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Top 5 books on Leadership

Right now, your teams might be feeling lost at sea. Are you ready to guide them through the storm? To help you and your team calm the waters, we have put together 5 books that will hopefully provide food for thought, and if required, the impetus for change.

The Truth About Leadership by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. With the authors 30+ years’ experience in studying leadership, this book offers a wealth of new information for those beginning their climb up the management ladder, as well as new and thought-provoking ideas for those already at the top. Their first book ‘The Leadership Challenge’, was published in 1987, and the sixth edition released in 2017. In this new publication, in a business world becoming increasingly dominated by digital technology, the pair have concentrated on what they consider to be the ten fundamental rules to becoming a successful manager. Their findings, researched over three decades, are based on replies to their questionnaire from over one-million prominent managers and successful business people around the world.


Learning to Lead - The journey to leading yourself, leading others, and leading an organisation by Ron Williams and Karl Webber. Learning to Lead could almost be described as Ron Williams’ business autobiography in so much as it charts his journey from humble beginnings in Chicago, to becoming CEO and chairman of RW2 Enterprises LLC. The book however is not just a self-congratulatory pat on the back. It provides practical advice on problems the author encountered on his journey, how he overcame them, and the benefits gained. The following chapter headings will give an insight into what’s required to manage and organise a business – from someone who’s been there and done it.

  • Improving career focus

  • Avoiding professional pitfalls, wrong turns, and wasted effort

  • Overcoming interpersonal challenges and conflicts

  • Building and leading an effective team

  • Prioritizing and solving problems from multiple perspectives

  • Developing a leadership voice and mastering communication

Whether you are a young college graduate considering your options, an ambitious manager on the slippery pole of promotional opportunities, or a managing director determined to improve company performance and prestige, Learning to Lead has something for everyone. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh If you want the ins and outs of e-commerce, and how the successful make it happen, then this book is for you. Written by Tony Hsieh, and originally published in 2010, when he was CEO of the online footwear and clothing giant Zappos, it tells in an often humorous manner, the story of the trials and tribulations he endured on his journey to mould the company into the entity it is today. In just 10 years Tony Hsieh went from fundraising to a one-billion dollar turnover, and he covers it all, including checklists and emails.

This isn’t just a book for CEOs or company managers, but a book on how to succeed at all levels of management. From a human resources aspect, it covers how to hire the right employees, how to treat them, and how to mould a company into a happy place to work. It covers how to ensure your customers and clients are at the forefront of company policy. And how even the boardroom isn’t shielded from change. It is a book about his own dogged determination to make it happen, and make it happen his way.

Drive by Daniel H Pink How are your management skills? Do you sometimes wonder if your staff do your bidding because they want to, or because they have to? Do you think everything would descend into chaos if you weren’t there to crack the whip? Drive is all about the use of science in modern management. According to the author, employees are not necessarily motivated simply by financial recompense. His work is based on 40 years of studying what it is that really motivates people. He believes, almost from the cradle, that each of us has the desire to be in charge of our own lives, to follow our own path through school, college, and career. In the workplace, he believes autonomy can provide the motivation required. That people are happier doing things because they want to, rather than have to because it makes them feel an important part of something. If you’re considering a more autonomous approach to your workplace management style, read this book first.

Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise by Horst Schulze with Dean Merrill Especially relevant for those in the hotel and hospitality trades. Horst Schulze is the co-founder and ex-CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group, and in 2002, founded the Capella Hotel Group. In an industry where customer focus is everything, Schulze has always been a big advocate of his frontline staff’s autonomous involvement in the operation of his businesses. He believes those at the sharp end, often have a clearer insight into the needs of the customers they deal with on a daily basis than those sitting upstairs. Although his industry is hospitality, his book and management principles can apply to any career in any industry. As a perfectionist himself, he expects nothing less from his team and gets it with a smile. After all, they have a reputation to maintain.

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