5 Books Every Leader Needs to Read

Reading is one of the most important – and easiest – growth tools that a leader can invest their time in. I used to believe I didn’t have time to read, but a mentor of mine challenged me to commit to reading just one chapter per day. Do you know how many books you would read if you did this? About 25 books every year! Just about anyone can do that, and every leader ought to be.

Here are a few books I would recommend..5 Books Every Leader Needs to Read:

10X Is Easier Than 2X by Dan Sullivan

In his book 10x Is Easier Than 2x, Dan Sullivan argues that achieving 10x growth is actually easier than striving for 2x growth. Most people find this idea confusing at first because simply imagining 10x growth causes them to think they need to do 10x more work to achieve it. However, Sullivan argues that the opposite is actually true. When you focus on 10x growth, you actually end up doing less work overall, because you’re able to eliminate all of the unnecessary tasks and activities that are holding you back.

Sullivan’s argument is based on the idea that most people are operating at a level of what he calls “2x thinking.” 2x thinking is characterized by a focus on incremental improvement and a fear of failure. When you’re operating at a 2x level, you’re constantly trying to do a little bit better than you did last time. This can lead to some progress, but it’s slow and it’s often difficult to sustain.

10x thinking, on the other hand, is characterized by a focus on breakthrough results and a willingness to fail forward. When you’re operating at a 10x level, you’re not afraid to set big goals and take risks. You know that failure is a part of the process, and you use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

So how do you start thinking in 10x terms? Sullivan offers a few key strategies:

  1. Set big goals. When you set big goals, you’re forced to think outside the box and come up with new and innovative ways to achieve them.
  2. Be willing to fail forward. Failure is a part of the process of success. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes.
  3. Focus on quality over quantity. When you focus on quality, you’re able to achieve more with less effort.
  4. Delegate. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Delegate tasks to others so that you can focus on the things that only you can do.
  5. Measure your progress. It’s important to track your progress so that you can see how you’re doing and make adjustments as needed.

If you’re willing to adopt these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to achieving 10x growth in your life and business.

In addition to the strategies listed above, Sullivan also offers a number of other insights and tips that can help you achieve 10x growth. Here are a few of the most important ones:

  • Focus on your strengths. Don’t try to be good at everything. Instead, focus on developing your strengths and outsource or eliminate the tasks that you’re not good at.
  • Create a compelling vision. What do you want to achieve? Why is it important to you? Having a clear and compelling vision will give you the motivation to keep going when things get tough.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. The people you spend time with have a big impact on your success. Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and who will support you on your journey.
  • Take care of yourself. Your health is your most important asset. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly.

Achieving 10x growth is not easy, but it is possible. If you’re willing to adopt the strategies and insights outlined in this book, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

CLICK HERE to purchase this book.

The Mighty Modern Manager by Paul A. Wyatt

In his book The Mighty Modern Manager, Paul Wyatt argues that the modern manager needs to be more than just a taskmaster. In today’s rapidly changing world, managers need to be able to think strategically, lead change, and inspire their teams to achieve great things.

Wyatt begins by discussing the challenges that modern managers face. He argues that the modern world is characterized by complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. This makes it difficult for managers to plan and control their organizations. Wyatt also argues that the modern workforce is more diverse than ever before. This diversity can be a source of strength, but it can also make it difficult for managers to build a cohesive team.

To meet the challenges of the modern world, Wyatt argues that managers need to develop a new set of skills. These skills include:

  • Strategic thinking: Managers need to be able to think about the long-term goals of their organization and develop a plan to achieve those goals.
  • Change leadership: Managers need to be able to lead their organizations through change. This requires the ability to communicate effectively, build consensus, and overcome resistance to change.
  • Inspiration: Managers need to be able to inspire their teams to achieve great things. This requires the ability to create a sense of purpose, build trust, and provide positive reinforcement.

Wyatt provides a number of practical tips for developing these skills. He also shares stories from his own experience as a manager.

The Mighty Modern Manager is a valuable resource for any manager who wants to succeed in today’s challenging world. Wyatt’s insights and advice will help you develop the skills you need to lead your organization to success.

In addition to the skills listed above, Wyatt also emphasizes the importance of the following qualities in a modern manager:

  • Empathy: Managers need to be able to understand and relate to the people they work with.
  • Integrity: Managers need to be honest and trustworthy.
  • Humility: Managers need to be willing to listen to others and learn from their mistakes.
  • Resilience: Managers need to be able to bounce back from setbacks and keep moving forward.

If you can develop these qualities, you will be well on your way to becoming a mighty modern manager.

Here are some additional tips for modern managers:

  • Be a good communicator. This means being able to clearly and concisely communicate your ideas, both verbally and in writing. It also means being a good listener and being able to understand the needs of your team members.
  • Be a good decision-maker. This means being able to gather information, weigh the pros and cons of different options, and make decisions that are in the best interests of your organization.
  • Be a good leader. This means being able to motivate and inspire your team members to achieve their goals. It also means being able to create a positive work environment where people feel valued and respected.

If you can master these skills, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful modern manager.

CLICK HERE to purchase this book.

Culture Shock by Jim Clifton & Jim Harter

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an awakening that shocked the world: a structural change in how and where people work and live. One thing we now know for certain: Nothing is going back to normal.

The old way of working is broken. Employees are disengaged, customers are unhappy, and businesses are struggling to compete. The reason? The old way of working was built on a foundation of fear, control, and compliance. It was a top-down, command-and-control system that treated employees as cogs in a machine.

The new way of working is built on a foundation of trust, empowerment, and engagement. It is a bottom-up, collaborative system that treats employees as partners. This new way of working is called Culture Shock.

Culture Shock is already being implemented in some organizations, and the results are impressive. For example, at Southwest Airlines, employee engagement is at an all-time high, customer satisfaction is off the charts, and the company has been consistently profitable for decades.

Culture Shock is not a quick fix. It takes time, effort, and commitment to implement. However, the rewards are worth it. Organizations that implement Culture Shock will be better positioned to compete in the 21st century economy.

The future of work is going to be different. The old way of working is no longer sustainable. Organizations that want to succeed in the future need to embrace Culture Shock.

Here are some additional key points from the book:

  • The most important factor in employee engagement is the quality of leadership.
  • Managers need to be more focused on developing the strengths of their employees and less focused on fixing their weaknesses.
  • Organizations need to create a culture of trust and empowerment in order to unleash the full potential of their employees.
  • Culture Shock is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It needs to be tailored to the specific needs of each organization.
  • Culture Shock is not easy to implement. It requires time, effort, and commitment.
  • The rewards of Culture Shock are worth it. Organizations that implement Culture Shock will be better positioned to compete in the 21st century economy.

Culture Shock is a thought-provoking and timely book that provides a valuable framework for understanding the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century workplace. It is a must-read for any leader who wants to create a high-performing organization.

Here are some additional thoughts on Culture Shock:

  • Culture Shock is not just about changing the way we work. It’s about changing the way we think about work. It’s about changing the way we view our employees.
  • Culture Shock is not a destination. It’s a journey. It’s a process of continuous improvement.
  • Culture Shock is not easy. It requires hard work, dedication, and commitment. But it’s worth it.

If you’re a leader who wants to create a high-performing organization, I encourage you to read Culture Shock. It’s a book that will challenge you, inspire you, and help you on your journey to creating a culture of trust, empowerment, and engagement.

CLICK HERE to purchase this book.

The Amazon Way: Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles by John Rossman

The Amazon Way is a book by John Rossman that explores the leadership principles behind Amazon’s success. Rossman, who spent 10 years at Amazon, draws on his own experiences as well as interviews with current and former Amazon employees to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s culture and management practices.

The book is organized around 14 leadership principles that Amazon employees are expected to uphold. These principles include:

  • Customer obsession: Amazon employees are always thinking about how to improve the customer experience.
  • Long-term thinking: Amazon is willing to make short-term sacrifices in order to achieve long-term goals.
  • Think big: Amazon employees are encouraged to think big and come up with innovative solutions.
  • Working backwards and the future press release: Amazon employees start by imagining the perfect customer experience, and then work backwards to figure out how to achieve it.
  • Bias for action: Amazon employees are encouraged to take risks and move quickly.
  • Earn trust: Amazon employees are expected to be honest and reliable.
  • Dive deep: Amazon employees are encouraged to dig into the details and understand the root cause of problems.
  • Have ownership: Amazon employees are expected to take ownership of their work and be accountable for their results.
  • Invent and simplify: Amazon employees are encouraged to come up with new ideas and find ways to simplify complex processes.
  • Be frugal: Amazon employees are expected to be mindful of costs and find ways to save money.
  • Launch and iterate: Amazon employees are encouraged to launch new products and services quickly, and then iterate on them based on customer feedback.
  • Always be learning: Amazon employees are encouraged to continue learning and growing throughout their careers.

Rossman argues that these leadership principles have helped Amazon become one of the most successful companies in the world. He also provides tips for how other businesses can adopt these principles and create their own cultures of innovation and customer obsession.

The Amazon Way is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about Amazon’s leadership principles and how they can be applied to other businesses. The book is well-written and informative, and it provides a unique perspective on Amazon’s culture and management practices.

Here are some additional thoughts on the book:

  • One of the things I found most interesting about The Amazon Way was the emphasis on customer obsession. Amazon employees are constantly thinking about how to improve the customer experience, and this focus on the customer has been a major factor in the company’s success.
  • Another thing I appreciated about the book was the way Rossman used anecdotes and stories to illustrate the Amazon Leadership Principles. This made the book more engaging and easier to understand.
  • Overall, I thought The Amazon Way was an excellent book. It provided me with a deeper understanding of Amazon’s culture and management practices, and it gave me some valuable insights that I can apply to my own work. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about Amazon or in creating a culture of innovation and customer obsession in their own business.

CLICK HERE to purchase this book.

The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication by John C. Maxwell

Communication is the key to success in any area of life. Whether you are trying to build relationships, sell products, or lead a team, your ability to communicate effectively is essential.

In his book The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication, John Maxwell shares his insights on what it takes to be a great communicator. He covers a wide range of topics, from the importance of listening to the power of stories.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the book:

  • Law 1: The Law of the Golden Rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. This is the foundation of all effective communication.
  • Law 2: The Law of Respect. People will not listen to you if they do not respect you. Show respect for others, and they will be more likely to listen to what you have to say.
  • Law 3: The Law of Clarity. Be clear and concise in your communication. People should be able to understand what you are saying without having to guess.
  • Law 4: The Law of Listening. The most important part of communication is listening. People will not feel heard if you do not take the time to listen to them.
  • Law 5: The Law of Questions. Asking questions is a powerful way to get people to open up and share their thoughts and feelings.
  • Law 6: The Law of Credibility. People are more likely to listen to you if they believe you are credible. Build credibility by being honest, trustworthy, and knowledgeable.
  • Law 7: The Law of Repetition. People need to hear something multiple times before they truly understand it. Repeat your key points throughout your communication.
  • Law 8: The Law of Specificity. When you are communicating, be as specific as possible. People are more likely to remember specific information.
  • Law 9: The Law of Illustration. Stories are a powerful way to communicate. Use stories to illustrate your points and make your communication more memorable.
  • Law 10: The Law of Enthusiasm. People are more likely to listen to you if you are enthusiastic about what you are saying. Show your enthusiasm, and people will be more likely to be interested in what you have to say.
  • Law 11: The Law of Timing. There is a right time and a wrong time for everything. Choose your time wisely when communicating with others.
  • Law 12: The Law of Preparation. Preparation is essential for effective communication. Take the time to prepare what you are going to say before you communicate with others.
  • Law 13: The Law of Feedback. Get feedback from others on your communication. This will help you identify areas where you can improve.
  • Law 14: The Law of Continuous Improvement. Communication is a skill that can be learned and improved. Continue to work on your communication skills, and you will become a better communicator.
  • Law 15: The Law of Empowerment. When you empower others to communicate, you create a more positive and productive environment. Encourage others to share their ideas and opinions.
  • Law 16: The Law of Synergy. When people communicate effectively, they can achieve more than they could on their own. Work together with others to create a shared vision and achieve common goals.

The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills. Maxwell’s insights are based on his years of experience as a communicator and leader. If you are serious about improving your communication skills, I highly recommend reading this book.

CLICK HERE to purchase this book.

What is a book you would recommend to our readers?

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Greg Baird
Greg Baird

Greg J Baird is a strategic leader with 25+ years experience developing, implementing and communicating domestic and international initiatives in the church, non-profit, enterprise non-profit and business sectors. He is a John C Maxwell Certified Leadership Coach, Speaker & Trainer, and a DISC Certified Trainer & Consultant.

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