The Best Texts on Leadership (Pt. 2)
Career-critical lessons aren’t learned purely through independent willpower: this is a fact that the greatest of leaders can verify. For them, earning a place at the top meant recognizing that leadership–while it may at times seem insular and isolated–is a process of community. By listening when the time is right and the advice is strong, leadership is performed not as a string of static-minded commands, but a fluid, adaptive act. Familiarizing yourself with the qualities, philosophies, and choices that define the world’s greatest movers and shakers is as easy as exploring these titles, all of which are rich in expertise.
“Leadership” by James MacGregor-Burns
In a systematic review that spans generations, James Macgregor Burns delves into the factors that separate true leaders–who work with followers to achieve mutual benefit–from what he terms “power wielders:” figures who seize control to facilitate an ego-driven agenda, with no consideration as to how its fulfillment will affect their subjects. To draw this distinction, Burns lays out the paradigm of transactional vs. transforming leaders. While the former swaps value in a cold exchange, i.e. elected politicians promising renewed social services in return for popular support, the latter is propelled by personal morality to serve not themselves, but their followers’ cause–even after they achieve power.
“Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” by Adam Grant
All industries thirst for creativity; for those capable of squeezing from their mind the first drops that prophesy a monsoon of innovation. “Originals” is dedicated to illuminating the habits, tendencies and thought patterns that produce original concepts. Grant backs his points with surprising science–such as a study which reveals that some of history’s most original creations, from the Gettysburg Address to the Mona Lisa, were actually the product of procrastination. By highlighting the non-conformist attitudes of modern superachievers like Steve Wozniak, J.J Abrams, Jerry Seinfeld and more, “Originals” demonstrates the end result it encourages in readers: novel thoughts and a unique presentation.
“The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life” by Jeff Olson
There is a mindset common to all those who win; it’s the “slight edge” that separates achievers from daydreamers. Olson dispels the fantasy of the overnight superstar, and instead focuses on how small, everyday lifestyle changes, such as reading a small amount every day–will compound over time into the skills needed to meet your goals. Olson illustrates how simple, positive changes in how you approach daily tasks can banish toxic habits and guarantee success.
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The best texts on leadership (Pt. 1)
Whether you are new to a leadership role or you are simply in search of fresh motivation, there are a variety of top leadership texts worth your consideration. Here are a few of the most noteworthy titles currently on the market.
“Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results” by Judith Glaser
“Conversational intelligence” is a vital but occasionally overlooked talent within leadership, and Judith Glaser discusses its former quality in this effective text. Rather than emphasizing intellectual prowess alone, Glaser suggests that “it’s not about how smart you are, but how open you are to learn new and effective powerful conversational rituals that prime the brain for trust, partnership, and mutual success.”
“Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink
Daniel H. Pink dissects motivation pertaining to a variety of environments, from the workplace to the home. The text links self-direction and creation to increased evidence of success and high performance, citing three primary elements contributing to “true motivation:” autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Pink employes the observations of both entrepreneurs and scientists to provide a comprehensive examination of motivation in a modern context.
“Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business” By Charles Duhigg
In “Smarter Faster Better,” Charles Duhigg explores the scientific implications surrounding a well established, yet layered aspect of successful leadership: productivity. Specifically, Duhigg delves into the management of how we think rather than what we think — a way of thinking that has shown to have a transformative impact on a leader’s abilities.
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change“ by Stephen R. Covey
Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” has a fairly self-explanatory title; it identifies a handful of vital habits consistently exhibited by successful individuals — especially those holding leadership positions. Covey’s unique voice and interpretation of success has allowed the title to endure as a top leadership text, selling over 15 million copies to date.
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The best texts on leadership
In today’s world, leadership is needed more than ever. If you want to stand out and achieve success as a leader, you should try reading the following texts:
“Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton
This groundbreaking work is based on the Harvard Negotiation Project which was a 1981 book. The strategies for dealing with conflicts in personal and business life set William Ury apart from the industry in terms of teaching negotiating by focusing on interests instead of positions in a deal.
“Getting Things Done” by David Allen
If you are having problems staying organized, then David Allen’s text is the first thing you should read. The way to get your ideas and papers in order is to have a framework. This system that Allen lays out is easy to follow and simple to understand. Anyone can turn around their life if they read through to the end and put the tips into practice.
“Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman
In today’s world, it is less about what you know and more about how you can control your emotions. Those that have a solid emotional intelligence score can communicate and progress in work and life more easily.
“Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk has quickly gained recognition for his ability to cut through the excuses and help people take action in their lives. His book is all about getting through obstacles and never quitting in your pursuit of success. It’s a book every leader should read.
“Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
This classic on leadership and wealth should be a desktop reference for anyone looking to lead in their lives. The tips are timeless and the writing is succinct and to the point without speaking down to the reader.
When it comes to leadership, it is a process not one event. You must always be looking to get better in your life and career. Reading is a powerful way to do that. Don’t fall behind your peers. Instead, capture opportunity by reading the texts above and taking your ability to lead to the next level.
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