It’s been two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and uncertainty still looms regarding what things will look like in the future. While gazing into a crystal ball or reading tea leaves has never been overwhelmingly reliable, there is one way to plan for myriad impending outcomes: Educate yourself. Let the following authors prepare you for your future, whether that means being a better leader to improve future outcomes or scenario-planning for potential disasters.

All covers courtesy of their respective publishers

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience 

Fans of Brené Brown might be happy to learn that the celebrated author, professor, public speaker, and podcast host recently released her newest book, Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience. After more than 20 years of studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, Brown homes in on the 87 emotions that make us human, almost literally drawing a map of the heart. Synopsizing the piece, Brown wrote, “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.” 

Random House | $30

Leave No Man Behind

Leave No Man Behind 

At first blush, the personal recounting of one Ranger’s harrowing experience during a rescue mission in Afghanistan circa 2005 might not seem like a book that would benefit business leaders. But whether on the battlefield or in the boardroom, there always is a mission to be executed. Author, former Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army Ranger, and present-day Redmond-based chiropractor Tony Brooks recounts his mission with incredible detail in this 272-page read while relating elite military thinking to civilian readers. Lessons include finding a sense of purpose, attaining a “we are one” warrior mindset, and the titular importance of never leaving a solider behind.

 Diversion Books | $28 

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Disaster Proof: Scenario Planning for a Post-Pandemic Future 

Predictability, especially in the business world, went out the window when the pandemic hit the U.S. in March 2020. Even as we recover from the events of the last two years, we must ask ourselves, “How can we plan for future shake-ups that could be on par with, or worse, than what we’re currently experiencing?” This is a question author and strategist Lance Mortlock attempts to answer in Disaster Proof: Scenario Planning for a Post-Pandemic Future. In this accessible 260-page read, Mortlock outlines scenario-planning, how to employ it, and the benefits of doing so. There also is a special chapter on the role of artificial intelligence in scenario-planning. 

Barlow Publishing | $35