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Professional Library




Thoughts on Learning

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." - President John F. Kennedy

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."- Gen. (Ret) Colin Powell

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

DoD MWR Libraries

enlightenedDid you know...

Department of Defense Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Libraries encourage and empower service members, civilians and families to embrace life-long learning. MWR provides online access to library services and eResources - members can search for new library materials online and upcoming programs at their local installation library, learn a new language, find a tutor, check out digital and audio books, read current newspapers and magazines, and more!

Eligible members include active duty military members and reserves, eligible family members, DoD civilians, military retirees, and 100% service-disabled veterans.

To learn more and register for a card, visit


Check out some of the great professional podcasts from across AFMC!

TCE logoThe Contracting Experience

The Contracting Experience connects government contracting professionals to the world around them through conversations with acquisition influencers, insights into evolving hot topics, and by sharing lessons learned from the field.

Lab Life LogoLab Life Podcast by AFRL

Supersonic flight. GPS. Space food. Big developments come out of the Air Force Research Laboratory. Lab Life brings you behind the scenes with the Air Force scientists, engineers and professionals who are developing tomorrow’s technology, today.

LL podcast logoAFLCMC Leadership Log

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Leadership Log podcast lets listeners hear directly from senior leaders across the center as they share their insights and perspectives on topical issues of interest to our entire work force.

TT podcast logoTinker Talks

A podcast dedicated to the latest events and happenings on one of the largest Air Force bases, Tinker Talks features various perspectives from the 5,600-acre installation. This podcast shares stories, updates and insights on Tinker Air Force Base.


Welcome to the AFMC Professional Library

Welcome to the Air Force Materiel Command Professional Library. This site contains diverse media recommended by command leadership to support the professional growth and leadership development of our people.

We are committed to our warfighter professional development. This site provides a list of books, podcasts, lectures, videos, discussions and more on topics that relate to Air Force and AFMC leadership focus areas. The content on this page will change regularly as new thoughts, concepts and ideas that influence how we think and operate emerge across the intellectual domain. 

We encourage you to review this media with an open mind so that you can apply concepts to your personal and professional life across all areas. Our goal is for this Professional Library to spark critical thinking; deep conversations with fellow Airmen, colleagues, family members and friends; and ultimately, leadership skill development.

Our people are our most powerful asset; only by ensuring they have the tools and resources to learn and grow can we continue to be the most important command for the future.

Together we are one AFMC...powering the world's greatest Air Force. 

Leadership Recommendations

freak imageThink Like a Freak 
By Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

The authors take us inside their thought processes and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, and more rationally.


originals imageOriginals 
By Adam Grant

In Originals, Adam Grant addresses the challenge of improving the world, but from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions.


Machine, Platform, Crowd imageMachine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing our Digital Future 
By Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson

The authors outline the opportunities and challenges inherent in the science fiction technologies that have come to life in recent years, such as self-driving cars, 3D printers and more.


The Truth About TransformationThe Truth About Transformation
By Deborah Patton and Kevin Novak

The authors offer guidance for leaders to understand the myriad forces impacting efforts directed at transformation within organizations and a set of guidelines and tools to make such efforts more successful.


Balanced Accountability book imageBalanced Accountability
By Hernani Alves

The author provides a roadmap and framework for high-performing organizations.


Theory of Constraints imageTheory of Constraints 
By Eliyahu Goldratt

Theory of Constraints walks you through the crucial stages of a continuous program: focusing; the process of change; effect-cause-effect; and how to invent simple solutions to complex problems.


Rules of Flow imageGoldratt's Rules of Flow 
By Efrat Goldratt-Ashlag

Rules of Flow simplifies how projects should be tracked and greatly improves predictability and delivery of products.


The Goal imageThe Goal 
By Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox

With help from a mysterious mentor, Rogo discovers a revolutionary new way to do business-a way for people in any field of endeavor to increase productivity, profitability, and personal fulfillment. The story of Alex's fight to save his plant contains a serious message for all managers in industry and explains the ideas which underline the Theory of Constraints developed by Dr. Goldratt.

freak imageThe Logic of Failure
By Dietrich Dorner

The author identifies what he calls the "logic of failure" -- certain tendencies in our patterns of thought that, while appropriate to an older, simpler world, prove disastrous for the complex world we live in now.


freak imageWooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court
By John Wooden

Coach Wooden shares his personal philosophy on family, achievement, success, and excellence.


wyatt earp book imageWyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal
By Stuart Lake

The biography of Wyatt Earp, legend of the Old West. 


Getting Defense Acquisition Right imageGetting Defense Acquisition Right 
By Hon. Frank Kendall

In "Getting Defense Acquisition Right," Kendall shares a selection of his articles, statements, and correspondence in a logical progression that provides insight into where Defense acquisition has been and a greater understanding of the complex system in place today.


The Fifth Discipline imageThe Fifth Discipline 
By Peter M. Senge

Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning blocks that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations, in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create the results they truly desire.

Polarity Management imagePolarity Management 
By Barry Johnson

Some complex problems simply do not have solutions. The key to being an effective leader is being able to recognize and manage such problems. Polarity Management presents a unique model and set of principles that will challenge you to look at situations in new ways.


Ghost Fleet imageGhost Fleet 
By P.W. Singer and August Cole

A story of a novel war set in a not-to-distant future.



Burn-In imageBurn-In 
By P.W. Singer and August Cole

A novel of the real robotic revolution: An FBI agent hunts a new kind of terrorist through a Washington D.C. of the future.


Dare to Lead imageDare to Lead 
By Brene Brown

Brown explores the concept of daring leadership in a culture defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty, which requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human.


The Mentor Leader imageThe Mentor Leader 
By Tony Dungy

Football player and coach Tony Dungy shares the principles of mentor leadership that have helped him to lead many to success on and off the field.


Leading from Anywhere imageLeading from Anywhere 
By David Burkus

A guide to successfully leading remote teams from onboarding and acculturation to beyond.


Boldly Go imageTo Boldly Go: Leadership, Strategy, and Conflict in the 21st Century and Beyond New!
By Jonathan Klug, Steven Leonard, and Maj. Gen. Mick Ryan (Foreword)

A multi-author exploration of leadership and strategy through the lens of classic science fiction.


The Hero CodeThe Hero Code 
By Admiral William H. McRaven

The Hero Code is not a cypher, a puzzle, or a secret message. It is a code of conduct, lessons in virtues that can become the foundations of our character as we build a life worthy of honor and respect.


Why We SleepWhy We Sleep 
By Matthew Walker, PhD

Sleep expert Matthew Walker provides a revolutionary exploration of sleep, examining how it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being.


Leaders Eat LastLeaders Eat Last 
By Simon Sinek

Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.


Beyond the Little Blue BookBeyond the Little Blue Book: Making Our Core Values Our Corps Values! 
By Bob Vasquez

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Bob Vásquez helps to unpack the importance of the U.S Air Force Core Values and  reminds readers why the commitment is worth the sacrifice.


Ego is the EnemyEgo is the Enemy
By Ryan Holiday

The author educates readers on ways to be humble in aspirations, gracious in triumph, and resilient through failures. Insights are drawn from the ancient classical thinkers and Stoic philosophers, weaving in narratives of current politicians and business leaders.


Leadership SecretsLeadership Secrets of Attila the Hun
By Wess Roberts

The author explains how the legendary military commander's principles of leadership can be applied to contemporary business situations.


XLR8 thumbnailXLR8
By John P. Kotter

The author provides a powerful new framework for competing and winning in a world of constant turbulence and disruption.


Insight thumbnailInsight
By Tasha Eurich

The author offers techniques and strategies to help readers be more self-aware and ways they can use this insight to be more fulfilled, confident, and successful in life and in work.


Creativity, Inc thumbnailCreativity, Inc.
By Ed Catmull

A co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios offers an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership.


The Kill Chain thumbnailThe Kill Chain
By Christian Brose

The future will be defined by artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, and other emerging technologies that are revolutionizing global industries and are now poised to overturn the model of American defense. This book confronts the existential risks on the horizon, charting a way for America's military to adapt and succeed with new thinking as well as new technology. 

Measure what mattersMeasure What Matters
By John Doerr

Venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how it can help any organization thrive.


Talking to Strangers thumbnailTalking to Strangers
By Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell offers more thoughtful ways of behaving among strangers and advocates for people to embrace trust, rather than defaulting to distrust.


I'm Still here thumbnailI’m Still Here
By Austin Channing Brown

From a leading voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female that explores how white America’s efforts towards diversity often falls short of its ideals.


The Go-GiverThe Go-Giver
By Bob Burg

The author explores how changing focus from getting to giving, putting others' interests first and continually adding value to their lives, ultimately leads to unexpected returns.


Super Better thumbnailSuper Better
By Jane McGonigal

An innovative guide to living more 'gamefully' and becoming more resilient.



Give and TakeGive and Take
By Adam Grant

A look at why our interactions with others hold the key to success.


Bomber mafiaThe Bomber Mafia
By Malcolm Gladwell

The author explores how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war.


operation mincemeatOperation Mincemeat
By Ben Macintyre

How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory



Leadership Articles
Harvard Business Review

By Arthur Elliott Carlisle, in Organizational Dynamics

This story of an oil refinery manager and his unique management style was first published in Organizational Dynamics in 1976. The author describes how MacGregor developed a managerial system that required the self-development of his employees. He was able to motivate and satisfy his subordinates by pushing decision-making down the organizational level and putting them in learning situations.


WorkLife with Adam Grant – Adam Grant and guests help us to re-think and improve our experiences at work… where we spend 25% of our life!

War on the Rocks – Good defense and foreign policy discussions with subject matter experts. Don't miss the Feb. 1 episode with Maj. Gen. Tullos!

Revisionist History with Malcom Gladwell – Interesting perspectives on significant world events of the past.

Freakonomics – Stephen Dubner brings in world-renowned experts and weaves economics into today’s technology.

TED Radio Hour – Big thinkers and doers present talks on world events.

This American Life – Ira Glass (first podcast I ever listened to) cleverly weaves human interest events into must-listen and informative stories.

Hidden Brain with Shankar Vendantam – Using Science and and good storytelling, Shankar helps us understand human behavior and motives.

on chinaOn China
By Henry Kissinger

On China illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and tight line modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, and Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Beijing. 


The Avoidable WarThe Avoidable War
By Kevin Rudd

The Avoidable War demystifies the actions of both the U.S. and China, explaining and translating them for the benefit of the other. Geopolitical disaster is still avoidable, but only if these two giants can find a way to coexist without betraying their core interests through what Rudd calls “managed strategic competition”. 


Destined for WarDestined for War
By Graham Allison

The U.S. and China are heading towards a war that neither wants. Clashing powers have kept the peace in the past, and there are steps both countries must take to avoid disaster today.



Long GameThe Long Game
By Rush Doshi

The author examines China's grand strategy to disrupt American order.




Secretary of the Air Force China Reading List

book imageRecoding America New!

By Jennifer Pahlka

Pahlka shows why we must stop trying to move the government we have today onto new technology and instead consider what it would mean to truly "recode" American government.

book imageFreedom's Forge New!

By Arthur Herman

A look at how two businessmen turned the U.S. into a military powerhouse during World War II. 


book imageSysML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Systems Modeling 

By Lenny Delligatti

Delligatti illuminates SysML’s core components and provides practical advice to help you create good models and good designs.


book imageThe Success of Open Source 

By Steven Weber

Open source's success in a highly competitive industry has subverted many assumptions about how businesses are run, and how intellectual products are created and protected..


HBR logoDigital Transformation Is Not About Technology

By Behnam Tabrizi, Ed Lam, Kirk Girard, and Vernon Irvin, Harvard Business Review

The authors talk about the importance of including digital in the overall business strategy.

HBR logoDigital Doesn’t Have to Be Disruptive
By Nathan Furr and Andrew Shipilov

The best results can come from adaptation rather than reinvention.

hudson institute think tank logoSTUDY:  Competing in Time 
By William Greenwalt and Dan Patt, Hudson Institute

Study:  The authors discuss the current budget planning process in the Department of Defense. Emerging technologies, especially information technologies, are central to future conflict and are largely commercial and globalized. The defense acquisition process and legacy defense industrial base approach struggle to accommodate timely adoption of these technologies, as evidenced by lengthy modern time cycles (more than ten years) for development and fielding of new-start weapon systems.



How to Be an Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can ThriveHow to Be an Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive*New!
By Jennifer Brown

The author provides a roadmap for leaders in how to create a culture that thrives.


The Culture CodeThe Culture Code *New!
By Daniel Coyle

Where does great culture come from? How do you build and sustain it in your group, or strengthen a culture that needs fixing?


The Inclusion DividendThe Inclusion Dividend *New!
By Mason Donovan and Mark Kaplan

Working effectively across differences such as gender, culture, generational, race, and sexual orientation not only leads to a more productive, innovative corporate culture, but also to a better engagement with customers and clients.


Fearless organization thumbnailThe Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth 
By Amy C. Edmondson

Practical guidance for teams and organizations who are serious about success in the modern economy.


Inclusion thumbnailInclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change 
By Jennifer Brown

The author shares strategies to empower members of the entire organization to utilize all of their talents and potential to drive positive organizational change and the future of work.



Radical Candor thumbnailRadical Candor
By Kim Scott

Radical Candor is about caring personally and challenging directly, about soliciting criticism to improve leadership and also providing guidance that helps others grow.


InclusifyInclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams
By Stefanie K. Johnson, Amanda Dolan, et al.

A management expert outlines the transformative leadership skill of tomorrow—one that can make it possible to build truly diverse and inclusive teams which value employees' need to belong while being themselves.


inclusive leaderHow to Be an Inclusive Leader: Creating Trust, Cooperation, and Community Across Differences
By Jennifer Brown

We know why diversity is important, but how do we drive real change at work? This is a step-by-step guide for the personal and emotional journey we must undertake to create an inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive. 


leader's guideThe Leader's Guide to Unconscious Bias: How to Reframe Bias, Cultivate Connection, and Create High-Performing Teams
By Pamela Fuller (Author, Narrator), Mark Murphy (Author, Narrator), Anne Chow (Author, Narrator)

A must-have guide to understanding and overcoming bias in the workplace.




The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by Air Force Materiel Command, Department of the Air Force Libraries, the United States Air Force, or the Department of Defense of any eResources, or the information, products or services contained therein.  The United States Air Force does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.  Such links provided are consistent with the stated purpose of this webpage.