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Secretary General Annual Report 2023

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The Culture Map : Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures

Major, Canadian Delegation: The book is filled with examples which make the application of the simple and abstract method straightforward. The method will likely be useful for many but is not the key, rather the concepts of different ways in which cultures vary and the examples which exemplify this. Given what we do here and how we work, if I were in charge of NATO HQ I would put a copy of this book on the desk of every new arrival.

Leadership : Theory and Practice

NATO Analyst recommends: “NATO works with people for people” is my principle for my daily work at NATO.  A leader’s role is not to control people or stay on top of things, but rather to guide, energize and excite. This type of leadership is easy to talk about, but is hard to execute. “Leadership: Theory and Practice” is a classic, highly readable book assigned in leadership courses around the world.


Invisible Women : Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Coordinator, Security and Policy Oversight recommends:  This book reveals how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population, often with disastrous consequences. The author brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the profound impact this has on us all.

The Nature of Conspiracy Theories

Senior Interpreter recommends: In his book, Michael Butter does an excellent job of identifying the distinguishing features of conspiracy theories as well as the ways such ideas are disseminated in this (globally connected) day and age. However, what is perhaps even more enlightening is the historical perspective the author provides: he convincingly demonstrates that, for a very long time, conspiratorial thinking was deemed a perfectly legitimate type of reasoning, including in mainstream circles.

Exponential: How the Next Digital Revolution Will Rewire Life on Earth

Executive Officer, Emerging Security Challenges recommends: I started reading it after Azeem was here at the HQ and gave a book talk. He made very good points about the need for change, and the connections between technological development and what governments and international organisations can do to keep pace. He also has a wonderful insightful weekly blog that I now follow. His suggestions for further reading are rather inspiring.

The 360 Degrees Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization

Talent Development Assistant recommends: I have been recommending John Maxwell’s book to anyone that comes looking for recommendations on personal development. Maxwell argues that we need to lead wherever we are, and we need to begin thinking about being leaders long before we are recognized as being part of leadership because there are tangible benefits both now and in the future. 

The Ambassadors: Thinking about Diplomacy from Machiavelli to Modern times

Senior Policy Adviser recommends: Robert Cooper explores the craft and creativity that constitutes diplomacy, statecraft and grand strategy. This is not a history book as such but more of a personal retelling of episodes that mean much to Cooper the historian-diplomat. Its value lies in the way that Cooper intersperses historical analysis with asides drawn from his own diplomatic experience.

The Future Is History : How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

Head of Information Support recommends: In this brave and eloquent book, Russian-American Journalist Masha Gessen charts the lives of four Russians born as the Soviet Union crumbled and whose life experiences were shaped almost entirely under Putin’s presidency. Filled with modern ideologies and ambitions, they struggle against the machinations of the regime that would seek to crush them.

Not One Inch: American, Russia and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate

US MilRep recommends: This fascinating new book by award-winning author M.E Sharotte has delivered a just-in-time, heavily-researched book, laying out the missteps, could-have-been’s, and mutual misunderstandings which have led to Russia’s current gigantic gamble in Ukraine. “Not one Inch” needs to be required reading for those seized by the current war. Utterly timely and relevant!

Thinking, Fast and Slow

NATO Chief Information Officer recommends: In this work, Daniel Kahneman brings together his many years of research and thinking in one book. He explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. He reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking.

Putin's World : Russia against the West and with the Rest

Head, Security Policy and Partnership recommends: If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of Russia or add context to the Russian war against Ukraine, then this is the reading I recommend.  Angela Stent’s “Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest” is a very readable yet comprehensive overview of how Russia’s foreign policy evolved (and why) in the past several decades.

Negotiating the New START Treaty

Officer, Multinational Capability Cooperation recommends: Rose Gottemoeller delivers in this book an invaluable insider's account of the negotiations between the US and Russian delegations in Geneva in 2009 and 2010. It examines the crucially important discussions about the treaty between President Obama and President Medvedev, and it describes the tough negotiations Gottemoeller and her team went through to gain the support of the Senate for the treaty.

Aftershocks : Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order

Intern, Public Diplomacy recommends: This book represents the perfect portrait of our contemporary history. It criticizes policy choices taken by different leaders yet helps the reader understand what future awaits the world by analyzing recent global crises, as the Covid-19 pandemic, and their inevitable aftermath. 


Cyber Conflict after Stuxnet: Essays from the Other Bank of the Rubicon

Cyber and Hybrid Policy Intern recommends: Through the lens of Stuxnet, this book explores areas including international law, internet governance, how different countries including Russia, China, and Iran viewed the attack. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to start learning about the political dimensions of cyberspace.