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Books All Leaders Should Read

There are four books that have shaped the way I approach my work. Any time that a volunteer or team member tells me that they are ready to level up their leadership, I recommend some combination of these books.

Recommended Reading

  1. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
  2. The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier
  3. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
  4. Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up by Jerry Colonna

In case leadership reading isn’t your favorite, here are the quotes that turned my head in new directions:

Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.

Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last

Leaders would sooner sacrifice what is theirs to save what is ours. And they would never sacrifice what is ours to save what is theirs. This is what it means to be a leader. It means they choose to go first into danger, headfirst toward the unknown. And when we feel sure they will keep us safe, we will march behind them and work tirelessly to see their visions come to life and proudly call ourselves their followers.

Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last

We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying.

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

We’ve survived and are surviving events that have torn at our sense of safety with such force that we’ve experienced them as trauma even if we weren’t directly involved.

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.

Michael Bungay Stanier, The Coaching Habit

When you build a coaching habit, you can more easily break out of three vicious circles that plague our workplaces: creating overdependence, getting overwhelmed and becoming disconnected.

Michael Bungay Stanier, The Coaching Habit

Strong back and open heart. This is warrior stance, I tell him. The strong back of fiscal discipline. The strong back of clarity and vision, of drive and direction. The strong back of delegating responsibility and holding people accountable. The strong back of knowing right from wrong. But it’s also the open heart. It’s giving a shit about people, purpose, meaning. It’s working toward something greater than merely boosting your ego, greater than just soothing your worries and chasing your demons away. It’s leading from within, drawing on the core of your being, on all that has shaped you.

Jerry Colonna, Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up

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