Leadership is the most evergreen of topics, yet it remains difficult to master. Year on year, an array of authors do their part to keep the subject fresh, bringing their varied perspectives to the task. From the musings of theorists, to painstakingly researched volumes, there’s no better way to learn than from captains of industries who recount their own journeys and the lessons learned along the way.
Here are Ibiene’s top five picks we believe you should read before the end of 2019.
Data Science for Executives by Nir Kaldero:
There’s a reason why data science is the second-fastest-growing sector after pharmaceuticals in the world. Every enterprise needs data science, yet few leaders actually understand it. “Data Science for Executives” examines how businesses can implement data science and AI initiatives. Written by Nir Kaldero, Vice President and Head of Data Science at Galvanize, the book tackles myths, provides practical strategies and explains why data science will be essential to every type of business.
Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust by Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein:
Edgar H. Schein has long been a foremost expert on company culture. In this new book, Humble Leadership, Schein pairs up with his son and consulting partner, Peter, to explore what the senior Schein has long proclaimed is the other side of the culture coin: leadership. Based on this premise, the Scheins counsel the reader to “reframe the personal challenge of improving your leadership skills into a collective challenge of helping to improve how your groups perform.” They refer to this type of leadership as “Level 2” and see it as distinct from the traditional model of leadership, which they critique as being hierarchic and dependent on the heroic performance of the individual.
Leadership is an Art by Max DePree:
A lovely and influential volume on leading, particularly in the creative world. The author is the former CEO of Herman Miller Inc., a longtime leader in the world of home and office furnishings. DePree recounts the decisions that Miller made that have led to its sustained business success, including to hire creative geniuses and give them free rein. He convincingly makes the point that “the indispensable knack for building and nurturing relationships” is at the heart of what leadership requires.
Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 by John C. Maxwell:
A pioneer in the field of leadership, Maxwell has published several bestsellers. This year he released a largely rewritten “2.0” version of his classic, “Developing the Leader Within You”. This is an update of his classic book from 1992, a title which has sold some two million copies and has had a major influence in the field.
The new edition brings the book’s language and examples up to date but retains the central principles of the original, such as the maxim that “leadership is influence” and Maxwell’s five levels of leadership (from the lowest level, “People follow [you] because they have to” to the highest, “People follow [you] because of who you are and what you represent.”
Disrupt-It-Yourself: Eight Ways to Hack a Better Business–Before the Competition Does by Simone Bhan Ahuja:
Fear of disruption runs rampant in boardrooms today. Innovation expert Ahuja proposes an antidote to this paralysis-inducing posture: innovate within your organization before the competition disrupts you out of business. She then lays out eight ways to do exactly this, presenting an unusually broad set of examples to make her point that this is the best way an organization can survive and thrive over time.
There may never be enough hours in the day, but you can’t afford to let 2019 slip by without some smart reading. Each book here contains insights you need to deal with 21st-century challenges Take this as a challenge. If the world’s richest, Warren Buffett can find the time to read books, you can, too.
What book(s) have you read in 2019 that has changed your perspective on leadership? Please share with us in the comment section.