They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That may be true, but I’ll tell you, while I enjoy looking at pictures as much as the next person and may even interpret them in ways that are useful in my everyday life, when it comes to fully immersing myself in learning, a picture is way too subjective.
I say read a damn book… or two!
Whether you prefer the instant access of an electronic device like a Kindle or an iPad, or crave the smell and feel of ink on a page, books hold unlimited power. When you crack the spine of a brand-new book or download a just-released edition, it’s like embarking on a new and thrilling journey to an unknown destination.
And when you seek out books that build and improve leadership skills, combined with executive leadership coaching, you will be well on your way to elevating yourself and your business to the highest level of success possible.
Leadership Books for Becoming a High-Performing Executive
I’ve always been an avid reader, so when my career path led me to leadership keynote speaking and executive business coaching, it was a natural leap for me to not only immerse myself in reading a wide array of leadership books, but also to write a few myself. While I may be slightly biased toward the books that I am going to share in this article, that bias is based on everything I’ve learned through my career and by observing leaders at the highest level. I have lived and breathed every single word into these books and I’ve seen them implemented by many leaders and companies to great effect. They have also proven to be invaluable tools to build a leadership development framework.
These are the books that I recommend to supplement my leadership development coaching with highly educated, exceptionally talented and incredibly hard-working leaders.
It has worked for them and it will work for you.
All you need to do is open your heart and your mind to the leadership lessons and be willing to put in the work. With time, dedication and guidance by an executive business coach, you will improve your leadership skills and create even greater success for your business.
Are you ready to turn the page to a better future?
Love is Just Damn Good Business
Have you ever watched those reality shows where they talk about “choosing” to be in love instead of “falling” in love? It’s true – love is something you work at, commit to and don’t give up on. The best leadership books out there recognize and value this concept.
So let’s toss aside the touchy-feely notion of love in business and recognize the absolute and real power it holds.
In my book, Love is Just Damn Good Business, I demonstrate how love is not only appropriate in a business context, it’s actually the basis of great leadership. Love provides a strong foundation for companies to thrive in today’s extremely competitive business world. This leadership book will allow leaders to build on this foundation to set themselves up for success today, tomorrow and long into the future.
When you acknowledge and accept the game-changing viewpoint that love is a practical business strategy, it will help you:
- Identify your passions and share them with others.
- Create a “love culture” at work. This will spark innovation, productivity and joy.
- Serve your customers in a way that they recognize as unique. When they are treated with love, they will come back for more and be willing to promote your business.
- Invest time into making personal connections that are mutually rewarding. Time is your greatest commodity, so learning how to use it wisely is a key strategy.
- Cultivate your giving spirit through serving others. It will not go unnoticed.
- Do what you love, in life and in business, and others will gravitate towards your positivity and happiness.
When you make love the center of your company culture, your employees will become more passionate, innovative and creative at work. It’s easy to collaborate with others in a mutually respectful and loving environment.
There are immeasurable benefits to making love work for your business. More than anything, it will make you (and your employees and customers) feel good, which will naturally lead to increased productivity and profit. Combine these vital lessons with leadership development coaching and your business will be on top!
The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership
While it does create an exceptionally strong and stable foundation, a business cannot survive on love alone. In my leadership book, The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership, you will access tried-and-true methods that can be added to love to create the perfect recipe for a LEAP into Extreme Leadership.
I’m proud and humbled to share that this book received the distinct honor of being placed alongside books by some truly exceptional authors on the list of 100 Best Business Books of All Time. It has sold over 150,000 copies and has been part of the work I’ve done with great leaders all around the world.
Here a few of the top takeaways from the book (this is just a brief synopsis of the leadership lessons you will receive when you read it):
- LOVE. Cultivate love by doing what you love in the service of people who love what you do.
- ENERGY. Generate more energy when you walk into a room than when you walk out.
- AUDACITY. Inspire audacity by making connections between the work you do and its potential impact on the entire world.
- PROOF. Provide proof to yourself (and others) through significant, observable, daily actions.
This book is chock-full of real-life methods that can be implemented by anybody who aspires to elevate their life for the better. And while it provides immense benefits to people in all areas of life, The Radical Leap is creating legions of Extreme Leaders in business, education, nonprofits and beyond. It is my hope that once you read it, you will be able to pull some of the best tips from this leadership book to elevate your own leadership style.
The Radical Edge: Another Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership
You may be noticing a theme. Radical and Extreme might seem like polar opposites to Love, but truthfully, when combined, they are the perfect balance and work together seamlessly.
In this leadership book, you will be reintroduced to Extreme Leadership, a recurring concept throughout my leadership books that many of the best leaders have begun to adopt as their own. When you dive into this book, you will open up a world of ideas that will renew your passion and excitement and help you discover ways to change the world for the better.
Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?
This book is the re-energized version of a transformational experience. You will meet a young vice president with superstar skills, but with a severe and demoralizing leadership style that’s working against him. You will be deeply invested in his journey as he goes through the coaching process, stokes the fires of success, strengthens his personal joy and attempts to make a positive impact on the world.
By the end of the book, you will not only feel connected to the character as he participates in executive leadership coaching, but you may just find that you’ve experienced your own journey of redemption, perseverance and strength.
Don’t worry, I haven’t given away any surprises or ruined the ending. Check it out for yourself to discover exactly how his journey evolves and where it leads.
Greater Than Yourself
We’ve all heard the phrases, “invest yourself in others” or “pay it forward.” These are great metaphors, but they aren’t groundbreaking or earth-shattering. Get ready for a unique twist on these ideas with the concept, “Greater Than Yourself.”
It is life-altering.
Greater Than Yourself is another one of the leadership books that I recommend to leaders I work with. It weaves a powerful and inspiring tale of how, as a genuine leader, your ultimate goal is to lend a helping hand to your teammates, employees and colleagues so that they can reach, and exceed, their own expectations of themselves.
The concept of replicating and then improving yourself is clearly outlined in this business leadership book, which also includes ways to ensure the people you help then use their success to elevate others.
Elevate Your Skill with Executive Leadership Coaching
In a world filled with choices, leaders have a plethora of available resources to inspire and motivate them to better their lives and improve their leadership skills.
A perfect combination of ways to build a leadership development framework would be to pick up a business leadership book, listen to leadership lessons on a podcast, join a leadership class and take part in leadership development coaching.
We know, however, that time isn’t always conducive to that level of immersion, especially when you are busy running a business. So while reading a leadership book or listening to a podcast about leadership development coaching can be inspiring and motivating, it should be a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, the knowledge, experience and guidance of an executive business coach.
If you’re ready to elevate your and your team leadership skills, grab a few of the business leadership books from this list and hire a leadership keynote speaker to help you lift these stories and lessons right off the page and into your leadership style.
It’s time to start the next chapter of your life. But hold on tight, because this ain’t your mama’s book club!