10 must-read books for leaders: Expand your mind

10 must-read books for leaders: Expand your mind

Use these books to boost your leadership IQ – and EQ

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Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

By: Patty McCord

Book description (via Amazon): When it comes to recruiting, motivating, and creating great teams, Patty McCord says most companies have it all wrong. Her road-tested advice, offered with humor and irreverence, provides readers a different path for creating a culture of high performance and profitability. “Powerful” will change how you think about work and the way a business should be run.

Why you should read it: McCord, formerly the Chief Talent Officer for Netflix, shares her lessons learned around creating high-performance teams and culture. She co-created the Netflix Culture Deck, which Sheryl Sandberg called, “the most important document ever to come out of Silicon Valley." McCord's book makes the case for trading in traditional HR practices for “radical honesty” in the workplace. 

Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI

By: Paul Daugherty and H. James Wilson

Book description (via Amazon): AI is changing all the rules of how companies operate. Based on the authors' experience and research with 1,500 organizations, the book reveals how companies are using the new rules of AI to leap ahead on innovation and profitability, as well as what you can do to achieve similar results.

Why you should read it: Fresh off the presses, this book from HBR offers readers “six entirely new types of hybrid human + machine roles that every company must develop, and it includes a ‘leader's guide’ with the five crucial principles required to become an AI-fueled business.” If you have plans to do more with AI this year, this book might be a good jumping off point.

The EQ Leader: Instilling Passion, Creating Shared Goals, and Building Meaningful Organizations through Emotional Intelligence

By: Steven J. Stein 

Book description: An organization's success rests on the backs of its leadership. At all levels, true leadership is about much more than management and task distribution – it's about commitment, collaboration, nurturing talent, developing skills, fostering relationships, and so much more. The EQ Leader integrates the essential factors of successful leadership into a concrete blueprint for the future's leaders.

Why you should read it: Emotional intelligence is increasingly seen as a must-have for today’s leaders, and this book can help CIOs work on theirs in the new year. One reviewer said, “What I loved about this book was the amount of research that had been gained from thousands of leaders all over the world providing strong evidence of what makes a successful leader. I really liked how it pulled on neurological aspects of what makes good leaders and the future of leadership in general.”

The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done

By: Stephen Denning

Book description (via Amazon): Filled with examples from every sector, “The Age of Agile” helps readers: Master the three laws of Agile Management (team, customer, network); Embrace the new mindset; Overcome constraints; Employ meaningful metrics; Make the entire organization Agile; and more. With this breakthrough approach, even global giants can learn to act entrepreneurially. Their future depends on it.

Why you should read it: If you are incorporating more agile practices into your organization, check out this book for inspiring examples of agile in action and clear, practical advice.

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

By: Daniel Coyle

Book description (via Amazon): Culture is not something you are – it’s something you do. “The Culture Code” puts the power in your hands. No matter the size of your group or your goal, this book can teach you the principles of cultural chemistry that transform individuals into teams that can accomplish amazing things together.

Why you should read it: What makes some of the best teams in the world successful? Coyle aims to uncover their secrets in this book. Through his research, Coyle reveals the three key skills that bring a culture together and enable them to operate with “one mind.”

[ Learn the behaviors to avoid as you build your EQ: 10 things leaders with emotional intelligence never do. ]


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