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Last Updated on February 10, 2020

15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success

15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success

Reading is an essential life skill. It’s how we record our history and share stories. Sure, there are countless books jam-packed from cover to cover with valuable facts. But there are also limitless volumes containing invaluable insights on the human experience.

Generations of people have scribed their experiences and struggles, their emotions and confessions onto blank pages, thereby transforming them into rich resources. Given this truth, it’s disheartening to report that global literacy rates are in decline.[1] Individuals young and old all around the world are reading less, less absorbedly.

According to author John Coleman, this lack of literature extends into the business world and all the way up the corporate ladder.[2] In his experience:

“Business people seem to be reading less.” Which is bad news considering the fact that “broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders.”

Perhaps it’s because reading has been shown to improve communication,[3] emotional intelligence,[4] organizational effectiveness, and to reduce stress.[5] All of which are critical requirements for effective leadership.

Now that you’ve been sufficiently convinced of the importance of reading, you’re probably wondering what you should be reading. You might also be thinking that you don’t have the time. Well, the truth is that you do have the time:

“Reading must become as natural as eating and breathing to you.”

You don’t have to read 52 books in a year, but you do have to make time for more reading. And when you do, this list of the 15 best leadership books to read will inform and inspire you to become a great leader — they are categorized based on the 5 rules of leadership:

  1. Lead Yourself
  2. Understand True Leadership
  3. Communicate and Motivate
  4. Keep Going
  5. Be Real

#1 Lead Yourself: Before you can lead someone else, a group of people, or a company, you must be able to lead yourself. That means discipline, self-actualization, sense of purpose, and humility.

1. Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius

    Although Aurelius was writing for himself, the surviving text is a road map to living a better life. By removing the excess, Aurelius shows us all how to rise above distractions to maintain our principles. Rooted in Stoic philosophy, Meditations is practical advice for controlling your thoughts, emotions, and actions to remove stress from your life.

    Print | eBook

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    2. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankel

      This book recounts Viktor Frankel’s experience in Auschwitz, the Nazi prison camp, during the Holocaust. Through all the pain and suffering Frankel was able to maintain perspective and conclude that there “must be meaning in suffering.” He reminds us that the meaning of life is to define that meaning for ourselves through action.

      Print | eBook | Audiobook

      3. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

        Life is a journey. Each one of us should be trying to follow our own personal legend (that is, what you have always wanted to accomplish). The tale of Santiago, a shepherd boy, reveals what happens when we pursue our own legend: “the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

        Print | eBook | Audiobook

        #2 Understand True Leadership: After building your foundation from which to lead, it’s important to understand exactly what leadership is and how it’s applied. It’s also helpful to study other successful leaders and businesses.

        4. The Truth About Leadership, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

          There are some things that will always play a role in effective leadership. Trust, credibility, and ethics are among those things. Kouzes and Posner reveal 30 years of research that support these and other core principles.

          Print | eBook | Audiobook

          5. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins

            Some companies succeed, but most fail. Jim Collins evaluated thousands of articles and interview transcripts to figure out why exactly that is. Then he packaged it all into this book to show you what traits you’ll need to build a great company.

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            Print | eBook | Audiobook

            6. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven R. Covey

              Seven Habits is a timeless lesson in leadership and success. By changing your mindset to embrace an alternative perspective, Covey walks you through the self-mastery Paradigm Shift. This process is broken down into Independence, Interdependence, and Continual Improvement, resulting in meaningful and consistent growth.

              Print | eBook | Audiobook

              7. Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh

                As CEO of Zappo, Tony Hsieh built a massively successful business by doing what everyone else talks about: putting the customer first and hiring the right people. Serving customers and company culture were the main focus. As a result employees and customers were happy and satisfied. Hsieh was able to dismantle traditional corporate leadership and deliver happiness and loads of profit along the way

                Print | eBook

                8. The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton Christensen

                  Here Harvard professor and businessman Clayton Christensen lays out the path to “disruptive innovation.” This, as described by Christensen, requires rejecting the needs of the customer right now in favor of adopting new methods and technologies that will meet their needs in the future. Early adopters and innovators get ahead; all of the others fall behind.

                  Print

                  9. Tribes, by Seth Godin

                    Start by reading Tribes and then continue on reading everything Godin has written. From his blog to his books and everything in between, Godin is sharing a winning formula for stepping outside of the status quo to do meaningful work. It’s this kind of work that will inspire others to follow, help you get noticed, and leave a legacy long after you’re gone.

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                    #3 Communicate and Motivate: To lead, you must inspire others to follow your example or orders. It helps if you’re able to attract, engage, and encourage employees, business partners, and potential clients to get on board with your plan or proposal.

                    10. Drive, by Daniel H. Pink

                      The ability to motivate is central to leadership. That’s what makes Pink’s book so valuable. Packed with the secrets of motivation, Pink suggests we move away from rewards and punishment, opting for meaningful work, mastery, and autonomy instead.

                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                      11. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

                        Everyone wants to feel important. In Win Friends Carnegie shows you how to use that in your favor to make people like you and win people over. It’s a book about how to communicate and interact with people in a meaningful way. It all comes down to showing interest in the people you interact with and the work that they are doing. If you make that connection you will have won a friend.

                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                        12. Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

                          If Abe Lincoln can unite his cabinet and the country around abolishing slavery amidst war, you can probably reconcile conflicting personalities in your company. Meshing people of divergent ideologies into a team or group is an admirable leadership trait. In Team of Rivals Kearns Goodwin recounts the story of how Lincoln surrounded himself with the best people, despite their differences. He was humble and unafraid to be challenged: two traits that will serve every leader.

                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                          #4 Keep Going: Sometimes things don’t go as planned. If and when that happens, you’ll have to pick yourself up and start all over again. Perseverance and resilience are mandatory.

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                          13. Endurance, by Endurance

                            In 1914, explorer Edward Shackleton undertook an expedition to the South Pole. Although the mission was a failure, the resulting story of survival in the ice-bound Antarctic seas serves as a guide post for leaders confronted with adversity.

                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                            #5 Be Real: No one can fake leadership. And, if they can, it won’t last long. Acknowledging fear and vulnerability are far more valuable leadership skills than being cold or shut-off.

                            14. Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown

                              Being vulnerable doesn’t have to be a weakness. Fear and shame shouldn’t prevent us from daring to do big things. Instead, Brown tells us that it’s most important to show up; to try and to fail. Because coming up short is better than never having tried at all.

                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                              15. The War of Art, by Steve Pressfield

                                Anything you create is going to require one heck of a battle: that’s the war of art. Every single person in the world who has written a book, published an article, started a business, or made “art” has been scared out of their mind. Procrastination, fear, and self-doubt strike everyone. The only way to beat them is to make stuff and share it with the world.

                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                More Great Books to Read

                                Featured photo credit: Quino Al via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Sustainable Development Goals: Data for the Sustainable Development Goals
                                [2] Harvard Business Review: For Those Who Want to Lead, Read
                                [3] Adv Child Dev Behav: Does reading make you smarter? Literacy and the development of verbal intelligence.
                                [4] Harvard Business review: What Makes a Leader?
                                [5] Telegraph: Reading ‘can help reduce stress’

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                                Joe Vennare

                                Joe is the co-founder of Fitt.co. He's a fitness professional and a serial entrepreneur.

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                                Last Updated on October 5, 2020

                                10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

                                10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

                                The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

                                Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

                                Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

                                In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

                                Before You Download

                                As you are no doubt aware, there are all kinds of calendar apps available. Instead of you sifting through the hundreds of them, we’ve handpicked 10 of the best calendar apps you can get. On top of glowing reviews from each one, we’ve considered the following aspects when creating this list:

                                • User Interface – How you navigate the app should be smooth and simple. The buttons on the app should be clear, obvious and easy to move through.
                                • Synchronization – Whether it’s with other calendar apps or with other apps, syncing apps should be easy and enhance your overall experience with the app.
                                • Additional features – Since there are so many options for calendars, many of these apps offer additional features. These features make the apps stand out from the other apps and provide unique experiences to you.

                                1. Any.do Calendar

                                  This calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

                                  Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

                                  What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

                                  Any.do Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

                                  Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

                                  Download Any.do Calendar here!

                                  2. Google Calendar

                                    Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

                                    Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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                                    Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

                                    The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

                                    Download Google Calendar here.

                                    3. IRL Event Social Network

                                       

                                      One of the most unique apps on this list is the IRL Event Social Network app. As you can guess from the name, the core focus of this app is social networking. Unlike other social media platforms, you can consider this platform to function similar to Meetup.com. It’s a site where you can connect with other people within your area that share a similar interest.

                                      IRL is that while also providing a convenient calendar for you to schedule events and plan out your day. Though due to it being a secondary focus, you’re lacking a lot of the syncing aspects that other apps have on this list. Regardless, because of this huge social feature, it’s worth considering for those who want to make more connections.

                                      Download IRL Event Social Network here.

                                      4. Business Calendar

                                        Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

                                        The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

                                        You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

                                        The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

                                        Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

                                        Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

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                                        Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

                                        A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

                                        Download Business Calendar here.

                                        5. Calendar

                                          Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                                          A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                                          Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                                          Download Calendar: Meeting & Scheduling here.

                                          6. aCalendar

                                            aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

                                            Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

                                            Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

                                            When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

                                            Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

                                            The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

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                                            The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

                                            Download aCalendar here.

                                            7. DigiCal Calendar

                                              DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

                                              With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

                                              Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

                                              The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

                                              Download DigiCal Calendar here.

                                              8. SolCalendar

                                                SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                                                The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                                                Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                                                Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                                                Download SolCalendar here.

                                                9. Today Calendar

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                                                  Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

                                                  The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                                                  If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                                                  Download Today Calendar here.

                                                  10. Timepage

                                                    Timepage is an intuitive calendar app that will manage your time in a way that other calendar apps can’t. It offers the same sort of functions that you’d expect from other calendar apps: opportunities to record events, notifications and reminders, weather, and driving duration to a particular event. However, the app goes beyond those functionalities in two ways.

                                                    The first way is that while the app sends you notifications, it also has reminders for you for what is coming up next. That bit of extra time can allow you to prepare and make adjustments to your day if need be.

                                                    The second function – which is more important – is the heat map when you go to see the full view of your calendar. This heat map indicates what days you are most busy and other days where you are freer. This heat map provides a quick glance to determine broadly what days are good to add more events and other tasks.

                                                    Download Timepage here.

                                                    Our Verdict

                                                    Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                                                    Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                                                    Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                                                    The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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