3 books to read to become a better leader

1. Multipliers. How to turn on people’s intelligence (Liz Wiseman, FrancoAngeli editore, 276 pages)


Why read it

How many of you agree that the vast majority of the workforce possesses far more skills, creativity, talent, initiative and resources than the workplace allows or requires? This is the question that Stephen Covey, American author, entrepreneur and speaker who edited the introduction of this book, asks during his seminars. The answer is always affirmative in 99% of cases, testifying how people feel underutilized.

Therefore, companies that will be able to use the intelligence already present within their organizations will be able to compete better and perform better than their competitors. This is the thesis of Liz Wiseman, author of the international bestseller Multipliers. How to turn on people’s intelligence. A book that teaches what the leadership paradigm must be to access the intelligence and potential of people in organizations. Explain why some leaders know how to create genius around themselves, while others just drain skills and intelligence. As Peter Drucker explains, in the 21st century the most important resources for an organization, be it business or otherwise, will be the knowledge workers.

Key messages

● There is more intelligence within our organizations than what we use;
● The future leader must be a Multiplier, that is a person capable of increasing the intelligence and productivity of their collaborators. The Multiplier leader is the opposite of the Diminisher ie a leader who crushes people to him;
● The most important contribution that management must make in the 21st century is to increase the productivity of knowledge in those who work.

Who is the author

Liz Wiseman is the CEO of Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development company headquartered in Silicon Valley, California that works for Apple, AT&T, Disney, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Tesla and Twitter. She is featured on the Thinkers50 chart and named one of the world’s top 10 leadership thinkers, she writes for Harvard Business Review, Fortune, and a variety of other business and leadership magazines.

2. Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success (Gary Vaynerchuk, Harper Business, p. 222)


Why read it

Have you ever wondered why you want to be number one, a CEO? Why not be number two, number three or number twenty-seven in your organization instead? Maybe you could be more successful as an employee, an influencer or starting your own business. Perhaps you are trying to be what you are not. It is time to admit that you are not cut out for that role but that you are just following the ambitions of others, the opinions of those around you and not your true values.

For Gary Vaynerchuk the concept of success varies according to personal values. What is considered successful for one may not be successful for another person. Anyone can be a leader, anyone with children is a leader, anyone who has a dog is a leader, anyone who has received a promotion is a leader based on a role assigned by the organization chart. Anyone who has responsibility and has to manage a single person is a leader. This book helps you understand how to be a better leader and have leadership.

In the first part of the book, each “ingredient” of good leadership is explored and explained how its lack can affect your careers. The second part instead describes some real situations where the ingredients for good leadership find application. This allows the reader to reflect on their reactions to challenging situations and what to do differently than today to improve them.

Key messages

● For a manager, patience is a fundamental skill, in negotiations for the purchase of goods or services, patience in waiting for the new employee to develop the full capacity to fill a role for which he was hired. This is especially true in a fast-paced business world where it seems that going slow is a waste of money. Patience and ambition, these are the key words for a manager, who must accompany his operational responsibilities with clear and transparent communication, honest towards his collaborators;
● The potential growth of many businesses is limited by their leaders’ lack of emotional intelligence. This is a problem not only in the business world but also in the sports or family world;
● Empathy alone is not enough to manage people or to successfully close a sale. Honesty, trust, transparency and preparation are also necessary but above all knowledge of our interlocutor, because before people think and evaluate your product, they will evaluate you.

Who is the author

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the foremost marketing experts in the world, New York bestselling author Times and president of VaynerX, a communications company and CEO of VaynerMedia, a global media and creativity agency. He is a very popular public speaker and an investor in companies like Facebook, Twitter and Uber. He lives in New York.

3. Welcome to management – How to Grow from Top Performer to Excellent Leader (Ryan Hawk, McGraw Hill, pp. 240)


Why read it

A guide to easily go from being the one who achieved excellent performances within a team to a team leader. The book uses case studies, anecdotes and interviews to demonstrate what characteristics effective leadership in different professional sectors should have. The book takes the leading aspiring reader towards personal growth by providing some tools on how to lead your team towards sustainable success. The proposed discipline is that of personal and professional challenges and goals to be achieved from time to time. The cut is practical, a real manual ready to use for those who have just been appointed manager.

The challenge is to put others in front of you, motivating people through action and dedication, reaching skills and a different mindset: when the author had to deal with a collaborator of his team with a broken heart, he was realized he had no idea what it “really” meant to be a leader. This is the rest of the so-called “Peter principle”: in an organization one tends to advance a career, moving from one role to another superior, until reaching one’s level of incompetence. The good news? You can become a leader, there is no magic in leadership, but you have to be aware of what it takes to guide and inspire the people who work not for us but with us, towards common goals.

Key messages

Being a good manager has nothing to do with how well you did your job prior to your appointment;
● Before leading others you must be able to follow a discipline for yourself;
● To be a great leader you have to become a “learning machine”;
● To build an effective team you must first establish what are the characteristics of a person you value;
● Leadership is sustainable only within a culture of mutual trust;
● Effective communication is essential for effective leadership;
● Prioritize others to your personal interests: you have a decisive role in the organization and what pleases you but not others no longer matters.

Who is the author

Ryan Hawk is a keynote speaker, author of The Learning Leader Show podcast, and career consultant. He is the head of Brixey & Meyer’s Leadership Advisory Practice. He also works with teams and players from the NFL, NBA and NCCA. Welcome to management is his first book.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.