Is your company in a summer lull? You could take advantage of downtime to get organized and catch up on paperwork, but why not use some of your seasonal slowdown to catch up on reading? With its long days and warm weather, summer is the perfect time to dive deep into a good book. But this summer, don’t pick up just any novel. Instead, use summer reading to grow your leadership skills.
Business leaders are in a prime position to make a positive impact in their community, and already know how to pull people together, influence morale, and reach goals. People naturally look to business leaders when making decisions, and in today’s world, positive leadership is much needed.
Here are 14 books that will help you learn more about what it means to be a great leader in business and life, from advice on motivating employees to tips that keep yourself from burning out.
3 Books on Personal Leadership Development
Before you can lead others to greatness, you need to lead yourself there. While there’s a lot of advice available on how to become a better leader, these three books stand out from the pack.
- Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts by Brené Brown
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam
4 Books to Become a Better Communicator
The ability to communicate clearly and persuasively is one of the key traits of any great leader. As Business Insider notes, these are the books to read to master the art of communicating like a leader.
- Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George J. Thompson, Ph.D, and Jerry B. Jenkins
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live by Brené Brown
- Just Listen: The Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston M.D.
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
4 Books on Bringing Out the Best in Your Team
Being a great leader isn’t just about elevating yourself. To lead effectively, Entrepreneur explains you need to inspire others as well. In order to do that, business leaders must understand what drives their employees and how to tap those motivations to achieve greatness. These books explain where to start.
- Elevate by Robert Glazer
- Mean People Suck: How Empathy Leads to Bigger Profits and a Better Life by Michael Brenner
- Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
- An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization by Lisa Laskow Lahey and Robert Kegan
3 Books on Creative Problem-Solving
With a strong leader and a motivated team, your business can achieve anything. Or can it? It’s not enough for your business to run like a well-oiled machine. If you truly want to succeed in business, you need to think outside of the box. These books on innovation and creative thinking will transform the way you do business.
- The Creative Thinking Handbook: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Problem Solving in Business by Chris Griffiths and Melina Costi
- How to Get to Great Ideas: A System for Smart, Extraordinary Thinking by Dave Birss
- The Curiosity Muscle: How Four Simple Questions Can Uncover Powerful Insights and Exponential Growth by Andy Fromm and Diana Kander
Instead of squandering your downtime this summer, commit to developing your personal leadership skills. Whether you read one of these books or devour the entire reading list, you’ll walk into autumn a more capable and confident leader.