There are loads of books that a leader can read so where on earth do you start? Most of them have a bunch of reviews telling you how awesome they are, but many of them are just a general overview of repeated ideas. These 5 books stand out as key reads for leaders that want to improve 10x in everything from hiring to providing great customer service.
Entreleadership to learn that you’re the cap on your organization
The limiting factor in your business is not the people you have or the money you have it’s you. The leader is the cap on the organization.
…there is a lid on my organization and on my future, and that lid is me. I am the problem with my company and you are the problem with your company. Your education, capacity, ability, and vision are limiting the company. You want to know what is holding back your dreams from becoming a reality? Go look in the mirror. – Entreleadership, Dave Ramsey
Entreleadership is going to teach you how to take the cap off your organization by bringing in the right people and learning to give them the responsibility they need to support you as the leader.
Work Rules! to stop being scared during hiring
Reading through this book you’ll get a great look at how Google does it’s hiring, and it’s not just on the whim of one person. It’s not done by the manager who feels the pain of the person missing. A group of interviewers and potential colleagues get to decide who’s hired.
As Eric Schmidt once told me, “The reality is, that there are some employees you should get rid of, but the goal of recruitment should be to have no such employees!” – Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock
Growing a Business to learn money doesn’t magically solve problems
Way to often in our tech-bubble world we hear about wild valuations of companies that aren’t turning a profit. In the mind of the author Paul Hawken, most of the time money is seen as some magic pill that will allow the company to one day turn a profit maybe. Growing a Business talks much about the fact that taking money continually means your business doesn’t have a crucial leg to stand on, the leg of people wanting to give you money for your product/service.
…businesses, at least entrepreneurial ones, are formed in order to address problems that money alone cannot solve – Paul Hawken, Growing a Business (emphasis his)
Switch to learn how to bring change to your business
Change in an organization is hard and Switch is going to tell you why.
Change is hard because people wear themselves out. And that’s the second surprise about change: What looks like laziness is often exhaustion – Switch, Chip and Dan Heath
This book will walk you through lots of strategies to keep changes moving through your organization. Stop just slamming change through just because you’re the leader. Stop being frustrated when it doesn’t stick, learn to make it stick by reading Switch.
Minding the Store to learn why turning down sales is good
How likely are you to sell a high priced item to someone that it’s clearly a poor choice for? I know many of you would just make the sale but not if you listen to the advice of Stanley Marcus.
no sale is good for Neiman-Marcus, unless it’s a good buy for the customer. Minding the Store, Stanley Marcus
The most poignant story of great service is turning down the sale of a fur coat to a young girl and her father. They were both angry and left, but at home her aunt said that Stanley Marcus was absolutely right and she needed to go back say sorry and get whatever he said was the right purchase for the girl.
Then years later as this girl was getting married she bought the coat she originally wanted along with many other things and was a regular customer because she was assured that she’d get proper advice without thought to how much money the store would make.
Saying no to business is a skill a leader needs to learn and when you do you’ll really be serving your customers well and they won’t help but tell others about how awesome you are.
Of course maybe you’re feeling a bit lost and before you can really dig back in to becoming a better leader you need some good reading to help you through life’s ups and downs.
Featured photo credit: mrhayata via flickr.com