HBS Career & Professional Development is excited to share some of our favorite books from the Harvard community for Human Resources leaders. Covering topics from effective leadership, to mentoring talent, to creating an environment of growth, these books offer an opportunity for HR leaders to strengthen their own skills, educate managers to effectively lead their teams, and retain great employees.

Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life

Francesca Gino wants you to break the rules at work. If you sit in HR that might sound a bit scary, and counterintuitive to your role. However, Gino will push you to question why some rules exist, and think about what would happen if you did things differently. Rebel Talent profiles successful business owners, pilots, magicians, and military leaders to highlight how they challenged the status quo and carved their own paths.

In combination with the book, managers can use the Rebel Test to help their teams identify what kind of rebels they are, and how they can use their natural inclinations to push the boundaries of what is possible.

Being the Boss: The Three Imperatives to Becoming a Great Leader

Linda Hill and Kent Lineback’s book Being the Boss offers a guide on how to continually manage yourself, manage your network, and manage your team to succeed as the boss. Based on a combined six decades of research, teaching, and management practice, Being the Boss weaves together case studies, prompts for self-reflection, and best practices to help managers lead their teams effectively and find satisfaction in their roles. Have you managed teams for years? Are you mentoring a manager? Onboarding a new manager? Regardless of experience, Hill and Lineback’s book offers insights to spur continuous improvement.

Getting Unstuck: A Guide to Discovering Your Next Career Path

Getting Unstuck offers leaders tools to manage their own careers, and help their employees move forward. In Getting Unstuck, business psychologist and Senior Fellow and Faculty Advisor to Career & Professional Development at HBS, Dr. Tim Butler, provides an opportunity for readers to reflect on their point of professional or personal impasse, move past the feeling of “being stuck,” and take action to make change.

What truly inspires you in your work? Where does your team find meaning? How can you or your colleagues get unstuck and move forward in your careers? The examples and exercises in Getting Unstuck will help leaders and their employees better understand themselves and the type of work that will make them most fulfilled. Investing that kind of time and energy in your employees shows your commitment to their happiness and future success.

Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times

A book for managers who strive to be great leaders, Nancy Koehn’s book Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times, is a peak behind the curtain of how renowned leaders rose to their respective challenges. Koehn profiles Abraham Lincoln, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, Frederick Douglass, Nazi-resisting clergyman Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and environmental crusader Rachel Carson as they each faced unique leadership challenges.

While the challenges in your organization will look different than those President Lincoln faced, courageous leadership can take on many forms. Take inspiration from Koehn’s book to develop your own leadership style as a manager and motivate employees to take on leadership roles as well.

Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss believe that customer service is a secret weapon for achieving strategic advantage in the service based economy. To take it a step further, a high level of customer service needs to be so engrained in the company culture that service comes naturally to every employee. In order to achieve this it is necessary to design a system to support a high level of service and consistently reinforce that culture. Human resources practices have the power to impact company culture. The case studies throughout Uncommon Service can help you design a structure and create a culture that provides excellent service, as well as attracts and retains talent that will embody what your company represents.

The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth

Do employees in your organization feel comfortable speaking their minds? In The Fearless Organization, Amy Edmondson sites a 2017 Gallup poll that found only 3 in 10 employees felt strongly that their opinions mattered at work. Yet to retain great talent and achieve success in the modern economy, Edmondson reminds leaders that employees need to feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Not every idea will be the next big idea, but it’s critical that employees feel safe sharing so that when the big idea comes it won’t be silenced or left uncovered.

Human Resources leaders can use Edmondson’s step-by-step framework to transform your organization and maximize the potential of your immediate team, and the broader organization.

Photography provided by Dorothy Joseph.