Leadership for Lawyers: A Suggested Leadership Reading List
This is part two of our Leadership for Lawyers series.
Wanna be successful in business? Read.
Open a book and you gain access to the most brilliant minds the business world has ever produced. Not only is reading fundamental for success, it reduces stress and is a wonderful personal growth tool.
Don’t take it from me. Take it from Mark Cuban, one of the most successful dot-com billionaires. He reads for three hours a day, according to his SharkTank & Success & Motivation post. He calls reading his “knowledge advantage.”
Or Verne Harnish, who runs Gazelles, an organization for high-growth companies. His biannual business conference features a dozen or so talks by leading authors who talk about their recently published books.
To get started right away reading the best ideas on leadership, take a look at one or more of the following books:
1) Good to Great by Jim Collins
Quite simply the best business book ever. It might be a little rigorous for first-timer biz book readers, so listen to it on Audible and refer back to the book as needed. Collins & co’s ideas on who to keep “on the bus,” what your core economic drivers are, and other deeply thought-provoking topics help leaders truly understand their own enterprise.
2) Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
Once people are paid fairly, money doesn’t really motivate us and in fact can serve to DE-motivate us. Pink explores autonomy, mastery, and purpose, and what really motivates employees. A good read to really understand how to connect with your team, build valuable employees, and motivate them to perform at a high level.
3) Multipliers by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown
Multipliers are leaders who are able to harness the intelligence of their team. Have you worked with someone who made you smarter? Or someone who made you feel stupid? Wiseman’s book explains the practices that lead to highly engaged, productive teams versus demotivated, dispirited teams. Read if only to know which of your managers to fire immediately.
4) Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski
Coach K is a basketball coach who knows how to lead and inspire, as evidenced by his Olympic Dream Team gold medals and his Duke national championship teams. Whether you’re into team sports or not, people like Coach K or John Wooden or Vince Lombardi understand at a fundamental level how human beings work. Their advice and experiences to get people to perform to the best of their ability is always fascinating.
5) Winning by Jack and Suzy Welch
The former GE CEO has some interesting ideas: not all of them, like the practice of firing the bottom performers regularly, are ones I embrace. However, his chapter on candor is alone worth the price of this book. The amount of waste and poor direction that occurs when people are not free to speak their minds should terrify any leader. Understanding how to build a culture of speaking truth is critical to success: ignore these words or perish.
Look, none of us have as much time to read as we’d like. My goal is to get through one business book a month, often by listening to the recorded version on my commute (the Audible app is truly awesome).
POSTS IN THE SERIES:
Leadership for Lawyers: The Biggest Indicator of Success
A Suggested Leadership Reading List
Leadership for Lawyers: How to Conduct a Strategic Planning Meeting
Leadership for Lawyers: The Fundamental Things You Need to Know