By Derek Goodman (image courtesy of Unsplash)
How will you be spending your downtime this summer? Beyond the usual warm-weather pursuits, why not hone your leadership skills? Leaders are critical to every level of our society. They rally support for important causes, demonstrate how to respond to conflicts, and pull people together who otherwise might go their separate ways.
Whether you’re a leader in one of your kids’ clubs or hold an elected office, you’d be surprised at how your actions can fuse people together around a shared mission—so consider these titles that could help you (and them) grow.
Nobody can be a leader without others who are interested in their guidance and input. Building healthy connections—with family members, peers, colleagues, and the community as a whole—will feed into bettering your leadership abilities, as well as an improved society in the grand scheme of things.
This book reinforces the concept that no matter what your overall objectives are, people must always come first. If you tend to feel bogged down by the people-side of things, this book will help you check your perspective.
- Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Familyby Anne Marie Slaughter
Work-life balance is a classic conundrum, and this book makes the case that it’s really a cause that should be taken up on a broader scale. Rather than leaving individuals to sort it on their own, Huffington Post notes the author argues this concern needs to be addressed by organizational, cultural and political powers.
- Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One has the Timeby Brigid Schulte
These days, we are attached to electronics 24/7. While this means we can get more accomplished, it also means we tend to leave little room for other aspects of our lives. This book highlights businesses that have addressed the issue head on by shifting their structures and reframing their methodology.
Look Into Your Leadership
Even the most seasoned leaders have room to grow. Whether you are a leader by desire or by default or you’re studying to become one, these books can help you flourish.
- Fusion Leadership: Unleashing the Movement of Monday Morning Enthusiasts by Dudley R. Slater and Steven T. Taylor
Utilizing an engaging narrative format, Fusion Leadership touches on a variety of challenges leaders face every day. Among the topics covered: techniques to provide support to front line workers, modeling appropriate behavior and conversations in meetings, addressing fair pay issues, putting aside ego to effectively lead a team, and demonstrating mutual respect toward lower-level employees and helping them connect their job to the larger vision.
- The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizationsby James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
These authors dive into the idea that your own leadership is an acquired ability, and how to model best practices. What’s more, this book could even help you put your personality to work in making you a better leader.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Changeby Stephen R. Covey
This book puts ethics at the heart of leadership practices, explaining that quality of character is what shines through when the rubber hits the road. If you want to dig deep into true personal growth that shines through your leadership, this book should be on your list of must-reads.
Spur Others to Action
What fires would you like to ignite? Whether it’s more money for the booster club or better living conditions for low-income families, these inspirational reads will help you achieve more.
- The Checklist Manifestoby Atul Gawande
Everyone makes mistakes, but mistakes can slow progress. However, a simple checklist can help ensure that fundamentals are never overlooked. Add this book to your reading list to keep yourself and others from making mistakes.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Thingsby Ben Horowitz
Progress and change are not easy, and they typically require giving up something in exchange for the gains. When it comes to growth, this book explains that being ready to struggle can be the key to success.
While Setting the Table focuses on the restaurant industry, the principles delineated by the author can be applied to any circumstance: that people will respond positively to when they feel you are showing them caring and respect.
Ahh, summertime. Sunshine, warm weather, barbeques—and leadership reading material. Advancing your gifts in the area of leadership can mean living a more well-rounded life, and bringing more life to your community.
Derek Goodman is an entrepreneur. He’d always wanted to make his own future, and he knew growing his own business was the only way to do that. He created his site Inbizability, to offer you tips, tricks, and resources so that you realize your business ability and potential now, not later.