5 Books for Improving Leadership Skills


About 6 month ago, I decided to work on improving my leadership skills. I lead Accessible Community and co-lead the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group. I care deeply about the missions and participants in both so want to be as effective as possible in these roles. I owe that to the talented and passionate people who dedicate their time and energy to making the world better for people with disabilities.

My approach, likely based on my background in libraries, was to create a reading list of books related to leadership. I searched for recommendations from others and have now read (or read and rejected) most of them. I have compiled a list of the five books I found most helpful in case you too want to improve your leadership skills and want a short, succinct list.

I’ve linked to Amazon here, but these are likely available at your local library.

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

If you want to improve your leadership and can only read one book, this is the one I’d recommend. It combines leadership advice with practical recommendations on how to deal with conflict and constantly improve yourself and teams.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

This book presents strategies and behaviors to transform an organization into a place that produces great results and where people thrive. It also goes through developing skills and approaches to being an effective leader in these types of organizations. This book is helpful for mid-level leaders who want to move up, but priceless for someone in charge of a business or organization.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

This book presents the skills you need to be a good leader and ways to assess yourself one each skill. It compliments Dare to Lead and Good to Great. These three books together provide a great roadmap for leading an organization.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book is more generic and focuses on interpersonal skills. It is an older book but its a classic for a reason. It provides the basic skills needed to work well with others.

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

This is also an older book and may not seem an obvious choice for this list but I’ve found it invaluable for becoming a better leader of a non-profit. While written for salesmen, it really is about how to lead a joy-filled and productive life. Several of the Laws of Leadership from Maxwell include being productive and modeling the actions and values you want others to embrace – this book helps you improve yourself to do this.

Note: The book includes a fictional story of a salesman placed within the bible but if you find that part offensive instead of fun, you can read only chapter 8-17. The book is intended to be read over 300 days, with each chapter read 3 times a day for 30 days (they are short). You can adjust this however you wish but I did commit to this a few years ago and found the process really useful. I revisited the book again while reviewing leadership books and felt it still has great value on this list.

WCAG 2.2 Status Update

AGWG Informal Update

We have begun the process of moving WCAG 2.2 to Candidate Recommendation (CR) status. What does this mean? It means that we are moving forward and that there are several review and approval steps yet to be completed.  We are on track to release WCAG 2.2 before the end of this year.  You can view the editor’s draft which is being considered for CR. For more details, please read “What’s New in WCAG 2.2 Working Draft.”

Accessibility Mentoring Program

Accessibility Mentoring Program. Together we can do so much.

The Accessibility Mentoring Program is starting its Fall 2022 rotation.  We are accepting applications from protégés around the world on a rolling basis.

Helping to coordinate this program has been an incredible experience. Our mentors are talented, experienced accessibility professionals who are willing to devote their time. Our protégés are equally talented professionals. Meeting both has been an honor. Mentoring is a true joy – I learn so much from the protégés I get to work with.

This rotation, we are expanding our offerings. We will also be offering a few 2-hour workshops to anyone who has applied on topics like interviewing and preparing for the IAAP certification.

I am grateful to the people and organizations in the accessibility community who make this program possible:

If you are interested in becoming a mentor or participating organization, please send an email to mentoring@accessiblecommunity.org.

Learn more at Accessible Community Mentoring or apply using our updated protégé application.

WCAG 3 compliant? Check again

As I mentioned in my previous article, the WCAG 3 content is still exploratory. That means that the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AGWG) is iterating, changing, and even removing content. Drafts provide a way for the public to see what AGWG is doing and provide feedback. The accessibility guidelines serve a world-wide community. Crafting them takes time, careful consideration, and as many eyes and minds as possible. Sometimes, we may post alternative approaches and request feedback. As WCAG 2.2 wraps up, these changes and requests for feedback will be much more frequent.

Because WCAG 3 is still a draft, it should not be cited or treated as guidance. We welcome early adopters who are willing to try out WCAG 3 and provide feedback. In fact, we really need this type of experimentation and participation from the accessibility community and we will reach out to experts in various areas to help us. If you choose to experiment, please do not be surprised when WCAG 3 changes.

Within the AGWG, we typically differentiate between conformance and compliance. From our perspective, web content can conform to WCAG but would comply with a law that references WCAG.


1.       WCAG 3 is still in draft. Nothing can conform or comply with WCAG 3 at this time while it is in draft. It should not even be cited as guidance at this time.

2.       After W3C publishes WCAG 3 as W3C guidance, web content creators will be able to declare conformance to it.

3.       After WCAG 3 is a W3C recommendation, organizations responsible for writing law, policy, or regulation may reference or adopt it. Then compliance comes into play. The W3C does not write laws, policies, or regulations. Because those organizations responsible for this step need time to evaluate the impact of a new standard and integrate it into their existing regulatory content, this step takes time.

In short, if someone is currently claiming WCAG 3 compliance or even conformance, check again. The most reputable source for the current status of WCAG 3 is the W3C’s WCAG 3 Introduction.

WCAG 2.2 and WCAG 3 Status Updates

Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AGWG) Informal Update


As a co-chair of the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AGWG), I often read social media posts about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) with concern. There is a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication about the AGWG standards process:

  1. How fast it can be done,
  2. Where we are in any given process,
  3. How to contribute, and
  4. When it is best to adopt.

In an effort to clarify, I will periodically post updates here on LinkedIn.

 A few notes:

  1. These posts present my perspective as a co-chair. They are not official W3C statements.
  2. Please keep the tone of comments professional. I will delete unkind posts on threads to ensure that the most people possible can read the conversation without experiencing anxiety.

WCAG 2.2

The AGWG is finalizing the contents of WCAG 2.2 and preparing to send it to implementation testing and into the final review stages. All new success criteria must be shown to work in live websites in order to move forward. The implementation process typically takes a few months. There are additional review stages by the W3C that also require a few months. We expect WCAG 2.2 to be available later this year.

We are running behind our original schedule for a few reasons. First, because the success criteria that were not included in 2.0 and 2.1 were often left out because they were difficult to define well. Many of the new success criteria in 2.2 have a number of edge cases that need to be addressed and that takes a lot of testing and careful wording. Second, we received a lot of excellent feedback in our second wide review. We value public feedback and this takes time to work through. Third, we are working on two specifications at the same time (WCAG 2.2 and WCAG 3) – there are only so many hours in a day.


WCAG 3 is still in its early stages. I can’t stress this enough. We published a first public working draft and received excellent feedback. As a result, we are reworking much of the approach included in that first draft. The draft guidelines are included as demonstrations and to get feedback. At any time they may be changed or removed. This includes the color contrast SC.

To help clarify what stage content is in, we are adding markup to the drafts:

  1. Placeholder: This content is temporary, it showcases the type of content or section to expect here. All of this is expected to be replaced. No feedback is needed on placeholder content. 
  2. Exploratory: The working group is exploring what direction to take with this section. This content is not refined, details and definitions may be missing. Feedback should be about the proposed direction.
  3. Developing: There is rough agreement on what is needed for this section, although not all high-level concerns have been settled. Details have been filled, but are yet to be worked out. Feedback should be focused on ensuring the sections are usable and reasonable in a broad sense.
  4. Refining: The working group has reach consensus on this section. It is ready for broad public review and experimental adoption. Feedback should be focused on the feasibility and implementability.
  5. Mature: Content is believed by the working group to be ready for recommendation. Feedback should be focused on edge case scenarios the working group may not have anticipated.

This markup is in the editor’s draft but not yet in the working draft. Please note that nothing in WCAG 3 is higher than exploratory right now. I will discuss drafts and how best to monitor and contribute to them in a future article.

WCAG 3 will not be available for at least 4 years. There will be many opportunities to provide feedback during that time and I will announce those opportunities here. If you see different information, please encourage the poster to refer back here.

I will be posting additional resources and information in the future.