A popular activity over the summer months has always been reading. After all, packing a few books to take along to the cottage or the beach is just part of the vacation ritual. And, since learning is a value I pursue actively, I always seem to overpack this item (and a few other items as well according to my husband). Association magazines, recommended leadership books, and a few fiction reads thrown in to change things up. Now that so much of this information is available either online or in e-book form, my reading list is as long as the Trans-Canada Highway.
One thing I know for sure, the most successful leaders are also avid readers. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and Sir Richard Branson are all voracious readers. It’s something I always admired in my former boss Ted Rogers, as well. It’s a way to learn about new techniques and tools, keep up to date on trends, and grow a leadership mindset and skills. They do it because they have a passion for continuing to grow their business and themselves.
Here are my top 5 leadership reads for this summer. How many have you read?
1. The Uncontainable – How Passion, Commitment and Conscious Capitalism Built Business where Everyone Thrives. Uncontainable brings to life The Container Store’s values-driven Foundation Principles and their synergies with the tenets of Conscious Capitalism. It’s an important book about how staying true to what a company stands for, operating with a higher purpose and servant leadership comes together to create wide-spread love and passion for a brand.
2. Building a Values Driven Organization: Richard Barrett, author of the best-selling book Liberating the Corporate Soul, presents his new thinking. The book is based on his experience working with over 1,000 organizations in 32 countries on cultural transformation for the values-driven organization. He presents a whole systems approach to cultural transformation, showing organizations how they can change their culture to become values-driven organizations that support their employees, customers, partners, leaders, and ultimately drive effectiveness and profit.
3. Passion Capital More valuable than money, human resources, and intellectual property, Passion Capital separates leaders from followers, and innovators from imitators. Organizations that possess Passion Capital – Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Four Seasons Hotels, the Montreal Canadiens, among others – lead their sectors, while those that rely on established forms of capital often get stuck in neutral. Passion Capital presents seven principles including over fifty insightful stories drawn from business, not-for-profit, the arts sector, and politics.
4. Firms of Endearment (Updated Edition) Organizations who recognize that doing good is good business are becoming the ultimate value creators. They’re changing their culture and generating every form of value that matters: emotional, experiential, social, and financial. Not because it’s politically correct, because it’s the only path to long-term competitive advantage. This Second Edition updates the examples, cases, and applications from the original edition, giving readers insight into how this hallmark of the modern organization is practiced today.
5. Multipliers, How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter Leaders who amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the Multipliers. And the world needs more of them, especially now when leaders are expected to do more with less. The authors have studied how Multipliers get more done with fewer resources, developing and attracting talent, and cultivating new ideas and energy to drive organizational change and innovation.
And before the summer is over, based on some recent CEO recommendations, I’ll be checking out The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune and Survival in the Age of Networks and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Author Vera Nazarian reminds us that “whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.” Whether you’re reading for relaxation or for personal growth, I hope you find at least one new idea. This idea could be the ember, that when stoked, will energize and expand your capacity to lead.