Today, I present to you the 10 best leadership books of 2017. Leaders should be readers. Reading has a host of benefits for those who wish to occupy positions of leadership and develop into more relaxed, empathetic, and well-rounded people. Being a leader requires a large drive to learn, which is why I’ve compiled a list of some of the best books on leadership. Check them out below:
1. Own It – Sallie Krawcheck
First on our list of the best leadership books in 2017 is Own It by Sallie Krawcheck. Inspirational, raw, and relate-able. This is a bold account of the author’s journey through the cutthroat world of finance. Sallie shared her failures and weaknesses so all of us can learn from her mistakes. Getting to the top is not an easy job. But with resilience, determination, and hard work, it will always be possible.
2. Stretch – Scott Sonenshein
Stretch is one of the most impactful books that I have ever read. In a world that encourages us to go after what we don’t have, or to wait to take action until resources are in place, Stretch offers a powerful antidote and life-affirming alternative to ‘chasing’ after more resources. I greatly appreciated his points about avoiding the temptation to over-resource and to focus on action. Therefore, I highly recommend this book for anyone in business or academics who want to develop a more innovative culture.
3. Option B – Sheryl Sandberg
If you have any situation that you think you can’t handle, you need this book. It is wonderfully written and full of deeply personal stories that demonstrate compassion, despair, humanity, happiness, and the boundless strength that we all have. This book also teaches on how to react when someone else is going through tragedy which I think is a must read for all. Reading this will surely help you become a better person.
4. Irresistible – Adam Alter
This is a well-written and entertaining, yet frightening book about how tech designers use our own evolutionary structures to get us addicted to their products. This book is a must read for marketers because it clearly lays out how you can build addictive behavior into products and services. By knowing the qualities of being irresistible, you can harness that force for good and understand when it becomes too powerful. Well researched and easy to read, I highly suggest for you to pick up this book!
5. Dual Transformation – Scott D. Anthony, Clark G. Wilbert, Mark W. Johnson
Fifth on our list of best leadership books in 2017 is Dual Transformation. This is an excellent book for anyone leading strategy and innovation in a large company. It provides a lot more depth on how an incumbent organization survives and thrives amidst disruption. It also has an actionable set of recommendations for how to both see disruption and how to make the most of the opportunity it presents. Properly applied, the principles contained in the book can create tremendous value for a company and its stakeholders. Because of this, I highly recommend this book!
6. Getting to “Yes And” – Bob Kulhan with Chuck Crisafulli
Improv is a useful tool not only onstage and in your artistic life but in your professional life, especially in the constricting, fear-based world of business. I honestly enjoyed reading this. It’s easily digestible yet contains many valuable nuggets, and not just for business leaders. The author presents a very clear, well thought out approach that can help people better understand each other & work more effectively together. For those new to the task of creative problem-solving and ideation, this book is a must read.
7. The Captain Class – Sam Walker
This book provides a wonderful analysis of what leadership and success are all about. It takes a different approach to measuring leadership than we are typically used to. It also draws unique and interesting comparisons to major sports teams captains which are definitely thought provoking. Unbelievably entertaining and interesting stories of the greatest teams and hidden leaders that really made them great. Very readable even for those who are not a sports fan!
8. Sensemaking – Christian Madsbjerg
This book has a nice set of stories to remind oneself of the power and importance of the humanities. It gives a holistic view of intelligence which I loved. It’s a much-needed response to the number crunching mania that is gripping businesses and the government. While the author takes a point of view that excessive reliance on big data is a problem, he does see gathering data as useful. I highly recommend this book to anyone involved with quantitative and qualitative analysis.
9. Creative Change – Jennifer Mueller
Who knew that creative change would be so difficult to embrace on a personal or business level? Jennifer Mueller explains in a way that is easily understood why we have such difficulty implementing creativity. Creative Change offers a different view of the creativity dilemma. Mueller says the problem is usually not that there are no creative ideas, but rather that our brains are wired to reject them as too risky, even when they pose no greater risk than more conventional ideas. The concepts in this book are a significant addition to our knowledge of how creative ideas are not just formed, but also identified and nurtured.
10. Radical Candor – Kim Scott
Last on our list of the best leadership books of 2017 is Radical Candor by Kim Scott. This book as opposed to others I’ve read in the past has a ton of actionable guidance. It details Kim’s journey through the “corporate” America of start ups in Silicon Valley. She does a wonderful job making the reader understand her personal philosophy and it felt like the author was talking to me directly. The approach to radical candor feedback, being truly transparent & balanced alongside caring for your team is the right modern approach to management. A great read for anyone considering starting a company or for managers everywhere.
That’s it for our list of best leadership books in 2017! I hope you enjoy them.
Leave a comment below or let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to hear what you think!
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