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10 Books You Must Read to Strengthen Your Leadership Skills

10 Books You Must Read to Strengthen Your Leadership Skills

Whether we disagree with their leadership styles or not, all true leaders have one thing in common. They are naturally curious people who are life-long learners, and they satiate their need for knowledge through reading books. If you are interested in bettering your leadership skills, you may wish to add reading to your list of daily habits. Better yet, you should considering adding these 10 books to your reading list. They are certain to help you boost your leadership skills quickly.

 1. The Leader Who had no Title – Robin Sharma

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    Robin Sharma has worked as a leadership consultant for multiple fortune 500 companies. In this book, he teaches his readers what he has taught employees at major corporations for years. This is an amazing book if you are ready to tear down the barriers of what a leader should be and who can become a leader. Did you know that you don’t need an official title to be a leader? You don’t even need people working underneath you. The author explains in detail how you can build the emotional and mental strength, among other personal traits (including compassion and purpose), to lead and influence people no matter where you are in your career path.

    1. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – Travis Bradberry
      Emotional-Intelligence
        You won’t find too many motivational books that include a testimonial by the Dalai Lama. Of course, that is only one reason to add this book to your reading list. You have probably heard of emotional intelligence. It is a measurement of your EQ that tells you how well you function and relate to others on an emotional level. The higher your EQ, the better you are able to lead others by becoming a more empathetic, socially aware individual.
      •  The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John C. Maxwell
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          This is another book with an impressive endorsement. This time, Stephen Covey steps in and provides a great forward. However, even without this endorsement, this is a great book. It uses compelling stories of leadership to help illustrate Maxwell’s 21 laws of leadership. You’ll be influenced and enlightened by the time you put this book down.
        • Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek
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            A great leader isn’t a person who can get people to do what he or she wants. Anybody with power can do that, and power does not equal leadership. A great leader builds a team of people who want to succeed because they feel valued, that they are making a contribution, and that there own personal and professional development is a priority. This book is a great primer on obtaining success through treating people well.
          • Principle-Centered Leadership – Stephen R. Covey
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              You can’t go wrong by picking up any of Covey’s books, but this one is especially inspirational. One of the most difficult challenges you will face as a leader is healing strife within your team. Through stories of great leaders, Stephen teaches you how to make people connect with one another and work together in even the most contentious of circumstances.
              1. Bold – Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis
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                  Exponential technologies are technologies that have the ability to generate change and improve lives in ways that their creators could have never imagined. The personal computer and the internet are two examples of these technologies. In Bold, you will learn how to use exponential technology, especially the internet, to make your visions a reality.
                  1. Drive – Daniel Pink

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                    As you develop your leadership skills, one of the most important things that you will learn to do is motivate others. Unfortunately, many leaders don’t understand what it is that actually motivates people. Daniel Pink defines both the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that drive motivation. Then, he provides helpful guidelines on using intrinsic motivation to produce and increase drive in ourselves and others.

                    1. Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi

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                      Effective leaders build relationships with their team members, peers, and others. In this book, Keith Ferrazzi not only explains the importance of developing meaningful relationships in the workplace and elsewhere, he also provides action steps you can take to make this happen. After reading this book, you will find yourself better prepared to make connections with others.

                      9.  Zero to One – Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

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                        This is a book especially written for future leaders who are also entrepreneurs. All too many brilliant people come up with great, potentially world changing ideas, but thanks to conventional thinking, never let those ideas come to reality. Instead, they tame and reshape those ideas until they come to fruition as yet another uninspiring business. You don’t have to let that happen to you or your ideas. Read this book and learn to build your startup your way.

                        1. The One Thing – Gary Keller
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                          If you are struggling to find success as a leader, you may be trying to do too many things. The author, Gary Keller asks you to focus on one thing. This is the one thing that you can do right now that will make things easier and better. That is what should become your focus. When you are done reading this book, you will be able to apply this principle to all areas of your life.

                      Featured photo credit: Germán Poo-Caamaño via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                      30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

                      30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

                      In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

                      1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

                      Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

                      2. Focus on your breath

                      Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

                      3. Get organized and purge old items

                      A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

                      4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

                      Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

                      5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

                      Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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                      6. Smile more

                      Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

                      7. Don’t worry about the future

                      As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

                      8. Eat real food

                      The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

                      9. Choose being happy over being right

                      Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

                      10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

                      Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

                      11. Make use of filtering features on social media

                      You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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                      12. Get comfortable with silence

                      When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

                      13. Listen to understand, not to respond

                      So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

                      14. Put your troubles in a bubble

                      Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

                      15. Speak more slowly

                      Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

                      16. Don’t procrastinate

                      Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

                      17. Buy a coloring book

                      Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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                      18. Prioritize yourself

                      You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

                      19. Forgive others

                      Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

                      20. Check your expectations

                      Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

                      21. Engage in active play

                      Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

                      22. Stop criticizing yourself

                      The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

                      23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

                      Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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                      24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

                      Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

                      25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

                      Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

                      26. Manage your money

                      Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

                      27. Stop trying to control everything

                      Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

                      28. Practice affirmations

                      Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

                      29. Get up before sunrise

                      Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

                      30. Be yourself

                      Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

                      Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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