“Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is a list of my favorite and noteworthy books on mind & thinking skills.
When I think of thinking skills, I think of analysis, evaluation, problem solving, and synthesis.
The books below help provide thinking skills, including mindsets, methodologies, and methods. I test insights and actions from books below against real-world scenarios for their effectiveness and practicality.
I put the bulk of the list in categories so you can explore relevant books and you can easily compare against your existing leadership books library.
This is a list of my favorite books for mind and thinking:
10 Best Books on the Mind & Thinking
- 7 (Seven) Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences, by Thomas Armstrong
- How to Have a Beautiful Mind, by Edward de Bono
- Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain, by Tom Stafford and Matt Webb
- Mind Magic, John Laurence Miller
- Mind Performance Hacks: Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain, by Ron Hale-Evans
- Six Thinking Hats, by Edward de Bono
- Smart Questions: Learn to Ask the Right Questions for Powerful Results, by Gerald Nadler
- Tactics: The Art and Science of Success, by Edward de Bono
- The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers, by Daniel Schacter
- Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition), by Michael Michalko
One-Sentence Summaries of the Best Books on the Mind & Thinking Skills
- 7 (Seven) Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences– learn the 7 distinct ways of being smart (linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal), how to determine your strongest and weakest intelligences, how to develop each kind of smart.
- How to Have a Beautiful Mind , by Edward de Bono – this is like two books in one–a “driver’s guide” and an “owner’s manual” for your mind.
- Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain – learn the geography of your brain, learn how the visual system works, learn how attention and awareness work, learn how you integrate your sight, touch, and language, learn how your brain sees your body, how to apply your reasoning to solve everyday problems, learn how you learn, learn how people read faces and emotions.
- Mind Magic – how to improve your intelligence through adaptability, creativity, and information management, how to improve focus and mental performance by making your emotions work in greater harmony with your intellect, how to tap into your creative centers and increase your innovation, how to gain confidence for higher intellectual and professional achievement.
- Mind Performance Hacks: Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain – how to use mnemonic tricks, how to perform complex math in your head, how to use innovative brainstorm methods, how to effectively capture new ideas, how to communicate in creative ways, how to make better decisions, how to improve mental fitness.
- Six Thinking Hats – how to think better, how to use deliberate role playing to improve your thinking, learn how to create a climate of clearer thinking, improved communication, and greater creativity, how to make better decisions in work and life.
- Smart Questions: Learn to Ask the Right Questions for Powerful Results
- Tactics: The Art and Science of Success – learn the styles of success, how to stimulate success, how to focus, how to design a strategy, how to make a decision, how to handle risk, how to choose the right people, how to communicate, how to think on your feet.
- The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers – learn the neurology of memory, learn about absent-mindedness, transience, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, and persistence.
- Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition) – how to generate new ideas at will, how to find new ways to make money, how to create new business opportunities, how to improve the innovation and power of your ideas, how to create new products, services, and processes, how to improve old products, services, and processes, how to develop solutions to complex business problems, how to revitalize markets, how to see problems as opportunities, how to become more productive, how to be the ideas person in your organization, how to figure out breakthrough ideas.