Are you beginning to love reading as much as I do? Or maybe you’ve been a reader for a long time. Either way, I’m so glad you’re here with me today as I finish up my top 10 leadership books with numbers 8, 9 and 10.
If you are just joining us, you can find the links to the rest of my top 10 books here, here, and here.
Book #8: Creating Your Personal Life Plan by Michael Hyatt
Hyatt wrote this great ebook as a workbook, which is designed to be read multiple times, not just once through.
The purpose and the result of working through Hyatt’s questions allows a leader to create a vision statement for both their life and then their business.
Book #9: Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom
I love this book. Based on the true story of Mitch Albom, who reconnects with an old professor (Morrie) after learning he has cancer. As a reader, you feel like a fly on the wall in Morrie’s living room as Mitch asks him some of life’s toughest questions. And Morrie, with compassion, boldness, and perspective, shares some of life’s most valuable lessons.
One of my favorite quotes from this book: “Part of the problem, Mitch, is that everyone is in such a hurry,” Morrie said. “People haven’t found meaning in their lives, so they’re running all the time looking for it. They think the next car, the next house, the next job. Then they find those things are empty, too, and they keep running.”
Book #10: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
This book is a must read for any leader who is directly responsible for a team or group of individuals.
In typical Lencioni form, he shares a parable which highlights the common dysfunctions every team will face and how to lead through those dysfunctions in order to create a great team environment.
What leadership books are in your top 10? Take some time to narrow it down.
Then over the next two years, I’d encourage you to re-read them. Re-reading reminds you of key lessons and principles but also offers different takeaways since you are in a different season of life than when you first read it.
Leave a comment below with your top 10 leadership books. Let’s allow reading to shape our personal leadership development together.
President Harry S. Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” And I agree with him. Effective leaders read. Therefore, every so often I’m going to share some of the books that I have been reading and have found to be instrumental in my leadership journey.
A few months ago, I shared my top 5 leadership books of all time (you can find those here and here.) Andover the next two leadership training sessions, I am going to expand upon that list to give you my top 10 leadership books of all time. Today, we’re talking about books number 6 and 7.
Book #6: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Carnegie marvelously gets down to the heart of effective influence and, therefore, effective leadership.
If I had to sum this book in one sentence it would be the “Golden Rule”: “Treat others as you would want to be treated.” This is an obvious and maybe even overused statement, and yet one that most leaders in this world don’t live by.
Book #7: 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
In this book, like many of Maxwell’s other books, he gives key takeaways and practical steps on how to apply each law or principle to your leadership. This approach works great for spending a week or even a month focusing on just one of the laws. Then afterward, you can focus on the next one.
One of my favorite quotes from this book: “The proof of leadership is found in the followers.”
Here’s the plan for today: Choose one book that will help you along your leadership journey (it doesn’t have to be on this list.) Just any book on leadership. Then, make a goal to finish it this next month.
Let’s make that a little easier to break down: If you select a 200 page book and read only 7 pages a day you will complete it in less than a month. At that rate, you could read at least 12 books in a year.
Last, let me know how you’re doing. Leave a comment here or on social media and tell me what you’re reading. I’d love to encourage you along the way. Or, if you need a recommendation, send me a message or an email. Now, let’s get reading!
Last session, I shared my top two books on leadership. Today, I’m going to share my next three to round off my top five leadership books of all time.
As we have discussed, reading should be a priority, particularly for leaders. Reading not only expands your knowledge, but it challenges you to think about leadership issues in a different way. Last session, I shared my top two leadership books and challenged you to read one book this month. This session, I will give you three more leadership literature recommendations.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
In order for any leader to be effective, they have to be productive. And reading this book is like viewing the answer key for an exam on efficiency and productivity. It’s not flashy, but David Allen gets into the nitty-gritty principles of effective work and, as the title says, “getting things done”. I use his principles every single day, from my task management system to the way I check email.
If you need to bring some order and organization to the busy chaos surrounding you, then this book will help. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“Anything that causes you to overreact or underreact can control you, and often does.”
“It’s a waste of time and energy to keep thinking about something that you make no progress on. And it only adds to your anxieties about what you should be doing and aren’t.”
“Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.”
“Your best thoughts about work won’t happen while you’re at work.”
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam
This book is part of a series called, “What the Most Successful People Do”. Laura Vanderkam also wrote books entitled, “What the Most Successful People Do at Work” and “What the Most Successful People Don the Weekend”.
Vanderkam’s premise is that the most important or highest priority tasks should be done in the morning. I’m not a morning person by nature, but I decided to try out her premise and was amazed at the results. Four years later, I still wake up early and workout. I haven’t been this consistent with working out since my college days playing basketball! My whole morning routine (and by extension, the rest of my daily routine) have been changed due to the principles in this book.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“These are your highest-value activities: nurturing your career, nurturing your family beyond basic personal care, and nurturing yourself. By that last category, I mean activities such as exercise, a hobby, meditation, prayer, and the like.”
“Learning to use mornings well is, in our distracted world, what separates achievement from madness.”
“New research into that old-fashioned concept of willpower is showing that tasks that require self-discipline are simply easier to do while the day is young.”
The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
At some point, all leaders have to manage. This book is one of the best at teaching the basic skills and systems a manager needs. In typical Ken Blanchard fashion, the lessons of the book are presented in parable form, which makes it an easy read.
If you are just starting out as a manager or your managerial skills need some refinement, then this book is perfect for you. As an added bonus, this book is only about 100 pages, so you can likely finish it in two hours or less.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“The best managers manage themselves and the people they work with so both the organization and their employees win.”
“Catch people doing something right.”
“A praise that is earned builds confidence.”
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
What leadership books are in your top five? Take some time to think through your bookshelf and narrow it down.
I’d encourage you to begin re-reading those five books over the next two years. I’ve started to do this and it’s been so valuable to my personal leadership development. Re-reading reminds of key lessons and principles, but I can always find something new to take away from the book since I’m in a different season of life than when I first read it.
Many of us understand the importance of reading, but due to busy schedules or an overabundance of options, we struggle with consistency (or perhaps we even struggle to get started). In this ongoing series, I’ll share my favorite leadership books as well as tips and tricks to prioritizing reading. This session, I’ll discuss my top two leadership books.
A few years ago, I read some blogs about how successful people spend their time. Even though those posts were from various sources, they outlined a few similar characteristics that successful people shared. One of those was reading. The most successful people spend at least an hour a day reading. As President Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
If we want to develop as leaders, then reading needs to be a priority.
Since reading is so important to me, occasionally on Your Virtual Coach I’m going to share some of the books I’ve read and a few insights from each of them. Over the next two sessions, I will share my top 5 leadership books of all time. Today, I’m going to reveal my top 2.
Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
If I had to recommend only one book, it would be this one. In my opinion, it is one of the most comprehensive books I have found on leadership. It is specifically directed at faith-based leaders, but can be applied to all contexts of leadership. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“We can lead others only as far along the road as we ourselves have travelled. Merely pointing the way is not enough.”
“Leaders who want to show sensitivity should listen often and long, and talk short and seldom.”
“The true leader is concerned primarily with the welfare of others, not his own comfort or prestige.”
“True greatness, true leadership, is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you. True service is never without cost. Often it comes with a bitter cup of challenges and a painful baptism of suffering.”
“The final estimate of men shows that history cares not an iota for the rank or title a man has borne, or the office he has held, but only the quality of his deeds and the character of his mind and heart.”
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
This book is one of those leadership classics. I recently re-read it and was again amazed at the depth and relevancy of its content. Covey adopts an inside-out approach to leadership, meaning leadership begins within the leader first with what he calls “private victories”. We must have private victories before we move to leading others to “public victories”.
This is a book that you can read every year and get something new out of it each time. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
“Private victories precede public victory.”
“The power to make and keep commitments to ourselves is the essence of developing the basic habits of effectiveness.”
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
“Time management is really a misnomer—the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.”
“Trust is the highest form of human motivation.”
“You can’t be successful with other people if you haven’t paid the price of success with yourself.”
Choose one book that will help you along your leadership journey (it doesn’t have to be on this list). Any book on leadership will do.
Make a goal to finish it this next month. It might sound hard now, but it’s very doable. For example, if you select a 200-page book and read only 7 pages per day, you will complete it in less than a month. If you kept that up, you could read 12 books in a year.
As we begin this leadership journey together, I want to share with you why I created Your Virtual Coach in this first leadership training session…
Leadership Training Session Video
My passion to equip leaders and their team for maximum influence. I have the opportunity to live out this passion in many different facets, one of which is this blog. I actually began blogging back in 2010. The site was so primitive it was laughable, but I faithfully wrote because I wanted to share the leadership lessons I had learned with other aspiring leaders. Throughout my journey as a leader and a blogger, I’ve discovered three facets of our leadership journeys.
3 Valuable Lessons on Leadership
There is no “one size fits all” leadership journey or style. Leadership isn’t dependent on age, your job, your strengths and weaknesses. Two completely different people can both be effective leaders.
Even though there is no “one size fits all”, there are principles that transcends age, gender, or experience.
Many potential leaders don’t progress (or even start) on their leadership journey. Why? They might not know where to begin, or were somehow derailed off the path. Maybe you can relate. After talking to potential leaders, I realized they simply need a coach. They need someone to encourage, challenge, and inspire them. But most of all, they simply need someone who believes in them.
As I look back over my leadership journey, I realize that I have been blessed with mentors and coaches. Men and women who took the time to invest in me. People who saw latent potential and had patience to help me develop it. And that’s why I started this blog, Your Virtual Coach.
This blog is an avenue to help aspiring leaders like yourself become the best version of yourself so that you can lead others to be the best versions of themselves.
Your Virtual Coach 101
Weekly leadership training sessions. These are broken down into three categories: personal leadership, public leadership, and leadership fundamentals. Just like the foundation, walls, and roof are necessary for a house. These categories are vital for effective leadership.
Personal Leadership is the foundation of the house. Everything else rests upon it. In his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey says, “Private victory precedes public victory”. If we want to be effective at leading others, then we first must be effective at leading ourselves. These personal leadership sessions will focus on building your foundation of internal leadership.
Public Leadership is the walls of the house. It is what people notice when they visit. John Maxwell says, “If no one is following you, then you are just taking a walk.” At some point, we must move beyond leading ourselves and begin leading others. These sessions focus on external leadership.
Leadership Fundamentals is like the roof. Many people don’t notice the roof but it’s necessary to protect what’s inside the house. Leadership fundamentals are not flashy, but they protect your leadership from both internal and external forces that can destroy it. Forces like pride, character compromises, poor decision-making, and so on. These sessions focus on the habits and disciplines that refine a person’s leadership.
At the end of each session, I’ll lay out the game plan. It’s going to include some takeaways that can be put into practice right now. Also, the game plan will include what I like to call the “tweetable” lesson. This is a short phrase or quote that will help you remember and apply what we discussed in the session.
Each video will include session notes (which is what you are currently reading). These are essentially an outline of the session and are beneficial for visual learners or those who want to review what we’ve discussed.
Today’s Game Plan
What’s your blog? I don’t mean an actual blog. But what’s your platform or what’s a passion that you have that you can leverage to help others out? Every leader needs an avenue to come alongside others and help them.
Are you a leader? This blog is for leaders, and many of you may be wondering if that includes you. Take some time this week and think about how you would define a leader. Next session, we are going to answer the question, “Is Everyone a Leader?”