Many people have differing views and ideas of what ‘Leadership’ is, but the true essence of effective leadership is surrounded by an aura of mystery and charismatic presence. Are leaders born or made? What makes a leader great? Is leadership only about leading? Are leaders supposed to be empathetic? To seek answers to all of these questions, one has to delve deep into the pool of knowledge. Therefore, we have diligently picked 6 ‘must-read’ books on leadership:
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: Aurelius shows us all how to rise above distractions to maintain our principles. Rooted in Stoic philosophy, Meditations is practical advice for controlling your thoughts, emotions, and actions to remove stress from your life.
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel: This book recounts Viktor Frankel’s experience in Auschwitz, the Nazi prison camp, during the Holocaust. Through all the pain and suffering Frankel was able to maintain perspective and conclude that there “must be meaning in suffering.”
- Applied Empathy, The New Language of Leadership by Michael Ventura: Michael Ventura, entrepreneur and CEO of award-winning design firm Sub Rosa, lays the foundation to establish a diverse, inventive, and driven team by helping leaders to see things through their perspectives.
- The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen: Harvard professor and businessman Clayton Christensen lays out the path to “disruptive innovation.” This requires rejecting the needs of the customer right now in order to adopt new methods and technologies that will meet their needs in the future.
- Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin: Gathering people of divergent ideologies into a team or group is an admirable leadership trait. In Team of Rivals Kearns Goodwin recounts the story of how Lincoln surrounded himself with the best people, despite their differences for the sole purpose of abolishing slavery amidst war.
- Mindset by Carol Dweck: Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck shows how success in almost every area of human endeavour can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities.
There is no other greater gift than the gift of learning, widening our horizon of knowledge and as the great 33rd President of US, Harry S. Truman said:
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”