As the world evolves around us, so does the role of a leader. Not only in corporate, but more than anything else, leadership is also a life skill. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a full-time parent, capable leadership impacts every facet of your life.
From a new manager to a seasoned professional, it is imperative to lead the path for most growth and impact.
Here is our shortlist of 5 books penned by industry titans that are bound to guide managers from all walks of life, and across all points in their careers.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
Rich with her personal experience, Lean In explores the behind-the-scenes psyche of women in leadership and challenges our conditioning and perception of ambitious women. Without being preachy, this book encourages them to feel more assertive and confident in their managerial stance.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John C. Maxwell
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
Contrary to the popular trope that managers must lead with their head, 21 Irrefutable Laws advocates leading from the heart. Maxwell gives special prominence to emotions, empathy and excellent organisation as the core of a successful leadership style. A treasure trove of simple, anecdotal wisdom for the true unification of team goals.
The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently by Tony Dungy
“Engage, educate, equip, encourage, empower, energize, and elevate. Those are the methods for maximizing the potential of any individual, team, organization, or institution for ultimate success and significance. Those are the methods of a mentor leader.”
A celebrated former NFL coach, Dungy expounds upon the benefits and ways to elevate potential and drive the team to success in The Mentor Leader. Drawing interesting parallels from sports team management and transcending the learnings across verticals is why this one makes the list.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
“Build a culture that rewards—not punishes—people for getting problems into the open where they can be solved.”
Being a leader is no walk in the park. It’s an endless loop of making hard decisions in the shortest time that will have a maximum favourable impact. (No pressure, right?) Through this book, Horowitz attempts to address the realities of the role, especially for entrepreneurs, where being agile with little or no backup is of the essence.
Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
“Establish a clear purpose; challenge the team to work out details; traverse conventional departmental boundaries; set large short-term and long-term targets; create tangible success to generate accelerated growth and momentum.”
The pandemic has shown us how fickle our world is, and how easy it is to find tough times. Leadership becomes even more critical when things aren’t going well, and that is why this book is a masterclass. Charting the transformation of leadership through the times of war or civil unrest, Goodwin exemplifies turning tragedy into achievement.
Bonus Good Read
Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business by John Mackey, Steve Mcintosh, and Carter Phipps
“Whether they know it or not, every person and every organization has the potential to embrace, enact, and unify people around a higher purpose.”
Mackey, the Founder of Whole Foods brings us this wholesome manifesto for ethical and emphatic business practice. Championing value and purpose in every facet of leadership, Conscious Leadership intends to bring out the best in everyone with collaboration and a sense of community.
Which book do you love to read for professional growth? Share your recommendations with us @fable.street on Instagram.