Jim Collins – Author of Good To Great
Unlike happiness and freedom, I have no claim to expert status on the subject of leadership. I am a passionate amateur and an avid student.
Leadership is another much-misunderstood subject which with the exception of military schools, for the most part, is not taught in schools.
In business, many people think management and leadership are in some ways similar, but they are not. They are almost opposites. In relatively static businesses, like the manufacturing of yesteryear, management was enough to make everything work. Today, the parameters are changing too fast. For businesses to survive in today’s marketplace they need leaders.
The most important thing about leadership is that it’s a practical subject. You cannot truly learn leadership from a book. You need to learn to be a leader, to take risks, to learn from your mistakes, to inspire action.
And yes, you will need to read, read, read. Leaders are readers! They study the great leaders and their models because the answers to life’s challenges are everywhere. It’s your job to find them and apply them today to new challenges.
Leaders look for challenges. That doesn’t mean they make life hard. They don’t. Leaders see life as full of exciting adventures. The more problems they solve the bigger the challenges they can take on. It’s a life of constant growth and learning.
Most important of all… Anyone can learn to be a great leader. Leaders are not born, they are made, but they are self-made. Sometimes circumstance will lend a hand to get them started but then they choose to step up and be a leader, other times it requires a great will of spirit to say ‘no more’ I will lead us in a new direction.
If you unplug from the brain-drain social and mainstream media, choose your TV and movies more carefully, hang-out with more positive people but above all read, listen to and watch great people share their invaluable experience you can be, do and have whatever you desire. You only need to take baby steps at first, but be consistent and keep taking action.
Here are some of my favourite books on leadership (with some video by each author).
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership — starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” – Companies that start with “Why?” have evangelic customers like Apple once had. Companies that start with “What?” don’t have an inspiring “Why?” because it’s just about the money!
Stephen R Covey – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
I read this book in the late 80’s early 90’s and it has stayed with me ever since. It’s no surprise it’s a timeless masterpiece. Every leader and entrepreneur would be well advised to study and internalise every principle in this book.
Seth Godin – Tribes: We need you to lead us
This is one of my 2018 books and it has been such an inspiration. You almost certainly would not be reading this if it were not for this book. At the end of the book, Seth makes a very reasonable request, get everyone to read this book! I would encourage everyone to read this book regardless. I am completely aligned with Seth’s view, the world needs more leaders. In fact, the world needs EVERYONE to be a leader and this book is an invaluable resource towards that vision.
Jim Collins (again) talking about how inspiring Steve Jobs was even at what must have been the lowest point of his life after he was fired from Apple, and before his huge successes with Pixar and his return to Apple.