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No One Told You the Book List for Improving Leadership Skills? I Will

No One Told You the Book List for Improving Leadership Skills? I Will

Becoming a better leader takes effort, making mistakes, reflection and study. When you lead, you are expected to take chances and take risks. If you are driven by a need for security, you may not have what it takes to become a leader.

To help you understand your leadership strengths and provide practical ideas to lead better, start with reading these books. This combination of personal development, biography and business books provide several perspectives on leadership skills. If you are a regular reader like me, you may find yourself reading the same category of books over and over again (e.g., only business books) and neglecting other genres. Take this opportunity to read widely — there is more than one way to lead successfully.

1. Churchill: A Life by Sir Martin Gilbert

Churchill

    Winston Churchill remains one of the most inspiring and accomplished leaders in history. What leadership skills can you learn from studying Churchill? You can learn the value of personal focus — how Churchill overcame rejection when he started his military career. You can also learn how Churchill developed his public speaking skills. Though Churchill is widely known and respected for his speeches today, those leadership skills did not develop overnight.

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    2. The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential by John C. Maxwell

    5_Levels_of_Leadership__85464_zoom

      As one of the most popular and respected leadership authors in America, there is much we can learn from John C. Maxwell’s books and example. Consider his own leadership career as a starting point. He started his career in the church, began a non-profit organization and today leads a successful leadership development company. The ability to achieve success in several industries shows that Maxwell’s leadership ideas have been tested in the field.

      3. Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

      Washington-A-Life

        America’s first President is widely respected for several important leadership accomplishments. He led soldiers into battle and through years of physical hardship during the War of Independence. He later served as America’s first President, a rare figure who had the ability to unite a young country. But how did he achieve all these leadership feats? Chernow’s outstanding biography takes us behind the scenes with outstanding research that features quotes from Washington’s letters and other sources. To start your Washington education today, read Career Hacks From Young George Washington.

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        4. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

        switch

          Leaders are rarely interested in the status quo. As a leader, you will be asked to create change. There are all changes of change projects you may lead — launching a new product, improving customer service or improving productivity. In this highly readable book (I read it on the beach and was glued to it!), Dan and Chip Heath explain how change really works. A key insight — change efforts require an understanding of logic, habits and psychology. If you miss one of those aspects, your leadership will fail. The book makes use of stories and studies to teach great points on how to make change happen.

          5. The Truth about Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

          the-truth-about

            Your personal qualities and character are key factors in determining your success as a leader. The authors present a compelling case on what makes leaders successful based on decades of research. The first important insight is that honesty and integrity are the foundation for your success as a leader. Without those qualities, few people will be inclined to trust you. The second great insight I learned from this book is the importance of the leader going first and taking risks. For example, if your company is about to adopt a new computer system, you can signal your leadership by being the first to go through the training and then supporting the rest of the team. Thanks to leadership expert Richard Rierson for recommending this book to me.

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            6. Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

            fivedysfunctions

              Lencioni has a highly readable style in the world of business books. He tells a compelling fictional story and then has his characters work out his principles over time. In this book, you will learn Lencioni’s perspective on team work. A major lesson from this book: Simply hiring a group of high performance people is not enough to create a team. Relationships within the team matter more. Without that trust and connection, the team will never perform at a top level.

              7. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter Drucker

              Effective Executive

                Drucker’s classic book has stood the test of time in the business world. Leaders will benefit from reading this book in two ways. First, Drucker provides timeless productivity principles to help leaders manage their priorities. Second, the book has incredible lessons on making decisions and following through on those decisions.

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                On occasion, some of the language and examples may feel dated. Don’t let that stop you from growing your leadership skills with this classic book. If you enjoy Drucker’s perspective, consider reading “A Year with Peter Drucker,” which provides a detailed discussion of his ideas.

                8. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam M. Grant

                Give and Take Book Cover

                  Adam Grant has reshaped the leadership conversation with his New York Times bestseller, “Give and Take”. Leaders who give AND take achieve more success — that’s the ultimate lesson from the book. The book is also filled with motivation and productivity studies that will benefit leaders. A great example is the call centre study that Grant conducted. The study focused on a university call center where callers sought donations to the college. The productivity and average donation received significantly increased when the callers had a short presentation from a student who had benefited from the fundraising.

                  Featured photo credit: Book/kaboompics via pixabay.com

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                  Bruce Harpham

                  Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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                  Last Updated on December 7, 2018

                  10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

                  10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

                  How big is the gap between you and your success?

                  What is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people?

                  It is as simple as this: successful people think and talk about what they are creating, and unsuccessful people focus on and talk about what they’re lacking.

                  So how do you bridge that gap between wanting success and having your success? Let’s make an important distinction. You see, there is a big difference between “Wanting” and “Having” something.

                  Wanting: means lacking or absent. Deficient in some part, thing or aspect.

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                  Having: means to possess, to hold, to get, to receive, to experience.

                  You can have one OR the other, but not both at the same time with any particular object of your desire. You either have it or you don’t.

                  When it comes to your subconscious, if you’re focusing on the “wanting”, i.e. the not having, guess what, you will build stronger neural networks in your brain around the “wanting.” However, through the power of your subconscious mind, you can focus on the “having” as if it has already happened. Research has shown that your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re visualizing inside your mind versus what is happening out there in your reality.

                  This is a regular practice of elite athletes. They spend as much timing creating the internal mental imagery of their success playing out as they do actually physically practicing. This helps create both the neural pathways in their brain and the muscle memory to consistently deliver on that success.

                  Here are 10 “brain hack” steps for success that you can take to create your version of a happy life. Make these steps a regular habit, and you will be astonished at the results.

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                  Step 1: Decide exactly what you want to create and have

                  This is usually the biggest problem that people have. They don’t know what they want and then they’re surprised when they don’t get it.

                  Step 2: Write down your goal clearly in every technicolor detail

                  A goal that is not written down is merely a wish. When you write it down in full detail, you signal to your subconscious mind that you really want to accomplish this particular goal.

                  Step 3: Write your goal in simple, present tense words

                  …that a three year old can understand on a three-by-five index card and carry it with you. Read it each morning after you awake and just before you go to sleep.

                  Step 4: Backwards planning

                  See your goal achieved and identify all the steps required that it took to bring it to life. Making a list of all these steps intensifies your desire and deepens your belief that the attainment of the goal is already happening.

                  Step 5: Resolve to take at least one step every day from one of the items on your list

                  Do something every day, even if it is just one baby step, that moves you toward your goal so you can maintain your momentum.

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                  Step 6: Visualize your goal repeatedly

                  See it in your mind’s eye as though it were already a reality. The more clear and vivid your mental picture of your goal, the faster it will come into your life.

                  Step 7: Feel the feeling of success as if your goal were realized at this very moment

                  Feel the emotion of happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure that you would have once you have achieved your goal. Visualize and feel this success for at least 20 seconds at a time.

                  Step 8: “Fake it till you make it!”

                  Confidently behave as if your subconscious mind was already bringing your goal into reality. Accept that you are moving toward your goal and it is moving toward you.

                  Step 9: Relax your mind

                  Take time to breathe, pray or mediate each day. Disengage the stress response and engage the relaxation response. A quiet state of mind allows your brain to access newly formed neural pathways.

                  Step 10: Release your goal to your subconscious mind

                  When you turn your goal over to the power of the universe and just get out of the way, you will always know the right actions to take at the right time.

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                  Starting today, try tapping into the incredible power of your subconscious mind.Start with just one goal or idea, and practice it continually until you succeed in achieving that goal. Make it a game and have fun with it! The more lightly you hold it, the easier it will be to achieve. By doing so, you will move from the “positive thinking” of the hopeful person to the “positive knowing” of the totally successful person.

                  Hit reply and let me know what you’re creating!

                  To your success!

                  Featured photo credit: use-your-brain-markgraf via mrg.bz

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