Reading a great book is an escape from the world, but even better, it’s a smart investment into your future. Being open to new concepts is a great way to demonstrate to your team how you are willing to lead them.
Leadership is both an art and a skill. And while you can’t teach the art part of leadership, you can acquire the skills of a leader by reading these recommendations.
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James Kouzes and Posner
“When leaders are doing their best, they Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart.”
Dubbed the “gold standard” of leadership manuals, this book explores the difference between good leaders and great leaders. The first thing that grabs your attention is its non-traditional approach encouraging “taking action”, learning as you go, and most importantly listening to the heart.
The authors outlined, using over 30 years of experience in management and leadership, 5 practices of exemplary leadership:
- Model the way: starting with an inward journey to lead by example.
- Inspire a shared vision: by imagining the possibilities and finding a common purpose.
- Challenge the process: great leaders are the ones who challenge the status quo and venture outside themselves for potential innovations.
- Enable others to act: strengthening others by giving them confidence and developing their competence and offering them a sense of belonging
- Encourage the heart: exemplary leaders motivate and support with genuine care and appreciation.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
“To be interesting, be interested.”
In one of the most famous books on leadership ever written, Carnegie reveals some of the “soft skills” of good leadership, such as making people feel important and appreciated. Implementing the ideas found in this classic will help you be a better leader, negotiator, and motivator.
This book falls in the must-read because it revolves more around the people rather than the process. Not negating the latter, the book still offers technical and practical steps that cover big themes like handling people, making you more approachable when communicating with different personalities, and ultimately bringing them to your side and ways of thought.
With values such as respect, connection, and humanity, you’ll notice as you go how starting with yourself and evaluating your own actions and words, you become an influential manager.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”
A classic yet must-read for leaders at all professional levels, both entry-level or experts.
For a quick background overview, Sun Tzu was a military leader who put his philosophies regarding war and leadership to paper. It is filled with timeless wisdom that tackles resistance, the opponent’s weaknesses, and the importance of layout out a plan or strategy and being tactical in every move.
The book is divided into thirteen chapters and each one is devoted to a certain philosophy that noticeably applies to many of today’s management and business industries.
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”
Ideal for millennial managers, this book lays out the reasons behind the success vs the failure of some teams. Sinek tackles this topic basing his arguments on a great example of how junior Marines ate first, while the most senior Marines ate last. The idea behind “leaders eating last” is explained both figuratively and literally whereby leaders need to sacrifice their own comfort and even their lives for the good of the team they lead.
The book is rich in case studies and examples that fall in the categories of both business and military, allowing the reader to find striking similarities when it comes to altruistic human behavior.
Why is it a recommended read? It’s the way it explains how the depth of leadership starts up from the executive board to management, which in turn cascades down to the soldiers that march in and out of the battlefield of the organization on a daily basis shaping the culture of the environment, and coming full circle back up to the one that leads, as a direct reflection of his or her leadership.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
“Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).”
A beloved book by business school students, its author, the late Covey is still known today as one of the best leadership experts as he encouraged every leader to start with their own personal project and look within themselves before handling projects that involve other people.
This book focuses on the self rather than the organization. It has seven chapters of wisdom:
- Be proactive
- Begin with the end in mind
- Put first things first
- Think win-win
- Seek first to understand then to be understood
- Sharpen the saw
Finally, you might notice a common pattern in these books: empowering managers and leaders to inspire others, work for a bigger purpose, and learn as they go. These three main points align with the values of EMLV . Having endless resources at the disposal of its students, both within and outside their syllabus, the business school equips future leaders with the entrepreneurial drive and educational quality to boost their careers and make real change in the business world, particularly with its Master’s in Management programme and transversal approach.
The major courses of the syllabus take into account company and job market needs as well as the ever-changing dynamics within teams and their leaders.
Ready for the “next chapter” of your professional career?