[March 31, 2017] Spring has finally arrived and with that our trees are starting to bloom and the lingering snow melt away. I noted in my Reading List Update from January that I’m posting less on leadership books. That doesn’t mean I’m any less interested or that my reading tastes have changed. Nor does it mean that I’ve strayed from the idea that a life-long practice of reading and learning should be encouraged. I believe that only through the deliberate study of leadership and experience can we make great leaders.
A special shout-out to Tom Copeland for his continued diligence in compiling prominent lists of military readings. His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here: https://militaryreadinglists.com/reading_lists/3-navy
The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World’s Most Disruptive Company, John Rossman, 2016
Take the extra step. This book by John Rossman, former Amazon executive, is best summarized by the simple idea that people can do more, be better, and achieve more by taking that extra step. How to do it is the key and Rossman gives us ample stories that educate and entertain us on this theme. He decodes much of the behind-the-scenes at Amazon and points to those things most important at the company level regarding decision making and “ownership.” The owner of a project or product, Rossman notes, does not have to be a senior leader but can be very junior; yet that owner is the sole person responsible for the project’s outcome. Rossman’s book is applicable across organizational types and applies, of course, to any leadership style. Best quote: “Amazon.com employees quickly learn that the phrase ‘That’s not my job’ is an express ticket to an exit interview.” Highly recommended.
The Art of Authenticity: Tools to Become an Authentic Leader and Your Best Self, Karissa Thacker, 2016
Thacker’s book is a fresh look at how we can become better leaders; not by checking off a list of leadership principles but by looking at ourselves and being true to us as leaders. We see the impact when leaders are authentic and are not authentic during the last presidential election; regardless of your political persuasion, we know that Trump was more authentic and Clinton was not. He won, she lost. This book is especially good for junior and up-and-coming leaders who want to take on leadership roles with greater ease. Although learning to be authentic is not easy, the benefits outweigh the risks of being different than other leaders. Transparency is one of the keys to better leadership. Practical examples help Thacker get across her points. Also, highly recommended.
To go to the full Professional Reading list, simply click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/