World Book Day is Monday, April 23 – and what a better way to honor this holiday than sharing our own favorite books about leadership and business! What book has made a lasting impression on you? What’s your favorite to reread or recommend to colleagues?
Gloria’s Go-To: “Talk To Me” by Celeste Headlee
Headlee uses anecdotes from her public radio hosting days to teach strategies for communicating effectively. I’ve always considered myself to be very approachable and easy to talk with, however this book helped me realize I had my own work to do to truly listen to others and understand their perspectives – and why people believe what they believe and do what they do. To truly listen goes beyond the mechanics of eye contact and paraphrasing, and has forced me to realize that I need to be present, open and respectful to the person speaking.
*Noble Runner-Up: “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni
Chelsea’s No-Brainer: “How To Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
Though it is one of the top selling books of all time, Carnegie’s book does cause some debate around its tactics – is it manipulation or influence? Like any good read, this book allows the reader to decide its intention and what to take from it. Regardless, it offers down-to-earth advice, identifies some harsh realities for some, and simplifies actions to take. And it may just help you find insight into some natural tendencies that you should adjust or break free from.
*Noble Runner-Up: “Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney” by Lee Cockerell
Devin’s Pick: “The Originals” by Adam Grant
I love this book because it’s about creative thinking, new ideas and people who think differently – which is fascinating to me. It really explores the challenges of ideas being heard, building alliances to get those ideas to market and the unexpected twists, turns and time it often takes to bring ideas to life. It offers great insight into the systems and thinking that hold ideas back. It also offers a vast array of examples from creativity in children to disruptive ideas in business, entertainment and socio-politics.
*Noble Runner-Up: Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sineck
Cay’s Choice: “Tattoos on the Heart” by Gregory Boyle
This book helped me realize that compassion towards others can be life changing – even if it is as small as recognizing their emotions to helping through the most difficult time of their life. The act of compassion is easily seen in the small stories that are told throughout the book. There is a lightheartedness seen in parts that talks about every day actions and conversations that is funny and relatable.
*Noble Runner-Up: “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson, M.D.
Tamara Rereads: “Jesus, CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership” by Laurie Beth Jones
This book is special because it serves as a guide for communicating with and motivating people. It is practical and helps me remember to keep Jesus in my daily walk during my workday. Like Jesus, effective leaders must connect with their people and help them understand and buy-in to the mission. Ultimately, for any leader to be successful, they must leverage their team – which means you need to build one first, which is what Jesus did.