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Summer Reading: Titles Every Leader Needs on Their Book List

By Jennifer Scott

Leadership impacts us in more ways than we realize. It affects our morale, how well we collaborate, how we feel about our larger organization, community or world as a whole, and it even shapes our relationships. If you’re in a leadership position—be it in a nonprofit or professional setting—the following books (brought to you today courtesy of Wealth Attraction Research) can help you improve your leadership abilities.

Encouraging Connections

How you relate to others directly impacts how they respond to you. With that in mind, consider these titles that help you with your interpersonal connections:

  1. The Celebrity CEO: How Entrepreneurs Can Thrive by Building a Community and a Strong Personal Brand by Ramon Ray

Perception is reality, and your personal brand frames how others perceive you. It’s your message and motto and will structure interactions on both small and large scales. Whether you’re a CEO or scout leader, this book can help you develop a positive and impactful personal brand.

  • Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers, and Linchpins by Jayson Gaignard

Sitting down to a meal with others is a classic way to connect, and Gaignard explains how to shape those events for the best possible results.

  • The Go-Giver Influencer: A Little Story About a Most Persuasive Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann

When it’s time to bring people together for a common cause but they have different viewpoints, things can be rocky. This book examines how to make it work out to everyone’s satisfaction.

Elevating Leadership

Do you feel like an effective leader? Or could you use a little boost? Good news: it doesn’t really matter how you answer that question. Not only is there always room for improvement but there are also great books to help you along the way.

  1. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

These authors did extensive research, and Kouzes and Posner put forth seven essential pillars of good leadership. Broken down into concepts like modeling appropriate behavior and enabling others to act, the book asserts that leadership needn’t be natural, but instead can be learned.

  • Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam

Keeping a healthy balance between work and personal life is tough, but Vanderkam explains it can be done if you eliminate ineffective, stressful and dull activities. For better balance and satisfaction, read this one.

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

Do you have the courage to probe deeply into what drives the decisions you make? This classic book suggests that if so, you can take that knowledge and apply it to grow into a stronger and more effective leader. 

Understanding and Encouraging Change

Change, creativity and innovation all go hand-in-hand. As someone with a leadership role, by learning more about the mechanisms of change, you can foster those qualities and bring ideas into reality. To that end, and for inspiration, consider these books about effecting change:

  1. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

This book takes a look at current technological trends, such as the use of metrics and remixing, that are reshaping our world.

  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

When it comes to making effective changes in this world, Duckworth makes a case for your perseverance being the key pivotal quality.

  • The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley by Eric Weiner.

Sometimes great changes and progress appear to be associated with particular locations. This book examines times and locations in history at which tremendous amounts of innovation occurred, and how circumstances fostered progress.

Leadership Through Entrepreneurship

One of the ultimate tests of leadership comes with being an entrepreneur. If you’re prepared to dip your toes into the waters of business ownership, there’s a lot to learn. For some, this might mean breaking beyond personal boundaries and reaching for long-forgotten goals. Perhaps it’s time to pursue your ambitions through an online degree program. You can make more of yourself and those you lead with the right tools in your toolkit. Check out these titles before you launch your venture. 

  1. The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki

Today’s entrepreneurs have a different landscape to navigate than in years before. Strategist Kawasaki offers up that starting a business is more an art form than a science, and offers advice that throws out the idea of a business plan and instead encourages tapping into the power of social media, crowdfunding and cloud computing.

  • Business Structures: How to Form a Corporation, LLC, Partnership, Sole Proprietorship by Michael Spadaccini

Choosing a business structure can be a challenge, but determining the right structure for your business takes research and due diligence. Spadaccini provides a wealth of knowledge for anyone planning to form a business

The world always needs great leaders, and the best leaders are those who are still willing to learn. Pick up some of these titles from your favorite local library this summer, and continue to be the leader we all need.

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