I don’t know about you, but I get the sense that all the manic activity over the past few weeks has started to ease up and that business leaders are beginning to find a little more time in their lives. If that sounds like you, then now might be the perfect time to read a good book to stimulate your thinking and help you become a better leader.
Every author has most likely put blood, sweat and tears into getting all their knowledge, wisdom and thoughts down on paper, and you only have to give them a tenner for a copy of it. Think of it this way, if you only come away with a handful of good ideas you’ve had a fantastic bargain.
Bill Gates – one of the richest self-made billionaires in the world – is famous for making time in his busy life to consume a vast number of books. He famously takes a reading week every year where he locks himself away to absorb knowledge for 7 day. Now I’m not suggesting you hide away for a week, but I bet you could set aside 15 minutes a day if you really wanted to.
With that in mind, here are a few books that I think you might not only enjoy, but gain huge value from – I certainly did. I have put them into three categories to help you find the right one for you. Let’s jump in.
MANAGING YOUR MIND
The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters – an incredibly powerful mind management model. I loved this one, it rang a lot of bells for me.
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor – an investigation into the science of happiness – as he says: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. Put simply, being happy isn’t a “nice to have” it’s essential.
The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek – this is his most recent book released this year. Trust me, you’ll think about the future of your business quite differently after reading this one.
Atomic Habits by James Clear – a brilliant book on the science of habits. Our lives are totally driven by our habits, some good some bad. Either way they are hard to build or change, this book explains how to manage your habits in a practical way, rather than have your habits manage you.
BECOMING A BETTER LEADER
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink – this is about what a special forces commander in Iraq learned about his leadership. A great book written in an engaging style, each chapter describes a particular incident, what he learned from it and how to apply it to business. Lots to be taken from this one.
The Levels by Ray Moore – a short book outlining the challenges of moving you and your business up a level. One of my favourites – it’s a mandatory read for my new clients – all of whom love it.
The Five Temptations of CEO by Patrick Lencioni – one of a series written by this well-known author. Written in a fable style, it’s very engaging, I defy you not to finish it having identified with some or all of the five temptations!
Turn the Ship Around by Capt David Marquet – the remarkable story of turning the worst performing nuclear attack submarine in the US Navy into the top performing one. A great book with practical guidance on how to massively improve the culture within your business.
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss – The former chief hostage negotiator for the FBI writes about what he learned about striking deals. If he didn’t succeed in the negotiation someone died – so he learned to be good and fast.
Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller – learn how to tell the story of your brand in a way your customers will get. His practical 7 step process will help you explain very clearly what it is that you do and why they should buy it.
Eat the Frog by Brain Tracy – a short but fantastic read on making the most of your time every day. Each chapter is just 3 pages so there is no excuse for not reading a chapter a day!
Traction by Gino Wickman – A practical system for reengineering the 6 key components of your business – it’s not easy and it won’t be quick to achieve, but if you can follow it through it might well be the best book you read.
So there you have it, give some or all of these a go. I hope that you find them as interesting and thought provoking a I did. Once you’ve finished whichever one you chose I’d love to hear your thoughts.