Here are our top picks for the best leadership and business growth books this month.
Fear Your Strengths: What You Are Good At Could be Your Biggest Problem by Robert E. Kaplan and Robert E. Kaiser
Once you’ve discovered your strengths, you need to discover something else: your strengths can work against you.
Many leaders know this on some intuitive level, and they see it in others. But they don’t see it as clearly in themselves. Mainly, they think of leadership development as working on their weaknesses. No wonder. The tools used to assess managers are not equipped to pick up on overplayed strengths—when more is not better.
Nationally recognized leadership experts Bob Kaplan and Rob Kaiser have conducted thousands of assessments of senior executives designed to determine when their strengths serve them well—versus betray them. In this groundbreaking book, they draw on their data and practical experience to identify four fundamental leadership qualities, each positive in and of itself but each of which, if overemphasized, can seriously compromise your effectiveness. Most leaders, they’ve found, are “lopsided”—they favor certain qualities to the exclusion of others without realizing it. The trick is to keep all four in balance.
Fear Your Strengths provides tools to help you become aware of your leadership leanings and excesses and provides insights for combatting the mindset that encourages them. It offers a practical psychology of leadership, a better way for leaders to calibrate their performance so that you can make sure your strengths don’t overpower you but rather move you—and your organization—forward.
A step-by-step guide to reinventing you
Are you where you want to be professionally?
Whether you want to advance faster at your present company, change jobs, or make the jump to a new field entirely, the goal is clear: to build a career that thrives on your unique passions and talents. But to achieve this in today’s competitive job market, it’s almost certain that at some point you’ll need to reinvent yourself professionally. Consider this book your road map for the next phase of your career journey.
In Reinventing You, branding expert Dorie Clark provides a step-by-step guide to help you assess your unique strengths, develop a compelling personal brand, and ensure that others recognize the powerful contribution you can make.
Mixing personal stories with engaging interviews and examples from well-known personalities—Mark Zuckerberg, Al Gore, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, and others—Reinventing You shows how to think big about your professional goals, take control of your career, build a reputation that opens doors for you, and finally live the life you want.
What does it take to be a great leader? In a word: character. This unique book by decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran Donovan Campbell, the New York Times bestselling author of Joker One, draws on his years of training and combat experience to reveal the specific virtues that underpin effective leadership—and how anyone can stand up, serve others, and make a difference in the world by bringing out the best in a team. The Leader’s Code is a practical action plan that can be applied to any situation in which exemplary leadership is required, whether that be at home or in the workplace. Moreover, The Leader’s Code unpacks the military servant-leader model—a leader must take care of his mission first, his team second, and himself a distant third—and explains why this concept of self-sacrifice is so needed in today’s world. Focusing on the development of character as the foundation of servant-leadership, Campbell identifies character’s six key attributes: humility, excellence, kindness, discipline, courage, and wisdom. Then, drawing on lessons from his time in the Corps and stories from history, Scripture, and American business, he shows us how to develop those virtues in order to take the helm with confidence, conviction, and a passion to bring out the best in others.
The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and Men who think like them) Will Rule the Future by John Gerzema and Michael D Antonio
“We are in a new world with many old minds, and the task is to adapt yourself. A modern leader is here to serve.”
—Interview with Shimon Peres, president of the State of Israel, Jerusalem, 2012
“With a wealth of data and even richer stories from around the world, The Athena Doctrine offers convincing proof that the future requires us to embrace traits and values traditionally linked to women. Leave it to two fathers of daughters to show us how men and women alike are using empathy and collaboration to solve problems big and small. If you care about leadership, creativity, and the world of tomorrow, you must read this book.”
—Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief, The Huffington Post
“The Athena Doctrine is a powerful book. Extraordinary research. Great story telling. A message both timely and of monumental importance.”
—Tom Peters, leadership guru and bestselling author, In Search of Excellence
In today’s business environment, leaders at all levels are facing enormous challenges when it comes to achieving and sustaining breakthrough operating results. Globalization, economic change, more stringent regulation, and tougher governance make realizing shareholder value increasingly difficult.
Intelligent Leadership is written for leaders who want to become more effective, strategic, operationally focused, and balanced. It is for leaders who are striving to take control of their destiny and become the best they can be. In this groundbreaking book, leadership coach John Mattone—recently named to the “guru radar” by the prestigious Thinkers50—taps into his years of experience working with high-achieving professionals to give readers a roadmap for developing and mastering their executive maturity.
Supplying three unique tools—the Wheel of Leadership Success, Map of Leadership Maturity, and the Leadership Enneagram—the book helps readers calibrate their abilities so they can simultaneously focus on their strengths and address their weaknesses. The goal is to improve key tactical competencies (such as critical and strategic thinking, decision-making, talent and team leadership, and communication) and integrate them with equally important inner traits like values, character, and beliefs in order to achieve their leadership potential.
Featuring best practices, authoritative research, practical assessments, and enlightening examples of both good and bad leadership, this book equips readers with the knowledge, skills, and passion they need to become the leaders they were meant to be.