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Four Books for Leaders
I think books are still one of the best investments you can make. Books are extraordinarily affordable, and their contents can challenge your views, develop your skills and give you a new outlook on life. Over the last few years, I have read a lot on leadership and organisational development. I'm fascinated by finding new ways of working and leading. The following books have been influential on my journey so far, and I hope they may help you also.
Based on a five-year research project that tried to find the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause companies to out-perform their competitors and the market. Good to Great walks the reader through the alternative management approaches, strategies and practices these companies used to get great results. This book provided the data to back up my views on leading.
Turn the Ship Around - David Marquet
The true story of how David Marquet transformed the USS Santa Fe from the worst performing submarine in the fleet to the best by challenging the U.S. Navy's traditional leader-follower approach. The book follows Marquet's journey as he struggles against his instincts to take control and instead finds a more powerful way of leading aboard his ship.
It Doesn't have to Be Crazy at Work - Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
I see this book as a manifesto for an alternative approach to work. The authors walk through the strategies they have used over the last twenty years at their company Basecamp, to try and create the ideal company culture. The book challenges the prevailing notion that long hours, aggressive hustle, and "whatever it takes" are required to run a successful business today. I found it a refreshing and inspiring read!
In this book, Jerry takes the methods he uses to coach start-up CEOs and opens them to all of us through his writing. I believe that to improve as a leader, you must start by looking to understand ourselves, then work to improve. This book helped me reflect on myself, learn how to build healthier bonds, and to become more compassionate in my approach to leading.
There are so many other great books out there, but these are four that had a significant impact on me this year. I'd love to hear any other recommendations you have!