You might have been told that people are either born leaders or they’re not. That’s quite easy to accept when you look at those naturally charismatic individuals who seem to turn all eyes when they walk and catch all ears when they talk. But, if we’re being honest, this is also a pretty good excuse to stay where you are. As humans, we have proved, again and again, that we can do whatever we set our minds to. An introvert isn’t always shy to talk to other people, just like an extrovert needs some peace of mind sometimes. So if you believe that leaders can be nurtured, here are some of the most beneficial leadership growth secrets, inspired by the true human experience documented in books and which you can implement to grow as a leader:
Here’s a very important question: What’s the most essential trait in a leader? The most obvious answer is being able to lead others, but how exactly does that work? Is it being able to determine and assign the tasks to the appropriate persons? Is it following up on them and making sure the tasks are well done?
While these tasks are indispensable, they’re not really qualities. The answer to this question is something you’ll figure out after reading Daniel H. Pink’s “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us” or Daniel Goleman’s “Emotional Intelligence.” You’ll come to realize that the most important quality is to understand fundamental human behavior. It’s to understand why people do what they do, what motivates them, how they think and feel, and then how you can make use of this insight to guide them along your way, in a way that enriches them as well.
The best leaders are those who have done their fair share of exploration. They’ve questioned everything they believed in, fell into pitch-black pits of confusion, and made their way out of it. The ones who have focused on leadership growth. They’re the ones who’ve worked so hard to expand their minds, reaching an ultimate truth in the process: the best way to lead is to be an ever-learning student. This is exactly what Tim Ferris has realized after a lifelong journey of failure and success, and you’ll realize this truth once you go through these recommendations and know this truth for yourself. You’ll dive into the worlds you’ve never thought about before, gaining invaluable insight that will expand your mind beyond limits.
While you’re at it, make sure to read “Man’s Search for Meaning” By Viktor E. Frankl. This is one of the best books you can read to find inspiration when you’re too stuck in a hardship that seems completely meaningless. In the end, you’ll realize that you’re the one responsible for creating meaning for your experiences.
Would you take someone’s advice about cooking if they were a terrible cook? The same goes for leading others. You can’t expect to be followed or respected if your own life is in chaos; it all starts with yourself. This is exactly what you’ll come to learn in Bruce D. Schneider’s “Energy Leadership.” You’ll also benefit a lot from Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit” in learning how to transform your life by building beneficial habits. You should also check out Duhigg’s “Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business” for secrets of improving your overall productivity and effectiveness.
You can only lead others after you’ve mastered leading yourself, but leading others is an art on its own. To start with, you’ll take everything you’ve explored about yourself a step further into understanding how each of us operates differently. If you’ve benefited from Daniel Goleman’s “Emotional Intelligence,” then you’ll also find his book about “Social Intelligence” quite useful here. You’ll learn a lot about the secrets of influencing others by reading Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and you’ll realize the difference between leading and managing people from John Maxwell’s “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.”
To take it a step further, your journey of leading others will never be fulfilled without the guidance of Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman’s “First, Break All the Rules.” In their book, they explain how the best leaders focus their leadership styles on nurturing their followers based on their individual strengths.
Words can sometimes mean little in the face of life. But there are some words that shake you to the core and give you exactly what you’ve been looking for. This holds true on your journey of becoming the best leader you aspire to become, as buried within the pages of these books are lifelong treasures written with blood, sweat, and tears. The limitation of your own story is then only what you let it be.
Looking for more book resources? Check this list of the top 50 books on leadership and management. For more on leadership styles, leadership growth and encouraging your employees, read our blog.