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10 Best Books On Leadership Old and New

My favourite books this year on Leading Self (1-3), Leading Others (4-8) and Parents as Leaders (9-10).

  1. Playing Big by Tara Mohr
    This is my favourite self leadership / self development book this year. Targeted to women it provides both stories and strategies to help us manage our ‘inner critic’ and do the things we need to do to move ourselves forward while at the same time managing our fear and discomfort.
  2. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
    This book as with all of Brenes books, based on her research into shame, is indeed a gift. I recommend them all to anyone who would like a greater understanding of themselves and others.
    10% Happier by Dan Harris
  3. I loved this book on meditation and mindfulness. Before I read it I thought I would never become good at meditation. Reading it freed me to do it imperfectly and frequently rather than striving for competence!
  4. The Pause Principle by Kevin Cashman
    Cashman has a different perspective on leadership and productivity in this book. Well worth a read, especially if you are often feel over busy and overwhelmed.
  5. The Extraordinary Leader by John Zenger and Joseph Folkman
    This book presents evidence from the authors’ research about leadership traits, qualities, skills and behaviours. It recognises that leadership is complex and that what is required of a leader is context dependent. It’s a great book for leaders who want to learn and grow.
  6. Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John Maxwell
    The title says it all really. There are some great questions in this book as well as why and how to use them.
  7. Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed
    Using case studies and narratives mostly from health care and aviation, this book examines the importance of not only learning from failures and noticing them, but of seeking them out and actively investigating them. It then presents how this approach underpins growth and innovation and the dangers of not doing it.
  8. Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling
    This is a speech J.K. Rowling made at a Harvard graduation ceremony. I have included it because I think she demonstrated true leadership through it as well as in it. Three things stood out for me in her speech: expect to fail and make sue you learn from it; be imaginative and link it to empathy; and we each have the power to change the things in this world that we don’t like.
  9. No Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel
    I have recommended this to so many parents. Siegel presents discipline as a teachable moment that comes from a place of connection rather than a punishable moment that comes from a place of separation.
  10. 7 Habits of Highly Effective Parenting by Steven Covey
    Coveys 7 Original habits applied here to creating a positive family culture.
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