Hello everyone, this is Tom Hallett from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast.
Today I’m going to be sharing some of my favourite leadership books with you, seeing as though September is international ‘read a new book month’; I thought it was appropriate too!
Reading – it’s something that many of the world’s most successful leaders have in common, and yet something which most people believe they haven’t got time for.
Since Bill Gates announced that he reads 50 books a year (with six on his list of most recommended being leadership books) and the average CEO reading up to 60 books per year, it seems that one of the key things successful people have in common is devouring books at a rapid pace.
By the way, if you’re new here, welcome! As our regular listeners will know, you can find a transcript of this podcast on the Excel Communications website, which will be helpful for today’s podcast as I’ll link to the books I’m going to be talking about if you want to check them out further.
So, if Bill Gates has got time to run one of the most successful businesses of all time and get through nearly a book a week – I’m sure you can find the time too!
It’s about prioritising your time – just an hour a day spent reading a new book or about a new topic can benefit us in so many ways.
So if you’re going to take the plunge and get into some great new books in the coming month, here are my top five leadership books which are full of wisdom for your career, and will also help you grow personally, too.
1. John Maxwell – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
Leadership goliath John C Maxwell’s celebrated book describes in detail the fundamentals he has learned from over 30 years of leadership experience.
Maxwell conveys information using his own knowledge and also draws on some universal experiences from the worlds of business, politics and sport to create a highly readable and utterly valuable leadership guide.
This book contains powerful and practical tips to prepare you for the next stages of your leadership journey, which I found to be both inspiring and highly useful. In fact, I read a chapter every week, and that becomes my leadership skill focus with my team for the week.
2. Stephen Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The habits of highly successful people have been something of a focus in the world of leadership for over 35 years, and there is a good reason why.
As I mentioned in the intro, we can benefit enormously from mimicking the habits of successful people, and this is something that Stephen Covey focuses on in his New York Times Bestseller – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The book takes a deep dive into the paradigms, principles and mindsets of successful people to help you recognise which parts of life you need to focus on, and which parts to let go of.
Some of the key sections in this book cover what was at the time, and what still are some pretty groundbreaking ideas. In the chapter on Interdependence, he teaches us to seek first to understand before we are understood – a concept which leaders can really benefit from remembering.
This book also focuses on the importance of continual improvement, and how we can use a balance of our conscience, along with meaningful and consistent progress to progress in an upward spiral of success.
3. Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek
Next up is a popular leadership guru, Simon Sinek. His book Leaders Eat Last is all about why some teams pull together, and others don’t – a topic which has baffled leaders for many years.
Sinek aims to help us realise the secret behind teams who wake up, go to work and feel trusted and valued the whole time, leading to them feeling fulfilled and consequently, are highly productive.
Fact: This is not just a crazy, idealised notion; he tells us. There’s a chapter in here called ‘employees are people too’ which again, should not be a radical concept but one which plenty of organisations seem to overlook.
This book will help you realise why some leaders are far more successful than others, and it is well worth a read.
4. Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
Another New York Times Bestselling author, who I think no leadership reading list would be complete without – Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly is all about coming to terms with fear and vulnerability to become a better leader.
While I think a lot of leadership books aim to try and make you into this superhuman version of a leader, this book focuses on accepting ourselves as human, and that being vulnerable – and let’s face it – human – is not a weakness at all.
Her Ted Talk on vulnerability has been viewed nearly 50 million times; I’ll link to it in the show notes for you.
Here Brene Brown again highlights the importance of staying humble as a leader. This trait is vitally important to leaders in the current climate.
5. Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
And finally, the last book on the list is Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness, where he details the success of Zappos.com from his initial position of investor up to CEO of the billion-dollar company.
Hsieh founded the company after achieving success with the internet advertising network LinkExchange, which he sold for an amazing $265 million to Microsoft, so I think you’ll agree he’s someone worth listening to about business.
In this book, Hsieh focuses on the differences between those who are happy to stay where they are, and the seemingly unique characteristic of highly successful leaders. They simply can’t ever stop reaching for the next step of their own success.
It’s a great read and will not only reignite your hunger for success; it will help steer you towards it too.
So there we have it – my five favourite leadership books –
- John Maxwell – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
- Stephen Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek
- Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
- Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
I highly recommend checking these out -you can head to the Excel Communications blog where I’ve linked these books on Amazon, I can guarantee you won’t regret it.
Some of these books are what you might call ‘classics’ in that they’ve been around for several years, but I think in times like these, it’s important to get ‘back to basics’ with our approaches and what we choose to include in our lives.
For more information on developing your leadership skills, head to our blog, which contains hundreds of articles on all aspects of leadership. I’ll leave the link in the comments.
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This is Tom from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast Saying bye for now.
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