy devastated. Further, the high losses damaged the U.S. global position for many years. China also lost heavily, and failure to occupy Taiwan might destabilize Chinese Communist Party rule.
Revisionist History: A Serious Game
The best way to prepare for the unexpected may not be to make plans, or predictions, but to play games. Revisionist History explores imaginary worlds and the people who love finding out what they don’t know.
Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology
An epic account of the decades-long battle to control what has emerged as the world’s most critical resource—microchip technology—with the United States and China increasingly in conflict.
Russian Airpower in Ukraine: Lessons for the West
John “Slick” Baum chats with Dr. Justin Bronk of the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies along with Heather “Lucky” Penney and Lt Col Michael “Mongo” Kingry of our Mitchell Institute team about key takeaways from the Ukraine-Russia war. Media reports have largely focused on the ground war, but the opening stages of the conflict saw a fierce air battle. And it’s still unfolding.
The Prince: Searching for Xi Xinping
The Economist’s The Prince: Searching for Xi Xinping podcast is a perceptive and compelling eight-episode narrative that lifts the veil behind the PRC leader’s early life and rise to power. By scanning the past for indications and trends, we minimize uncertainty about our present operating environment and use that knowledge help us manage strategic competition and gain competitive advantages.
Ukraine and Russia: From Civilized Divorce to Uncivil War
For our Air Force to ensure credible deterrence, build enduring advantage, and campaign, we must ensure every Airmen thoroughly understands the strategic environment. In Ukraine and Russia: From Civilized Divorce to Uncivil War, Paul D'Anieri reframes the crisis in Ukraine through a post-Cold War historical prism to challenge perceptions and re-examine competing goals and objectives.
Intelligence Matters: China's Ambitions in the World, and What They Mean to the U.S.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell moderates a conversation among three top experts on China's geopolitical ambitions and their implications for the United States. Harvard University Professor Graham Allison, Johns Hopkins Professor Hal brands, and George Mason University Assistant Professor Ketian Zhang discuss President Xi Jinping's near and long-term political objectives, the domestic challenges he may face, and how the United States should develop its own strategies for confronting or cooperating with Beijing.
Netflix docuseries Five Came Back
The idea of “why” is a timeless concept that motivates across generational gaps. The critically acclaimed Netflix docuseries Five Came Back is a mesmerizing examination of our nation’s “why” before and during World War II through the lens of five prominent Hollywood directors. Their stories will leave you with a renewed sense of awe for the Greatest Generation.
The Long Game
What does China want, does it have a grand strategy to achieve it, and what should the United States do about it? The Long Game draws from a rich base of Chinese primary sources, including decades worth of party documents, leaked materials, memoirs by party leaders, as well as careful analysis of China's conduct, to provide a history of China's grand strategy since the end of the Cold War.
Choiceology podcast "Knew it All Along"
Listen in as host Katy Milkman shares stories of irrational decision making—from historical blunders to the kinds of everyday errors that could affect your future. Choiceology explores the lessons of behavioral economics, exposing the psychological traps that lead to expensive mistakes.
A Short History of Russia: How the World's Largest Country Invented Itself, from the Pagans to Putin
In A Short History of Russia, Mark Galeotti explores the history of this fascinating, glorious, desperate and exasperating country through two intertwined issues: the way successive influences from beyond its borders have shaped Russia, and the way Russians came to terms with this influence, writing and rewriting their past to understand their present and try to influence their future. In turn, this self-invented history has come to affect not just their constant nation-building project but also their relations with the world.
Laying the Foundation – Competition With China
Laying the Foundation – Competition With China covers the People's Republic of China, the Chinese Communist Party or the CCP, and the armed wing of the CCP known as the People's Liberation Army. This series will also discuss China's interests at home and abroad and China's relationship with the United States, Asia, and international institutions in the area of strategic competition.
The Infinite Game
The more Simon started to understand the difference between finite and infinite games, the more he began to see infinite games all around us. He started to see that many of the struggles that organizations face exist simply because their leaders were playing with a finite mindset in a game that has no end. The leaders who embrace an infinite mindset, in stark contrast, build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. They have the resilience to thrive in an ever-changing world, while their competitors fall by the wayside. Ultimately, those who adopt an infinite mindset are the ones who lead the rest of us into the future.
The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State
A look at the transformative changes underway in China today. Xi Jinping has unleashed a powerful set of political and economic reforms: the centralization of power under Xi, the expansion of the Communist Party's role in Chinese political, social, and economic life, and the construction of a virtual wall of regulations to control more closely the exchange of ideas and capital between China and the outside world. Beyond its borders, Beijing recast itself as a great power, seeking to reclaim past glory and create a system of international norms that better serves its more ambitious geostrategic objectives. In so doing, Chinese leadership is reversing the trends toward greater political and economic opening, as well as the low-profile foreign policy put in motion by Deng Xiaoping's "Second Revolution" thirty years earlier. Through a wide-ranging exploration of Xi Jinping's top political, economic, and foreign policy priorities, Economy identifies the tensions, shortcomings, and successes of Xi's reform efforts over the course of his first five years in office. She also provides recommendations for how the United States and others should navigate their relationship with this vast nation in the coming years.
Babbage: How drones are transforming warfare in Ukraine
The use of drones in the war in Ukraine has been increasing. Unmanned vehicles capture battlefield images, relay co-ordinates, and strike targets in Ukraine and even Russia. Whether purpose-built military devices or off-the-shelf civilian technology, the drones are having an outsized impact. How are they influencing battles? And what do they mean for the future of warfare?
HBR IdeaCast / Special Series: How Generative AI Changes Everything
Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
A new industrial revolution has begun. Like mechanization or electricity before it, artificial intelligence will touch every aspect of our lives—and cause profound disruptions in the balance of global power, especially among the AI superpowers: China, the United States, and Europe. Four key elements define this struggle: data, computing power, talent, and institutions. Four Battlegrounds takes readers inside the fierce competition to develop and implement this game-changing technology and dominate the future.
Imaginable: How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything
In Imaginable: How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything, game designer and futurist Jane McGonigal challenges us to unstick our minds, think the unthinkable, and imagine the unimaginable.
Winning the Next War: Innovation and the Modern Military
As we continue to Accelerate Change to the Air Force our Nation needs, we must be mindful of organizational lessons from the past. Historical analysis allows us to synthesize patterns in the character of warfare and incorporate them into our future Air Force design through initiatives like Action Order D and the Operational Imperatives. In Winning the Next War: Innovation and the Modern Military, Stephen Rosen analyzes military and technological innovations during war and peacetime and offers prescriptions for managing uncertainty.
Royal United Services Institute's Building the Oceans Podcast - What's All the RAUKUS About? The View from Washington
The Air Force does not fight alone, nor do we deter alone. Last September, the United States co-signed a groundbreaking trilateral security pact alongside Australia and the United Kingdom called AUKUS, representing one of the most significant security agreements in a generation. Royal United Services Institute's Building the Oceans Podcast - What's All the RAUKUS About? The View from Washington illustrates the magnitude of this agreement and the enormous opportunity it presents for the Air Force to Integrate by Design with our Allies and Partners in enhanced and novel ways.
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
The concept of Multi-Capable Airmen represents a foundational change in how we think, fight, and empower our Airmen to operate amidst multi-domain challenges in an expeditionary environment. David Epstein brilliantly characterizes this philosophy in Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by emphasizing a formula of breadth, cognitive diversity, and generalized experience.
The Last Warrior: Andrew Marshall and the Shaping of Modern American Defense Strategy
The story of Andrew Marshall in The Last Warrior: Andrew Marshall and the Shaping of Modern American Defense Strategy is a profound account of a virtually unknown, yet brilliant strategic thinker who was enormously influential in shaping American military thought for nearly half a century. Today, Marshall’s hallmark methodology, the “Net Assessment,” remains an essential diagnostic framework for understanding strategic competition through the lenses of capabilities, challenges, and perceptions.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. Women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives. Feminist advocate Caroline Criado Perez investigates shocking root cause of gender inequality and research in Invisible Women, diving into women’s lives at home, the workplace, the public square, the doctor’s office, and more. Built on hundreds of studies in the US, the UK, and around the world, and written with energy, wit, and sparkling intelligence, this is a groundbreaking, unforgettable exposé that will change the way you look at the world.
The Social Dilemma
Discusses how social media is deliberately designed to nurture addiction, manipulate people and governments, and spread conspiracy theories. Features many former employees and executives from top tech companies and social media platforms who offer their insight into how a relatively small number of engineers make decisions that impact billions of people, and closely examines the current state of social media platforms focusing on the problems with the industry. Conversations during the film tackle concepts in technology such as data mining, technology addiction, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and surveillance capitalism.