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As part of the revitalized Omniquest program, we asked the Northwood community to nominate books that support the purpose of the Omniquest program: promoting The Northwood Idea, community building, personal enrichment, leadership, and career readiness.   

Each fall our Omniquest selection focuses on facets of The Northwood Idea and each spring our Omniquest selection focuses on personal and professional development. We received numerous nominations from students, faculty, staff and alumni, making the selection process difficult! I would like to thank the Omniquest Selection Committee for their diligence in the selection and recommendation process. They have selected two books that will enrich our coming academic year.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the Omniquest selections for the 2024-2025 academic year:

FALL 2024: The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey by Ken Schoolland

SPRING 2025: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Below is some additional information about each of the selections.


Current Selection

Fall 2024 – The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey

The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible tells the story of a boy who becomes shipwrecked on an unfamiliar island after being swept out to sea in a storm. Having previously lived in a relatively free society, in this new strange land he experiences culture shock as he learns of bewildering laws and traditions of the islands inhabitants. The story highlights the absurdities of the laws, the controls imposed on people’s lives, and the economic drawbacks of these laws. The laws highlighted are recognizable as common to many countries throughout the world. As the story unfolds, the part individuals in society play in political decision-making and personal responsibility is introduced for discussion. 

As Jonathan meanders on his way around the Isle of Corrumpo, he meets the Food Police, Uncle Samta, the True Believers, the Grand Inquirer and the Democracy Gang along the way – along with many more wacky inhabitants whose strange ideas and even stranger ways Jonathan is challenged to understand and straighten out. Translated into over 40 languages and 44 published editions, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible has won numerous awards and has been endorsed by Steve Forbes, Walter Williams, John Stossel, Mark Skousen, and Austrian-School economists and educators throughout the world. The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible has become the classic free-market mix of Frederic Bastiat, Adam Smith, von Mises, and Pat Paulsen! “This book makes you laugh, but it leaves you meditating…(on) the principles of a free economy and a free society”, Valentina Buxar, Fundatia Liberala, Romania. “It certainly presents basic economic principles in a very simple and intelligent form. It is an imaginative and very useful (book)!”, Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate, Economics.

The book cover of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey

Spring 2025 — Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

Combat, the most intense and dynamic environment imaginable, teaches the toughest leadership lessons, with absolutely everything at stake. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin learned this reality first-hand on the most violent and dangerous battlefield in Iraq. As leaders of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, their mission was one many thought impossible: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a violent, insurgent-held city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping, firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories, they learned that leadership―at every level―is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails.

Willink and Babin returned home from deployment and instituted SEAL leadership training to pass on their harsh lessons of self-discipline, mental toughness and self-defense learned in combat to help forge the next generation of SEAL leaders. After leaving the SEAL Teams, they launched a company, Echelon Front, to teach those same leadership principles to leaders in businesses, companies, and organizations across the civilian sector. Since that time, they have trained countless leaders and worked with hundreds of companies in virtually every industry across the U.S. and internationally, teaching them how to develop their own high-performance teams and most effectively lead those teams to dominate their battlefields.

Since its release in October 2015, Extreme Ownership has revolutionized leadership development and set a new standard for literature on the subject. Required reading for many of the most successful organizations, it has become an integral part of the official leadership training programs for scores of business teams, military units, and first responders. Detailing the resilient mindset and total focus principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or   organization, in any leadership environment. A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.

The book cover of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

2008-2009

  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
  • Capitalism At The Crossroads, 2nd Edition by Stuart L. Hart
  • Simply Success: How to Start, Build, and Grow a Multimillion-Dollar Business the Old Fashioned Way by Jack Miller

2007-2008

  • Where Have All The Leaders Gone? by Lee Iacocca
  • The Science of Success by Charles G. Koch
  • New Ideas from Dead CEO’s by Todd Buchholz

2006-2007

  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  • An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths by Glenn Reynolds, 2006, Nelson Current, ISBN: 159555042

2005-2006

  • Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni
  • Cleaning Up by Barry Minkow
  • The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman

2004-2005

  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • The Commanding Heights by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw

2003-2004

  • Founding Brothers (The Revolutionary Generation) by Joseph J. Ellis
  • Homesick by Sela Ward
  • Sailing Alone & Around the Room by Billy Collins

2002-2003

  • Ben Franklin’s 12 Rules of Management by Blaine McCormick
  • The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
  • Make It BIG: 49 Secrets for Building a Life of Extreme Success by Frank McKinney with Victoria St. George

2001-2002

  • Fish! by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen
  • Living a Life That Matters by Harold S. Kushner
  • The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley

2000-2001

  • The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw
  • Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
  • No Place for a Woman: A Life of Senator Margaret Chase Smith by Janann Sherman

1999-2000

  • Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
  • How Now Shall We Live? by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey
  • Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

1998-1999

  • Leading with Soul by Lee G. Bolman & Terrence E. Deal
  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson
  • The Northwood Idea: People Helping People

1997-1998

  • In Search of Nature by Edward O. Wilson
  • Image by Design by Clive Chajet & Tom Shachtman
  • Nuts! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success by Kevin and Jackie Freiberg

1996-1997

  • The Winner Within: A Life Plan for Team Players by Pat Riley
  • The Road Ahead by Bill Gates
  • The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America by Phillip K. Howard

1995-1996

  • Beyond Race and Gender: Unleashing the Power of Your Total Work Force by Managing Diversity by R. Roosevelt Thomas
  • Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy by Viktor Frankl
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization by Peter Senge

1994-1995

  • Compassionate Capitalism: People Helping People Help Themselves by Rich DeVos
  • Beating the Street by Peter Lynch
  • The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protection by Russell D. Roberts

1993-1994

  • Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future – Today by George Land and Beth Jarman
  • The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox
  • Principle-Centered Leadership by Stephen R. Covey

1992-1993

  • 2020 Visions: Long View of a Changing World by Richard Carlson and Bruce Goldman
  • Changing Course: A Global Business Perspective on Development and the Environment by Stephan Schmidheiny
  • Recapturing the Spirit of Enterprise by George Gilder

1991-1992

  • Essentials of Business Ethics by Peter Madsen and Jay M. Shafritz, Eds.
  • The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America by Shelby Steele
  • The Man Who Discovered Quality: How W. Edwards Deming Brought the Quality Revolution to America – The Stories of Ford, Xerox, and GM by Andrea Gabor

1990-1991

  • The New Realities by Peter F. Drucker
  • Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition by Harvey Mackay
  • Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus