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The 50 Best Leadership Books of All Time

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What is the secret to great leadership? Is it a case of sheer good luck and opportunity, some magical cocktail of in-born genius, ambition and charisma, or can it be learned and taught? Leadership isn’t just about money and power. It’s about understanding what makes people tick, knowing your own values and worth, and working with the people and resources around you to make the best out of things.

It’s good for business, of course, but it’s more than just that. These are life skills that can help you realise both personal and professional goals. Developing your leadership skills can make a big difference to you and the world around you. Who wouldn’t want that?

So if you’re wondering if you have what it takes to be a good leader, you are not alone. Millions of books are sold every year to people hoping that the golden shimmer of success will rub off on them. It makes sense to look to the wisdom and advice of people who have made it to the top of their fields, and maybe take a leaf out of their books.

But with such a mountain of leadership books available, it can be overwhelming, which ones are suited to your needs, and which ones are actually good.

To give you a head start the resume experts at Resume.io, used Goodreads ratings to identify the top 50 books in the leadership genre and compiled them into one list for ease:

  1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  2. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  3. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  4. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  6. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
  8. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
  9. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
  10. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
  11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  12. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
  13. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
  14. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
  15. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
  16. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill by Napoleon Hill
  17. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
  18. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
  19. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
  20. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
  21. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
  22. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
  23. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
  24. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
  25. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund
  26. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
  27. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
  28. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
  29. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
  30. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
  31. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
  32. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  33. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull
  34. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
  35. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry
  36. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
  37. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, and Ron McMillan
  38. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by William Ury, Roger Fisher, and Bruce Patton
  39. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
  40. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
  41. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
  42. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  43. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz
  44. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras
  45. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John C. Maxwell
  46. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
  47. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin
  48. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
  49. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown
  50. Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute

From the ancient wisdom of a Chinese military strategist, to advice from world-famous leaders in modern business, tech, and media, there’s bound to be a book full of wisdom that makes sense to you.

Success Advice

10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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5 Changes in Your Habits That Will Help You Thrive

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We’ve all found ourselves at the bottom at least once in our lives. We thought that everything’s ruined and there’s no going back. The truth is – there’s always going back. Moreover, it takes one to fall many times and feel like everything’s ruined to succeed in life. (more…)

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