7 Books You Should Read To Become A Badass Leader

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Do you see leadership in your future? Even if you don’t see yourself managing people in your career, leadership is an incredible force in your life that you can harness by being proactive about it. Not sure where to start cultivating that leader inside of you? Take a gander at these seven books that are guaranteed to help you kick ass in the workplace.

1. “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” — Daniel Pink

The Skinny: Pink suggests that instead of incentivizing your team, devote time to teaching them the necessary skills they need to succeed. Then, turn them loose to sink or swim. He aims to take away incentives and punishments and just provide the must-know tools.

2. “Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results” — Judith Glaser

The Skinny: Glaser argues that the first step to becoming a great leader is gaining the trust of those working under you as well as those on your level. You’ll learn how to empower conversations with those who you’ll be working with closely to build that trust.

3. “Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence” — Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee

The Skinny: You’ll learn the neuroscience behind why you react certain ways to certain situations. More importantly, you’ll learn how real leaders interpret — and respond to — specific situations and translate these lessons to your own life.

4. “Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility” — Patty McCord

The Skinny: McCord, a former chief talent officer at Netflix, discusses how the successful company perceives retention, hiring and curtailing what she calls “rule creep,” which is basically tying employees down to each company rule. The bottom line: She believes that creating a radically transparent and honest environment builds a solid team and faith in you as a leader.

5. “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” — Daniel Pink

The Skinny: Yep, another Pink book, because he knows his stuff. In “When,” Pink takes a scientific approach to what makes people good at what they do and, most importantly, when they do specific things to be successful. You’ll learn how to choose the right time to start that new job, take on that new project or just check in with yourself.

6. “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” — Sheryl Sandberg

The Skinny: Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, offers to women an empowering perspective of breaking the glass ceiling and becoming a leader simultaneously. She uses herself as a prime example of what to do (and what not to do) on your way to the top.

7. “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” — Patrick Lencioni

The Skinny: Instead of looking at great habits of leaders, Lencioni suggests looking at the characteristics of successful teams. By providing you with a number of fables in which Lencioni dissects what the leader and team did right (and wrong), you’ll learn how to get the most out of each team member and utilize them appropriately.


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