The past few years have been riddled with unexpected twists and turns for organizations of all stripes. Leaders in every industry process past changes and brace for future disruptions. As they navigate unfamiliar and unpredictable waters, it’s important that leaders take advantage of all the resources at their disposal.
As you run your organization, you need to track what modern leadership looks like and where it’s going. From inclusiveness to kindness, psychological safety and bringing out the best in people, here are a few books to support and develop your leadership skills as you navigate the path to the new normal.
1. Michael Bungay Stanier — How to work with (almost) everyone
Our working relationships have a huge impact on our success and happiness. But most of the time we cross our fingers and hope for the best. Leadership means actively choosing to build the best possible relationship with key people.
In How to work with (almost) everyone, best-selling international author Michael Bungay Stanier (aka MBS) tackles the task of building working relationships for success. From making social contracts to communicating what brings out the best in you, Bungay Stanier shares proven tools and techniques to help you amplify the good and get the most out of every professional relationship you enter. How to work with (almost) everyone walks you through the “Keystone Conversation” from start to finish and five questions you need to ask (and answer) to build the best relationships possible.
Even the most charismatic leaders have those relationships that feel like you just can’t get them off the ground. This book (due out June 27, 2023) is the answer to relational efficiency in the workplace – and it’s one every leader should read.
2. Amy Edmondson — The fearless organization
We live in a data-driven world, where informed consumers need increasingly sophisticated answers to their problems. While technology makes it possible to meet this demand on a practical level, the delay often stems from a lack of creativity.
from Amy Edmondson The fearless organization is a practical introduction to driving innovation in the workplace. It breaks through the traditional culture of belonging and going along with the crowd. Instead, Edmondson offers actionable advice to help leaders create psychological safety within their teams. Setting expectations about failure and being willing to say “I don’t know” are among the tactics Edmondson offers to empower your team to unleash fearless creativity.
Sustainable success no longer requires a good idea. It needs a constant flow from them. Edmondson’s book equips leaders with the tools they need to get those creative juices flowing.
3. Claire Hughes Johnson — Scale people
Startups are a dime a dozen. The process of developing a good idea from scratch into a full-fledged business? Well, that takes chops.
Claire Hughes Johnsons Scaling people: tactics for management and business building is packed with advice on business growth from an author who was present at the rise of major corporations, including Google and Stripe. In Scale people, however, Johnson does not focus on financing or customer acquisition. She is dedicated to building the human infrastructure of a successful, scalable business.
From empathetic advice to practical worksheets, templates and exercises, Johnson’s book is the perfect starting point for any growing business. It’s the blueprint leaders need to read if they want to scale their businesses without breaking their teams in the process.
Laying the foundation for good leadership
There are many factors that go into leadership. However, for a leader to be truly “good,” he must begin by mastering his ability to lead others.
Psychological safety. productive interactions. effective growth. These are concepts every leader must master if they are to have a sustainable track record of success – and the trio of books above is the beginning of that process.