Summer Reading Material That Makes Good Business Leaders Great

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Summer is the ideal time to dive into a good book. You can sit in the sun and enjoy the fresh air, whether you’re on your lunch break or enjoying a quick getaway to your own backyard.

While you’re enjoying your time off, why not take the opportunity to read something that helps you to grow as a business leader? Leaders set the tone for organizational culture, influence change, and directly affect morale. That can sound like a heavy load to bear, but the following titles will ease you into positive growth in both your personal and professional life.

Connection, Communication, and Collaboration

If connections are broken or never made, there is nobody to lead. Ensure you engage others with these suggestions from Forbes writer Rhett Power.

  • Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get From Good to Great by Carmine Gallo: Whether you’re resolving conflict or sealing a deal, at the heart of every negotiation is the ability to effectively convey — and sell — an idea. To that end, Gallo gives tips on becoming a superior negotiator.
  • Superfans by Pat Flynn: What’s the secret to explosive growth? Flynn says it stems from cultivating relationships with your diehard fans.
  • Stand for Something by Brian Burkhart: This author explains that having devotees stems directly from identifying, broadcasting, and exemplifying a particular ethics-focused message.

Personal Skills and Abilities

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. As a leader, there are particular abilities that shape your growth. Work on your leadership skills to make the most of your strengths, and make improvements in your weak spots, with these recommendations.

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey: Covey’s book is a classic, and for good reason. It offers insights into connecting with who you are at the core and how that influences your leadership.
  • Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam:Many business leaders burn the candle at both ends. If you tend to run out of energy for the projects and people that matter most, Vanderkam’s book will help find balance.
  • Brené Brown books: Across the board, Brown’s books offer lessons that help you to become a more courageous, vulnerable, compassionate, and effective leader while attaining a healthy work-life balance.

Creativity, Innovation, and Change

Being able to think creatively helps leaders solve problems, develop new ideas and processes, and spur others towards change. These titles from Psychology Today can help you dig deeper into the processes behind these concepts:

  • The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler: Koestler asserts that creative actions follow the same pattern across various disciplines. To become more creative, learn about that pattern by reading this book.
  • Creativity in Product Innovation by Jacob Goldenberg and David Mazursky: Would you like to be able to innovate on demand? This book holds the key!
  • Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation by James M. Utterback: Utterback examines changes that affect entire industries in a way that will have you looking at innovation in a whole new light.

Thinking Outside the Box

Books are a wonderful, timeless learning tool, but nowadays we have more avenues for learning than ever before. Consider adding these opportunities to your toolkit when you’re exploring ways to become a better leader:

  • Taking a leadership retreat is a great way to recharge your batteries, hone your skills and deepen your understanding of true leadership.
  • Getting your MBA is a great way to advance your leadership capabilities; look for online programs that allow you to balance your education with your other commitments.
  • If you’re seeking small opportunities that squeeze into your everyday life, don’t overlook the wealth of quality leadership podcasts available.

No matter what your plans are this summer, adding in summer reading that can benefit your leadership and interpersonal skills can be incredibly valuable. Happy reading!

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