It goes without saying that strong leadership skills are essential for any successful manager. Defining what makes a good leader is a more difficult task. Our Leading With Credibility course helps managers find their true leadership potential by becoming more honest, forward-looking, competent and inspiring.
Since leadership is a continuous journey, keep advancing your knowledge by reading engaging, well-written and insightful leadership books as a supplement to your courses and on-the-job training. Kick off your reading list with a few of our favorites.
1. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin
A “tribe,” according to management and marketing expert Seth Godin, is a group of people of any size who are connected by a leader and an idea. The nature of business and communication is constantly changing as technology continues to advance, so tribes are no longer necessarily limited by geography or money (for example, a group of people in different countries can use the Internet to work for a shared cause). The Internet may help connect individuals, but it can’t provide leadership. Godin outlines what leadership skills are necessary in the modern world: the ability to connect a tribe, the desire to create change and the willingness to be a leader.
2. On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis
This classic book promotes the idea that leaders are not born, they are made. Warren Bennis, a Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at the University of Southern California and a business consultant, uses 30 interviews with influential leaders (from CEO John Sculley to feminist author Gloria Steinem) to define leadership and offer practical advice for individuals.
3. True North: Discovery Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George
Bill George, former Medtronic CEO and Harvard Business School professor, focuses his book on the idea that any person who follows his or her inner compass can become an authentic leader. He interviews 125 top leaders to give concrete examples and demonstrate how individuals must build their own personal leadership development plan based on five key strategies.
4. The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
Kouzes and Posner’s book is a practical guide for anyone, from a CEO to a new graduate, looking to develop solid leadership skills. They use responses from interviews and questionnaires from more than 3000 leaders in different industries to illustrate the “five fundamental practices of exemplary leadership.” The book inspires readers not only to learn about leadership but to act using the key principles.
What books are on your reading list? Check out our management training book recommendations to get started.