One of the most common questions I am constantly asked is what book would you recommend that I read on leadership?
Heres the thing, there are many books to read on this topic. However picking the right one for you is the challenge.
Just click on Amazon.Com, enter the word Leadership into the search bar and up comes a long list of leadership development books to buy.
The question that people are really asking is which one will help me the most?
And the simple answer is reading any leadership book is better than not reading one at all. Even joining LinkedIn discussion groups on leadership or following Blogs like this can help you open your mind and learn a different way of approaching your own leadership.
In John C. Maxwells book The 21 irrefutable laws of Leadership John talks about the 21 different styles or laws to being a well rounded leader. In this book a quiz is included that can assist you in identifying which laws you need to work on, and which ones are your strength. I always recommend that you figure out what you want to learn within leadership, as leadership is a very vast topic. However within leadership there are specific areas that each person needs to focus on. For example if you are a senior leader in any organization asking better questions will assist you in finding out what is really going on at ground level allowing you to quickly identify issues within your organization and keep a pulse on things. My recommended read for this would be Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John C. Maxwell.
My opinion on learning and development is that formal education while building skill and knowledge may provide the theory of leadership, will not develop and sustain your ability to lead at a greater level over time. This is because while on the job of being a leader industry, people and generational needs change. This in turn should cause you to review what you have learnt thus far. Your natural abilities and education has most likely got you this far however the person that chooses to pick up a book, continue with self study and practice the lessons learned along the way will be the one that continues to propel their career forwards and grow in position and responsibilities.
My question to you is this, have you ever found yourself at some point in your role as a leader stuck, always being provided with the feedback on a specific part of your leadership that you just cant seem to change? if you find yourself nodding your head to this one then self development, reading and studying leadership is something that should be on the top of your priority list.
Leaders that love to lead are continuos learners, This is what John calls level 5 leadership.
After joining the Maxwell team as a certified coach last year I personally experienced this, as I have grown my own capacity to teach others how to become better leaders. Reading and teaching Johns books has helped me articulate to others what I naturally was already able to do. Leading by example is one thing but having the ability to teach and share concepts while actively demonstrating leadership comes from reading and finding the words and terminology to share with others.
I truly believe that leadership is demonstrated daily, not in a moment and self leadership is one of the hardest but most powerful forms of leadership.
Self leadership takes a commitment and discipline which are two words that most people try and avoid, I know that turning off Facebook and Instagram can be very hard even for me, however if you want to grow and develop your own skills then discipline is required in your quest to become a greater leader for yourself and more importantly your people. You have a responsibility towards your team when you accept the role as leader to lift, elevate and build your teams leadership skills. Remember this, the book that you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t read today will not develop your skill and ability to lead.
So which ever book you decide to pickup this week, or download from the net just make sure you set time aside to actually read it.
Start today, continue tomorrow, LEARN daily and put your mind to good use.
If you are reading this post have any suggestions for other leaders on what is a good read, leave a comment below so that we can continue to share the wealth of knowledge and help our fellow peers on their quest to find a good read.
If reading is not you are thing then listening to audio books and watching videos can be a fantastic way of continuing the learning journey.
On retailu.ca we provide four minute videos with downloadable worksheets that will assist you in your leadership development journey. RetailU which is our retail university is listed on the site as the courses tab. Here you will find courses on coaching, conflict management, problem solving and many other topics. One of my favourite on this site is How to grow and develop leaders this is especially good if you lead a team of leaders, or want to develop future members of your team to grow into leaders.