Message From the Chief
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.
Chief of Staff
All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard—Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy
by Phil Keith, Tom Clavin
A thought-provoking chronicle of the 20th century and a portrait of a man who came from nothing and by courage, determination, gumption, intelligence and luck forged a legendary life.
Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times
by Donald T. Phillips
The first book to examine Abraham Lincoln’s diverse leadership abilities and how they can be applied to today’s complex world.
by Adam Grant
We don’t have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. An invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency.
The Long Game
by Rush Doshi
What does China want, does it have a grand strategy to achieve it, and what should the U.S. do about it? An analysis of China’s conduct, to provide a history of China’s grand strategy since the end of the Cold War.
A Short History of Russia: How the World’s Largest Country Invented Itself, from the Pagans to Putin
by Mark Galeotti
Russian history through two intertwined issues: influences from beyond its borders and how Russians came to terms with this influence, writing and rewriting their past to understand their present and future.
The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State
by Elizabeth C. Economy
A look at the transformative changes underway in China today. A wide-ranging exploration of Xi Jinping’s top political, economic, and foreign policy priorities.
The Infinite Game
by Simon Sinek
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.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
by Caroline Criado Perez
Built on hundreds of studies in the U.S., the U.K., and around the world, this is a groundbreaking, unforgettable exposé that will change the way you look at the world.
Competition with China: Laying the Foundation
videos by A1C Anthony Clingerman
A series of videos that explore China’s interests at home and abroad and relationship with the United States, Asia, and international institutions in the area of strategic competition.
Red Tail Angels: The Story & Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen
Produced by Air Force Television Pentagon
A three-part documentary series on the formation, early years, contributions, and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. Featuring interviews with historians, pilots, and many of the Tuskegee Airmen.
The Playbook: A Coach’s Rules for Life
A Netflix original series
Profiles of legendary coaches as they share the rules they live by to achieve success in sports and in life.
The Final Flight
A Netflix original documentary series
Engineers, officials and the crew members’ families provide their perspective on the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and its aftermath.
The Social Dilemma
A Netflix video
How social media is deliberately designed to nurture addiction, manipulate people and governments, and spread conspiracy theories.
Message From the Chief Master Sergeant
It is no secret that we are at an inflection point in our Air Force. As Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Charles Q. Brown, says, “Good enough today will fail tomorrow.”
We need leaders at all levels who can think strategically, and execute tactically. To that end, I’m bringing you a reading list that will flex and evolve as we build the Air Force we need to compete, deter, and win across all domains.
As a lifelong learner, I am constantly adding to my reading list—looking for new ideas that can challenge my assumptions and help me grow beyond my own limitations. As your 19th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, I am committed to sharing this information with you, in the hope that you will apply it and eventually grow beyond us all.
We are the best Air Force in the world because of our people. I encourage each of you to take up the mantle of a learning leader, who continues to challenge the status quo and take us to new heights.
I am honored to serve alongside you, and I look forward to seeing you all out in our Air Force.
JoAnne S. Bass
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
The Kill Chain:
Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare
by Christian Brose
America’s traditional sources of power are eroding amid the emergence of new technologies and the growing military threat posed by rivals such as China. America is at grave risk of losing a future war.
The Heart-Led Leader: How Living and Leading from the Heart Will Change your Organization and Your Life
by Tommy Spaulding
Authentic leaders, Spaulding says, live and lead from the heart. To effect true transformational change, heart-led leaders draw on the qualities of humility, vulnerability, transparency, empathy and love.
No Time For Spectators: The Lessons That Mattered Most From West Point To The West Wing
by Martin E. Dempsey
The limits of loyalty, the necessity of sensible skepticism, and the value of responsible rebelliousness, … why we actually should sweat the small stuff.
Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ
by Daniel Goleman
Startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny.
Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes
by Margaret Heffernan
How organizations can build ideal workplace cultures and create
seismic shifts by making deceptively small changes.
Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell
An journey through the world of “outliers”—the best and the brightest, the most famous, and the most successful. What makes high-achievers different? Do we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and upbringing?
The New Rules of War
Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder
by Sean McFate
Some of the principles of warfare are ancient, others are new, but all will permanently shape war now and in the future. If we do not follow them, terrorists, rogue states, and others who do not fight conventionally will succeed—and rule the world.
Mindset: The New
Psychology of Success
by Carol S. Dweck
People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. How great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.
LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media
by P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking
Two defense experts explore the collision of war, politics, and social media where the most important battles are only a click away. Through the weaponization of social media, the internet is changing war and politics, just as war and politics are changing the internet.
The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower
by Michael Pillsbury
One of the U.S. Government’s leading China experts reveals the hidden strategy fueling that country’s rise—and how Americans have been seduced into helping China overtake us as the world’s leading superpower.
Stillness Is the Key
by Ryan Holiday
This book draws on timeless Stoic and Buddhist philosophy to show why slowing down is the secret weapon for those charging ahead.