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October 30, 2021
5 Key Lessons Every Manager Can Learn from The Best Leadership Books

When it comes to leading a team or a company, not only do you have to manage their roles and responsibilities, you will also have to help and inspire them to develop as individuals.

Alexander the Great once said: He is not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep. However, he is afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. Thus, what can you do to achieve that lion status? When it comes to leading a team or a company, not only do you have to manage their roles and responsibilities, you will also have to help and inspire them to develop as individuals.

Leadership is one of the most evergreens of all business topics. However, it is still deemed quite tricky for everyone to master. As years pass by, you can see more and more authors play their part to give fresh perspectives on the topic. The most challenging part of it all is that there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for becoming an extraordinary leader. The right approach truly depends on the overall personality, skill set, and composition of you and your team. However, that is no excuse not to try.

Here is my selection of 5 key lessons you can learn from the most insightful leadership books that have stood the test of time to educate people on how to thrive as a leader of an organization or a team.

1. "Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they're doing it because they care about the team."
― Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

According to Patrick Lencioni, success and results come from the success of a team as a whole, not just the leader. However, to achieve the said result, the leader must have the ability to get the most out of every member, and this begins with productive discussions and, most importantly, trust. This book provides you a fable on situations that you as a leader will encounter and how they can be dealt with in the most morally and effective way.

2. "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change 

A classic read that I'm sure many of you have heard of. This book was first published in 1990, and to this day, it is still one of the best selling business books. Stephen R. Covey has inspired presidents, CEOs, and people of all occupations with his approach to solving personal and professional challenges. This step-by-step guide includes habits such as "Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood," "Put First Things First," and "Begin with the End in Mind." Covey shows how a principle-centered and character-based life will help you build healthy relationships and will lead you from dependence to independence to interdependence.

3. "In most cases, no matter what it is, if you measure it and reward it, people will try to excel at it."
― Marcus Buckingham, First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently 

From his remarkable study of more than 80,000 managers, this long time management bestseller reveals data that despite differences in sex, race, age, and working style, great managers share one common trait, they are not scared to break sacred business rules. We were always told as children that to be the best, we must improve our weaknesses. However, Buckingham argues that most managers agree that we should instead be focusing on our strengths. In First, Break All the Rules, you'll discover vital performance and career lessons for managers and learn how to apply them to your current situation.

4. "Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence."
― Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

As Facebook's Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg's sharing in Lean In has become a prime source of motivation for women entrepreneurs. This book highlights what women can do rather than what they're not supposed to be able to do, due to the nature of gender roles that are still present in today's world. Her position as a leader in a massive corporation proves that women can lead and that you can too if you persevere and care more about succeeding than being well-liked. With Sandberg's Lean In, she hopes for a future with no female leaders, but just leaders.

5. "The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you've made a hiring mistake."
― James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

Good to Great results from over five years' worth of research that included 21 people and more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts. Collins shares the strategies that good companies do to become great companies and the mistakes that other companies have made to fail that transition. Additionally, Collins introduces the concept of a level 5 leader, which includes "Excellent team members and managers," "Single-mindedly ambitious for the company," and "Modest yet self-driven for results." This leadership book explores a total of 28 companies to identify their success and compare them with other companies that failed to do so.

Leadership is never easy.

Regardless, these five wonders of advice will certainly help you to avoid the most common pitfalls. However, never stop learning. Remember, even those born with great, innate leadership skills are continually developing themselves through management books.

If you are a novice business leader and have no clue where to start, start by creating an organizational chart detailing your business's entire structure, such as users, contact details, and roles. However, designing an organizational chart from scratch can be daunting, which is why OrgEngine will be your best friend. This free org chart builder is user-friendly, and it will aid you throughout the whole process, making it perfect for those who are less tech-savvy.

Geena Meade

Compassionate writer | Independent thinker | Aspiring leader
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OrgEngine is born out of the necessity to simplify organizational management. As a new manager or CEO, you will find yourself wearing multiple hats, executing different functions at different times, leaving you overwhelmed. OrgEngine takes all the lessons and concepts in management books and implement them in a practical format for you to quickly execute.