Think before you speak and read before you think is an excellent adage to run your life. We think so we are. Reading is as essential as breathing for anyone who wants to get ahead in life. And leaders in any field need to think for others. Hence, a good reading habit is an essential part of widening the grey cells.
Must-Read Leadership Books of 2020
Our experts share their list of must-read management and leadership books you should read in 2020, such as PowerShift and Leadership is Language.
Powershift: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome
By Daymond John
Written by Daymond John of Shark Tank fame, he talks on what it takes to find the power in the room and make it work to your advantage. He says it means tapping into your ability to build influence, to negotiate for the things you need and want, and to nurture your relationships to take you where you want to go.
The Leader's Greatest Return: Attracting, Developing, and Multiplying Leaders
By John C Maxwell
Written by John C Maxwell, the number one bestselling author on the New York Times list with 25 years of experience in giving leadership advice. His latest book, “Leader’s Greatest Return” focuses on building a legacy of leaders in the organization. Multiply leaders in an organization and teach them to mentor others.
Maxwell shares the important lessons he’s learned about the leadership development process over his journey of 25 years. His takeaway
- Recognize potential leaders
- Attract leaders by creating a leadership “table”
- Work themselves out of a job by equipping and empowering leaders
- Position leaders to build a winning team
- Coach leaders to higher levels and make them leadership developers themselves
John C. Maxwell has sold over 19 million books. He trains and coaches people in the art of leadership and has founded EQUIP and the John Maxwell Company, organizations that have trained more than 5 million leaders worldwide. He has lectured at Fortune 500 companies and organizations as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and the United Nations. Maxwell has written three other books: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader.
Life's Great Question: Discover How You Contribute To The World
By Tom Rath
“Life is not about what you get out of it . . . it’s about what you put back in.”
He says our life’s work should not be about career, salary, etc. rather the definition of what makes up work-life should be changed to what contribution our work brings to life. It should be about growth and investment in helping others develop and putting together a legacy that will keep on improving the environment around you even after you are gone. In short, how to be meaningful through your work.
“Our current means for summarizing life’s work, from resumes to salaries, are devoid of what matters most. Perhaps this explains why, on average, work is killing people when it should be making them healthier,” he says.
Simply put, we need a whole new way to think about and describe the contributions we make through our life’s work. "Most people agree that life is not about focusing on self-oriented or monetary ambitions. It is about what you create that improves lives. It is about investing in the development of other people. And it is about participating in efforts that will continue to grow when you are gone."
Each copy of the book has a unique code that gives access to a whole inventory of online tools to learn how to build a portfolio of meaningful contributions. It illustrates with examples and learning tools to help you make the transition.
Tom Rath is an author and filmmaker who studies the role of human behavior in business, health, and well-being. He has been described as a great thinker of this generation.
Tom has written six New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers over the past decade — How Full is Your Bucket? StrengthFinder 2.0; Strength-based leadership, wellbeing: The five essential elements; Eat, Move, Sleep: How small choices lead to big changes.
Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual
by Jocko Willink
This book explains how to translate leadership theory into applicable strategy, and then put lit into action level. It is a how-to book on leadership questions and hypotheses. He explains the situations that a leader can face regarding authority, imposter syndrome, peer pressure, and handling reward and punishment. He shows all that and more through the life of a pre-teen boy and the advice given to him by his navy seal uncle.
The book was in the New York Times’ bestseller list and also on The USA Today list.
John Gretton "Jocko" Willink is a retired Navy SEAL. He has written many books on discipline and authority and leadership skills: Discipline Equals Ownership; Extreme Ownership; Way of the Warrior Kid; and Dichotomy of Leadership.
Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say and What You Don't
by L. David Marquet
Your words matter more than you think, says the author.
The author says that the language at work needs to be updated to the present time. We are still using a lexicon that has a very rigid structure of the manager and the workers—those who work with their hands and those who supervise them and who do the thinking for them.
Nowadays, there are no such clear cut lines, and people innovate and contribute at every level.
- David Marquet offers a radical playbook to empower the team by asking the right questions and avoiding the pitfalls of wrong questioning. A pathbreaking option he shows is vote before discussing a problem and planning. Give information rather than instructions is his mantra.
Marquet uses his experience as a US navy captain to elaborate on his leadership methods.
His bestselling book, Turn the Ship Around! is about how he turned the worst-performing fleet into a showcase.
What's Your Problem? To Solve Your Toughest Problems, Change the Problems You Solve
by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg
He talks of how a majority of organizations focus on the wrong problem and waste energy and effort in the process. A faulty product is developed that nobody wants, a solution to a work problem is implemented that creates more issues than solves, all organizations have numerous such examples. The author has a simple three-top solution to this—Frame, Reframe, Move Forward.
"The author makes a compelling case that we often start solving a problem before thinking deeply about whether we are solving the right problem. If you want the superpower of solving better problems, read this book." -- Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Google
Thomas Wendell-Wedellsborg has co-authored Innovation as Usual with Paddy Miller. His research has been featured in Harvard Business Review, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, BBC Radio, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the Financial Times. His work on innovation led HR Magazine to recognize him as a “Top 20 International Thinker”.
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