My Top 10 Leadership Books of All Time (3-5)

My Top 10 Leadership Books of All Time (3-5)

 

I frequently get asked by aspiring leaders what leadership books I recommend; or what my five most favorite leadership books are.

So I’ve decided to compile a list of my top leadership books of all time. Today, I share numbers 3-5.

 

5. 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.”

 

4. 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.”

 

3. 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.”

 

Game Plan 

  1. What leadership books are in your top five? Take some time to think through your bookshelf and narrow it down.
  2. 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.

 

Below are more posts from my top leadership books series:

 

Tweetable Lesson 

The 8 Habits of Highly Significant Leaders: Habit #5

The 8 Habits of Highly Significant Leaders: Habit #5

Today, in our series on The 8 Habits of Highly Significant Leaders, I’m discussing Habit #5. In this video, I share how an axe and tree can increase your motivation to accomplish any goal or projects.

 

Game Plan

Today, our Game Plan is this: create and celebrate milestones. Remember, what gets rewarded, gets repeated. So what are you rewarding? What milestones should you celebrate, so you can continue to make progress toward your most important goals?

 

Tweetable Lesson

 

Top 10 Posts From 2020

Top 10 Posts From 2020

I know all of us are ready to leave 2020 behind and focus on 2021. But like many of you, I spent some time reflecting on the last year, and there were certainly lessons I learned. Here are my top 10 posts from 2020, a sample of lessons I learned and shared over the last year.

 

  1. The First Ingredient of All Great Leaders (Part 2)

There is no “one size fits all” leader or leadership style. But there are characteristics or qualities that all great leaders have in common. In the first session of an ongoing series entitled “The Ingredients That All Great Leaders Have,” I share the characteristic that is foundational to effective leadership.

  1. The Art of Goal-Making: How I Read 25 Books in a Year (Part 2)

In this series, I share some tips that have helped me become more consistent in accomplishing my goals. In fact, these techniques helped me go from reading 13 books in 2018 to nearly doubling it to 25 books in 2019. Part 2 is focused on what most people forget when it comes to creating their goals.

  1. A Type of Learning That Transforms

We are inundated with information. And when it comes to learning, the opportunities are endless. However, for all this intake of information, is it producing growth and development? Here’s why this is an important question. Information, in and of itself, doesn’t produce transformation. Transformation is in the application. Simply knowing a fact or point of view cognitively doesn’t help us develop. So, how do we create a type of learning that actually transforms instead of one that simply informs?

  1. The Top 5 Temptations That Will Derail All Leaders

We have all heard stories of highly talented leaders (and celebrities) who never reached their potential because poor choices ended up derailing their career. Our leadership journey is a marathon, not a sprint. And if you are going to be a leader that finishes well you must stay away from these common temptations.

  1. Leading in Uncertainty 

Leadership, (or the lack thereof), is revealed through adversity and uncertainty. The measure of leadership is not found in how one leads in security and success; it’s how one leads in uncertainty and chaos. Here are five tools to help you lead both yourself and your team effectively through uncertainty.

  1. How to Lead With Significance: Vision

Significance is more important (and impactful) than success. If leaders want to lead with significance, there are 10 qualities or skills they must develop. In this video session, I share the first skill of leading with significance (vision), why it’s vital to leadership, and how to develop vision.

  1. How Not to Stand Out

In this Sixty(ish) Seconds with Shawn video, I share two traits that will guarantee that you don’t stand out and will eventually cripple your leadership. 

  1. A Leadership Lesson From a Janitor

The President and a janitor walk into NASA…that sounds like the start of a joke. But it’s actually a powerful story about the importance of vision, how to increase employee engagement, and how to be self-motivated at work. In this Sixty(ish) Seconds with Shawn video, I share a great leadership lesson that I learned from a janitor.

  1. How to Stand Out

Most of us want to stand out, whether at a job interview, at our current place of work, or even among our family and friends. But let’s be honest: few of us do. In this Sixty(ish) Seconds with Shawn video, I share the eight traits that will guarantee you stand out and make you a more effective leader.

  1. My Top 10 Leadership Books of All Time (1-2)

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 video session, I share my top two leadership books of all time.

 

Traction

Traction

What if you could get a grip on your business or team and make significant progress in key areas?

That’s what Gino Wickman’s book Traction is all about. It’s about creating a system that allows you to focus and make progress on your highest goals.

In this Your Leadership Coach session, I give a summary of the book and also share some of my favorite quotes.

 

 

Game Plan

Do you have the right people in the right seats? Remember:

  • Right people: Fit your core values
  • Right seats: Competency, willingness, and capacity to perform that job

 

Tweetable Lesson

 

Resources

Order Traction from Amazon (using our affiliate link)

 

The Employee Experience Advantage

The Employee Experience Advantage

Sir Richard Branson says, “The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers.”

Most of us don’t realize that our customer’s experience is directly connected to our employee experience  So if you want to increase your customer satisfaction, you have to increase your employee satisfaction.

But how we do make our employee experience better?

In this Your Leadership Coach post, I share one resource to help you cultivate a healthy and effective employee experience.

 

 

Game Plan

Here are a few questions to consider when evaluating your employee experience:

  • If you are a manager, how would you rate your employee experience on a scale of 1-5? 
  • What is the one thing you can do that will have the most significant impact on your employee experience?
  • If you are an employee, what is one thing you can do to be a catalyst for increasing the employee experience of your company?

 

Tweetable Lesson

 

Made to Stick

Made to Stick

Have you ever thought about why some ideas or stories are so memorable and others aren’t? Even if the most memorable stories or facts are false, they can still spread as if they were true. 

Brothers Chip and Dan Heath explore this idea in their book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.

 

 

Game Plan

Think about the last idea or important information you communicated. Did it stick? Evaluate it through the lens of SUCCESs. Ask yourself: what do you need to improve on next time?

 

Tweetable Lesson