“An act or instance of leading, guidance, direction.” The definition of leadership…
Leading. Guidance. Direction. The three most important characteristics to become a leader. Leadership is the most important attribute in any management position, and one of the most valued human characteristics. Below are the list of my top 5 best leadership books. If the reviews sounds good to you, follow the Amazon links to purchase your key to becoming the best Leader you can be:
Over 450 years ago, a small upstart company began on their path to changing the world. This wasn’t a company that sold merchandise, nor did they have stock holders or a corporate ladder to climb. Any ideas what company it was? They were the Society of Jesus, or as we refer to them today as Jesuits. The Jesuits spread throughout the world while speaking the word of God.
Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney, is a magnificent book that details the Jesuit beliefs, experiences, and agenda. However, the best part of this book is how Lowney compares the Jesuit’s way of life to modern ways of leadership in a management setting. This book is filled with stories from Jesuit missionaries who have traveled the world becoming leaders in their cause. It’s interesting to read about the initial 30 day Spiritual Exercise that all Jesuits must endure, an amazing process of self-awareness that can be utilized in a modern business leadership role.
This book focuses on Lowney’s “Four Pillars of Leadership,” which are self-awareness, heroism, love, and ingenuity. Lowney does an amazing job of describing each pillar through his stories. This book is truly moving, it will inspire you to not only become a great leader, but, perhaps allow you to take a step back and re-evaluate other areas of your life.
In the workplace, the importance for a leader to inspire employees to give 100% every day is critical to any company. The Truth About Getting the Best From People by Martha Finney goes into great detail on many different facets of how a company can thrive through creating successful leader/employee relationships.
One of the most interesting areas this book touches on is the importance of employee evaluations. Making this a positive and inspiring experience can not only boost employee morale, but, it can make the relationship between leaders and employees stronger through trust of each side of the relationship.
The biggest issue facing leaders in the workplace is how to make employees motivated, dare I say, excited to come to work. This book does an amazing job at explaining how successfully motivating employees isn’t done through handing out rewards and bonuses, but, through creating a company mission that each and every employee works towards and truly believes in. Making sure every employee realizes that their duty serves the greater purpose of the company is critical to not only the success of the company, but, to the success and trust every employee has.
The Truth About Getting the Best From People is full of relatively short chapters that breeze by while doing a fantastic job at keeping the reader focused and engaged on the information being given. Whether you are managing two, two hundred, or two thousand people, this book will be beneficial to your role as a leader.
This is a great example of a leadership book that teaches through telling a story. It’s not an intricate or deep story, however, the message it carries is universal, not just for those learning how to become a great leader. It will open your eyes in more ways than one.
Leadership and Self Deception, written by The Arbinger Institute, is broken down into three parts. Part 1 explains “Self Deception and the Box.” Part 2 explains “How We Get in the Box.” Part 3 explains “How We Get out of the Box.” When you are “in the box”, you are seeing those around you as mearly objects. Getting “out of the box” allows you to view yourself and those around you as people. The solution to getting “out of the box” isn’t through changing those around you or creating new strategies of leadership, it’s through changing “your way of being.” Once you are able to do this, you will be able to move forward as the leader you always dreamed of becoming.
This book allowed me to evaluate how I look at myself and others, not just in a leadership setting, but in nearly every aspect of my professional and personal life. At 216 pages, this is a fast and simple read. You can easily finish this book within a few hours, and you will be glad you did.
“You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.” A fantastic point that Maxwell makes in regards to how truly efficient being a leader can be.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, written by John C. Maxwell, is an effective book on leadership that details the theories of each 21 laws through use of famous and inspirational people. The fact that each chapter deals only with one law allows the reader to fully digest the theoris and examples being described.
Using examples such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa provide an inspiring and uplifting way to view each law of leadership. Putting yourself in each examples shoes and visualizing how they displayed leadership is a truly rewarding experience. Allowing yourself to realize your strengths and work even harder on your weaknesses is the key to becoming as great of a leader that you can be.
This book is part inspirational, part text book, and part rewarding. A very fulfilling book that will keep you coming back through your transformation into a great leader.
HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership, by The Harvard Business Review, is yet another book being published to deal with the role of a leader in the business setting. With all the leadership books already published through the years, why take the time to read another? It’s simple, because the answers to questions about leadership are constantly changing, especially in this modern fast paced business environment.
The center of all these answers may be the same as they’ve always been, but, the way these answers are utilized is constantly changing and constant personal evaluation is to be taken into account.
This book is a wealth of knowledge for anyone pursuing their goal of becoming an amazing and effective leader. With stories written by experts on leadership, you will feel a constant gain of knowledge while you step closer to finishing the book, and putting what you’ve read into action.