Ready to earn more respect and revenue? Click here to apply for a FREE Become A Better Leader in 100 Days FIT Session!

Angela M. Odom

Podcast Hire Me to Speak About Services COVID-19 Resources Subscribe to the Better U Leadership Podcast Login

Angela O's Reading List

2020 books leadership May 22, 2020

Three days ago my everything friend, Lorie Fanning asked me to send her my reading list. An acquaintance of hers reached out to her to get resources for a young lady in his organization. 

I was stumped.

Although I read often, listen to podcasts, host a weekly leadership themed video show, have published my military memoir, I was stumped. 

The experiences that shaped my view of leading teams has been overshadowed by the global pandemic. The wave of uncertainty is causing some people in positions of power to shrink, while others are rising to the occasion of our new normal. 

I meditated, prayed, then I took a deep dive into books I've read or need to read that are relevant and will add value to men and women who are preparing to lead teams through these unprecedented times.  

 Reading builds confidence. I created a top 10 reading list for people committed to leading teams confidently.

My intent is for each reader to approach each recommended book with an open mind. I want them to leverage the different perspectives so that they may take a new or different approach to conflicts and projects.

The objective is for each individual to experience a shift in their thinking so that they may become more influential, confident and effective leaders.


 As a leadership coach and trainer, teaching others how to identify their inherit talents and grow their skills is deeper than me sharing my experiences. It's more about the individual gaining an understanding of why people would choose to follow their lead and how to earn their trust and confidence. 

 Here is the list of 10 books that may prove helpful in your journey:

1.  The book, Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds  represents everything you were taught about self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work written by the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller.

 Read Now 

2. Becoming by former First Lady Michelle Obama. is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Read Now

3. Gaining an overall understanding of the trauma most of us experience gives us the opportunity to develop a strategy to move through it and to offer assistance and support to others.

In the book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Bessel van der Kolk M. D. exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.

Read Now

4. The 30-Day Productivity Plan: Break The 30 Bad Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Time Management - One Day At A Time! (The 30-Day Productivity Boost Book 1) by Damon Zahariades gives you the tools to make the most of your time. It gives you the steps along with a simple system for putting those steps into action.

Read Now

5. The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie ZhuoKarissa Vacker, et al is a modern field guide packed everyday examples and transformative insights. 

Whether you're new to the job, a veteran leader, or looking to be promoted, this is the handbook you need to be the kind of manager you wish you had.

Read Now

6.  Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by L. David Marquet shares the story of giving control to your team as opposed to taking control.

Applying the principals shared in this book you can create a workplace where everyone around you is taking responsibility for their actions, where people are healthier and happier, where everyone is a leader.

Read Now

7. Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler provides insights into how to handle crucial conversations well, influence others and get things done. 

At the heart of almost all chronic problems in our organizations, our teams, and our relationships lie crucial conversations— book allows us to learn how to hold crucial conversations well.  

Read Now

8. Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character by David Brooks provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth. 

Looking to some of the world's greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built strong inner character.


Read Now

9. Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth - and How You Can Too by Chris Hogan 

This book is based on the largest study EVER conducted on 10,000 U.S. millionaires—and the results will shock you! You’ll learn that building wealth has almost NOTHING to do with your income or your background! It doesn’t matter where you come from. It matters where you’re going.


Read Now 

10.  The journey to becoming an effective leader can be full of stumbling blocks and learning curves. But for women, particularly those pursuing a career in male-dominated settings, learning to lead can be a tumultuous road.

Camouflaged Sisters: Leadership Through The Eyes Of Senior Military Women Leaders by Lila Holley and eleven other contributing writers (including the author of this article) examines the grit, perseverance, and determination it takes to rise through military ranks as a woman in uniform.

Read Now 


In her stirring memoir, Bronco Strong: A Memoir of the Last Deployed Personnel Services Battalion by Angela M. Odom, a personnel services battalion commander, recounts daily life as a soldier in an active war zone during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The shared experiences are those you treasure for a lifetime. 

Read Now

As we close I know some of y'all are wondering what an "everything friend" is.......It's a person whom you have shared interest in several aspects of your life (this is my personal definition).

The majority of the people I engage with in only one aspect of my life. However, Lorie and I can relate to one another's shared values and we have shared experiences. For example, we are women of the same age group, who identify as Christians who value a personal relationship with our God. We were tent-mates in Saudi Arabia and roommates while attending a military school together early in our military career.  We're parents, disabled military veterans, and small business owners. 

Lorie Fanning = my everything friend. Makes Sense?

I encourage you to take a deep dive into each of the recommended books if you're seeking to grow your personal development skills so that you may serve others more effectively and efficiently. It's your time to lead!  

I'm rooting for you. 

xo xo


P.S. Join me on the AngelaO Reading List Page HERE so that we can take the journey together

P.P..S. The next step after you read a book is to submit a thoughtful review. 

Guidance on writing a book review. Click the link


P.P.S  I invite you to join the Better U Book Club. You'll read six books over a 12 month time frame. :

Every 45 days, we will tackle one of the leadership focused books shown below! Once we start a book, you'll receive your reading assignment along with discussion questions every 7 days.

We invite you to share your insights, inquiries, and aha moments inside of our private online community for Book Club participants and others! We can discuss our takeaways and truly enhance our learning experience. Learn from one another inside of the online Better U Community for Women Leaders!




Angela M. Odom is a leadership coach, proud Army veteran and an author of BRONCO STRONG: A Memoir of the Last Deployed Personnel Services Battalion and a contributor to Camouflaged Sisters: Leadership Through The Eyes of Senior Military Women Leaders. 

ONLINE: Website I Instagram I Facebook I LinkedIn I Twitter I You Tube

Disclaimer: If you click on some of the links and make a purchase, Angela may receive compensation. So click away. 


50% Complete

Grab My Grown Women Better U Resource Guide

Get some tools to help you in your relationships, health, finances and leadership abilities.