In this election year, leadership is a big conversation. What does it take to be a good leader? How is leadership changing in a world where we are both leaders and followers? This list of new leadership books is dedicated to exploring all the different facets of being a leader, from governing a board to having fun and even presenting your ideas to a broader audience.
Leadership of Larger Organizations
The Directors Manual: A Framework for Board Governance
by Peter C. Browning and William L. Sparks
Is the right CEO running the company? Does the company have a succession plan? Does the company have the right strategy and how well is it being implemented? These are the top three issues company boards are tasked to manage. Even small businesses have boards of directors.
In “The Directors Manual: A Framework for Board Governance” by Peter C. Browning and William L. Sparks, the authors, who are experienced board members, have written this manual that contains specific best practices, guidance and questions designed to help board members improve the performance and efficiency of the companies they serve.
Readers will get an overview of Key Leadership Roles, Board Culture, Managing and Understanding Group Dynamics, Assessing Performance, Managing Disruptive Members and more. The book also contains an informative Appendix that both experienced and new board members will appreciate.
The Leadership Capital Index: Realizing the Market Value of Leadership
by Dave Ulrich
What is the “value” of leadership? Today we have indices, scores and ratings for everything. And now we have one for leadership; “ The Leadership Capital Index: Realizing the Market Value of Leadership“.
Developed by leadership scholar, author and consultant Dave Ulrich (@Dave_Ulrich), the Leadership Capital Index measures both the individual and the organizational proficiency of leadership. The Leadership Index gives investors the ability to assess how much a firm is worth based on the extent to which a leader can articulate a point of view about the future, behave consistently with customer expectations, create a customer-focused culture, ensure accountability and manage the flow of talent in the organization. The authors call this a minimally viable product and expect to see an evolution of Leadership Index 2.0 and 3.0 as research continues.
Leadership Skills and Strategies for the Future
Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts
by Daniel Shapiro
Whether you’re conflict averse or a savvy negotiator, “Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts” by Daniel Shapiro is a book you’ll want to read and review before your next negotiation or potentially charged conversation. Internationally renowned negotiation expert Daniel Shapiro has developed a new negotiation platform to help leaders, families and even nations resolve the most emotionally charged conflicts. This book centers on the idea of the Tribes Effect, a divisive mindset that keeps us from seeing potential resolutions.
While this book offers a process and a system to overcome conflicts, the focus is more on identifying and working through blind spots and mindsets as the road to reconciliation.
The Strategy Book: How to Think and Act Strategically to Deliver Outstanding Results
by Max Mckeown
Strategy is about getting from where you are to where you want to be. It sounds simple, yet so many small businesses struggle. “The Strategy Book: How to Think and Act Strategically to Deliver Outstanding Results” by Max Mckeown (@MaxMckeown) is a guide for small business owners who are committed to reaching their goals. This book will help you understand strategy and think strategically. It’s sophisticated enough to be used as a textbook for classes on strategy while being simple and straightforward enough to understand and implement in your small business.
“The Strategy Book” also includes a “toolkit” section that houses a collection of strategy tools that you can use in your analysis. You don’t have to read it in one sitting. You can read it from front to back or skip around.
The Attacker’s Advantage: Turning Uncertainty into Breakthrough Opportunities
by Ram Charan
Whenever there is a business survey, “uncertainty” comes up as a factor that impacts the confidence index. Uncertainty creates fear and indecision. But what if you could reduce the level of uncertainty that you feel about your industry and your business?
This is where “The Attacker’s Advantage: Turning Uncertainty into Breakthrough Opportunities” by Ram Charan becomes a useful book. The author reveals the sources of uncertainty and helps you define a path forward while learning to embrace and accept uncertainty and then manage your business from there.
Here are just a few concepts that are included in the book: How to see and anticipate uncertainty and how to structure your organization in a way that sets you up for success.
Leadership Skills On the Court
The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
by Michael Bungay Stanier
Coaching employees is one of the most powerful yet often forgotten skills used by managers. It’s no wonder “people problems” rank third among small business issues; right after sales and marketing.
In “The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever“, Michael Bungay Stanier (@BoxOfCrayons) lays out a simple coaching process grounded in just seven questions. The process is simple. Ask the question. Listen for the answer. This book is an easy step-by-step guide for small business owners or managers who want to get the most out of their teams. Specifically, readers will learn how to get straight to the point in any conversation with The Kickstart Question, get to the heart of any interpersonal or external challenge with The Focus Question and The Foundation Question and ensure others find your coaching as beneficial as you do with The Learning Question.
The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
by Chris Bailey
“I’ve got too much to do and not enough time.” If you’re nodding your head right now, then “The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy” is a book you might explore. Chris Bailey (@ALOProductivity) did something few of us would do; he turned down a lucrative job to run productivity experiments — on himself. He took a full year to interview experts and try out a variety of strategies such as cutting out sleep, caffeine and sugar, living in isolation for 10 days, only using his smartphone for an hour a day and many more fascinating strategies. Discover what he found out and how those lessons will help you get more done in less time.
Motivating Your Inner Leader
Discover Your True North
by Bill George
In “Discover Your True North,” author and former Medtronic CEO Bill George (@Bill_George) shares his personal stories and his wisdom by describing how you can become the leader you want to be by simply understanding your “True North.” This is the fixed point that you focus on as everything else changes around you.
Originally, the book was based on first-person interviews with 125 leaders. This edition of “Discover Your True North” is a re-release of the 2007 best seller and includes 48 new interviews with contemporary leaders, the individual case studies of CEOs and the best leaders of our time as well as helpful exercises to guide you on the journey toward your “True North”.
The Big Fish Experience: Create Memorable Presentations That Reel In Your Audience
by Kenny Nguyen , Gus Murillo, Robert Killeen, and Luke Jones
There is no such thing as being too good of a presenter. Yes, even expert speakers can seem “over-produced”. This is where “The Big Fish Experience: Create Memorable Presentations That Reel In Your Audience” by Kenny Nguyen (@BigFishKenny), Gus Murillo, Robert Killeen (@RJKileen) and Luke Jones (@Luke_T_Jones) becomes an invaluable tool for coaches, consultants, speakers and authors. Touching, moving and inspiring your audience to take action is a skill set you never stop developing. This book will show you how to do it quickly, easily and effectively. This is a book best consumed in full color. So definitely get it either in paperback or to be viewed on a full color screen.
Life is Good: The Book
by Bert Jacobs and John Jacobs
Anyone who has ever worn a “Life is Good” T-Shirt will enjoy “Life is Good: The Book” by Bert Jacobs and John Jacobs (@LifeIsGood). This is a warm-your-insides entrepreneurial story about two brothers and the clothing empire that started in a van and almost died until a single “highway conversation” about the “negativity of the news that led to one idea that led to one shirt that led to one brand.” If you’re looking for inspiration about how to turn your passion into a profitable business, you will find this book a fun and worthy read. Purchase it as a hardback because the texture, the print and the color are worthy of a coffee table book. Filled with musical play lists and colorful art, this is a book any entrepreneur would enjoy.
Leadership is Both Learned and Practiced
As with all skills, some people are blessed with a talent or gift for leadership. But that doesn’t mean they don’t learn and practice these skills. If you feel like you’re falling short, this list of new leadership books will give you the inspiration, guidance and motivation to keep at it. You don’t have to take on every single piece of advice, but you can take at least one lesson from each book and integrate it into who you are as a leader.
What leadership challenge have you been faced with? How did you approach the challenge and what were your results? I invite you to share your leadership wisdom here and even your favorite leadership book.
Books Photo via Shutterstock