Becoming a leader isn’t easy. There are lots of lifestyle changes you should make and skills you should acquire in order to become a successful leader. Perhaps the hardest thing about leadership is that no one ever teaches you what it’s like to be a good leader. If you have no idea where to start, check out the following leadership books that will motivate you to succeed.
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
One of the bestselling books in history, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho teaches us a number of important life lessons. The tale of a shepherd boy named Santiago trying to figure out his “Personal Legend” is a fantastic source of inspiration for those who strive to live their dreams. The book will help you to understand that each day has something good to enjoy, with any big risk comes big reward, the importance of living in the present moment, and how to take actions that lead to success.
Whether you failed in the past or you’re new to leadership, chances are you’re feeling lost. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho will definitely motivate you to focus on your goals and dreams.
2. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
Clayton Christensen, a successful entrepreneur and Harvard professor, describes the importance of disruptive innovation. It involves the rejection of the customer’s needs right now to the advantage of coming up with new technologies and methods that will satisfy their needs down the road. As strange as it may sound, disruptive innovation is worth trying if you work with customers.
3. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappo, managed to grow an incredibly successful business by following two simple rules. The first rule is about hiring the right employees. The second rule is about putting the requirements and needs of customers first, which is the key to building successful relationships with customers. Serving company culture and customers were the major focus. Tony Hsieh changed traditional corporate leadership and earned money by delivering happiness to others.
4. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey
Highly effective people aren’t born successful. They create their success by developing new habits and quitting those that don’t serve. It’s all about discipline and fighting poor motivation. If you strive to become a successful leader, Covey’s book will alter your mindset and motivate you to take actions. You’ll learn what Paradigm Shift is and how it can change your life.
5. Good to Great by Jim Collins
In our highly competitive world, most startups fail within a year or less. If your company failed and you’re not sure whether you should start a new one or just find a job, find time to read Good to Great by Jim Collins. The author researched thousands of interview transcripts and articles to find out why companies fail and how to avoid it. You’ll also learn about the traits entrepreneur should have in order to grow a successful company.
6. The Truth about Leadership by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
Leadership isn’t always effective and it can be destroying at times. In order to become a successful leader, you need to have a few important things in mind, including ethics, credibility, and trust. The Truth about Leadership shows 30 years of detailed research that support the major principles of being a leader. The book will also show you how leaders can move beyond simplistic solutions, trendy fads, and pessimistic predictions. You’ll find out about the fundamental, sturdy truths of effective leadership, which stay constant no matter circumstance or context. A successful leader makes a difference, trust, values, credibility, following by heart, example, etc.
7. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
In his book Daring Greatly, Brené Brown claims that a vulnerable leader isn’t necessarily weak. We all have shames and fears, but these things should never stop us from reaching big dreams or goals. The author describes the importance of showing up, trying, and even failing. Each failure is a valuable lesson, but it doesn’t mean you should give up on your dreams. You never know what you can do until you try it out.
8. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Oftentimes, things don’t go as you planned. We have to accept this fact and find out the solution to the situation. The author tells us about a famous political genius Abraham Lincoln in his book Team of Rivals. As president, Lincoln managed to build the most unusual cabinet even known in history, bring his biggest opponents together, and organize their talents to the goal of winning the war and preserving the Union. Despite all the challenges, Abraham Lincoln succeeded and became even stronger.
9. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Successful leaders have fantastic speaking skills, which help them build good relationships with customers, employees, and other people. It’s not easy to win customers over or make other people like you. It’s not enough to just interact with customers, you need to show your interest in people communicating with you. Dale Carnegie will teach you to do it.
10. Drive by Daniel H. Pink
The last but not the least book that each leader should read is Drive by Daniel H. Pink. The art of motivating others is extremely critical in leadership. A leader who can’t motivate others is doomed to fail. The book contains a host of motivation tricks and secrets of motivating others to do meaningful work. While doing this, it’s recommended to avoid using punishment and rewards. But before you learn how to motivate others, learn how to inspire yourself to take actions.
There are tons of leadership books that can teach you a host of valuable lessons. Leaders aren’t born, they become. Pay attention to your self-esteem, fears, and doubts. Address them and determine which book mentioned above you’ll read first. If you don’t feel like reading a printed book, you can read or download it online.