The books that help you most are those which make you think that most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.
I read somewhere recently that leaders must be readers. I know for me personally books have shaped who I am. I’ve devoured books since I could read. Words have such power. My reading genres vary greatly. I’m typically reading 2 or 3 books at the same time. Anything from business to spirituality to chick lit.
Why then do I recommend that leaders need to become good readers? According to an article by Lana Winter-Hébert on Lifehack.org, 10 benefits of reading are:
- Mental stimulation
- Stress reduction
- Vocabulary expansion
- Memory improvement
- Stronger analytical thinking skills
- Improved focus and concentration
- Better writing skills
- Free entertainment
If you look at the benefits above, you can see why. Great leaders typically display great communication skills, are focused, share wisdom and knowledge and motivate others. Skills that books can easily further develop. So, I thought I’d challenge you to put 3 wonderful business books on your 2015 reading list to develop your leadership skills. They are:
- Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey, Co-CEO, Whole Foods
Read this book and you’ll better understand how four specific tenets—higher purpose, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership, and conscious culture and management—can help build strong businesses, move capitalism closer to its highest potential, and foster a more positive environment for all of us.
- Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington
In this deeply personal book, Arianna Huffington talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters — of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse and to her “aha moment.” Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber
Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. He then shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business whether or not it is a franchise. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.
All 3 books will challenge the way you think about structuring a conventional business and how you lead. I firmly believe that 2015 will truly have entrepreneurs and leaders rethinking the way they do business as we see the old model falling apart and causing more harm than good. My challenge to you is to take the time to read these wonderful books (*) and let your great thinking stimulate change.
If you’re looking for additional book recommendations, I welcome you to head over to http://www.marionchamberlain.com/books/ to take a glance at other books they have inspired and challenged me to new ways of thinking.
(*) Disclosure of Material Connection
If you purchase the product or service I list above from the link or banner you just clicked, I will receive an “affiliate commission.” I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”