by Daniel Pink (2011)
Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of our lives. He demonstrates that while the old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, it's precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today's challenges. In “Drive,” he reveals the three elements of true motivation: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. The author takes the reader to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.
YLD’s Key Leadership Takeaway: The ability to motivate your team is central to good leadership. Pink’s book is packed with the secrets of motivation. The author suggests we move away from rewards and punishment, opting for meaningful work, mastery, and autonomy instead.
“The Truth About Leadership”
by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (2010)
In these turbulent times, when the very foundations of organizations and societies are shaken, leaders need to move beyond pessimistic predictions, trendy fads, and simplistic solutions. They need to turn to what's real and what's proven. In their engaging, personal book, Kouzes and Posner reveal ten time-tested truths that show what every leader must know, the questions they must be prepared to answer, and the real-world issues they will likely face.
Based on thirty years of research, more than one million responses to Kouzes and Posner's leadership assessment, and the questions people most want leaders to answer The book explores the fundamental, enduring truths of leadership that hold constant regardless of context or circumstance-leaders make a difference, credibility, values, trust, leading by example, heart, and more Drawing from cases spanning three generations of leaders from around the world, this is a book leaders can use to do their real and necessary work-bringing about the essential changes that will renew organizations and community.
YLD’s Key Leadership Takeaway: There are some things that will always play a role in effective leadership. Trust, credibility, and ethics are among those things.
“Tribes: We need you to lead us”
by Seth Godin (2008)
Godin shares a winning formula for stepping outside of the status quo to do meaningful work. It’s this kind of work that will inspire others to follow, help you get noticed, and leave a legacy of leadership.
YLD’s Key Leadership Takeaway: Communicate and Motivate - To lead you must inspire others to follow your example or orders. It helps if you’re able to attract, engage, and encourage employees, business partners, and potential clients to get on board with your plan or proposal.
“Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature”
by Joseph Badaracco (2006)
Badaracco is the John Shad Professor of Business Ethics at Harvard Business School. The author draws on his experience teaching MBA students and uses eight selections from serious fiction to encourage leaders to explore in depth what it really means to “know thyself.”
The stories in the book include Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, and Sophocles’s Antigone. Each of the eight discussions is preceded by a key question and then by Professor Badaracco’s thumbnail outline of the story and its protagonist. The eight key questions, such as “Do I have a good dream?” and “How flexible is my moral code?” are backed up by subsidiary questions, as the author, in Socratic fashion, rejects easy, superficial responses. He is critical, for example, of the metaphor of the moral compass, arguing that it is useful only for dealing with questions of right and wrong.
YLD Key Leadership Takeaway: Decide something! – Making difficult leadership decisions seldom turns out to be an easy Yes or No pathway. Many, if not most, leadership challenges demand a choice between two “rights” or, worse still, between two “wrongs.” Understanding the tool of critical thinking and self-reflection can help you make the difficult decisions for the better good of the team.
“John Wooden on Leadership”
by John Wooden (2005)
This book provides a compelling look inside the mind and powerful leadership methods of America's coaching legend, John Wooden. Coach Wooden's goal in 41 years of coaching never changed; namely, he tried to get the maximum effort and peak performance from each of his players in the manner that best served the team. Wooden on Leadership explains step-by-step how he pursued and accomplished this goal.
YLD Leadership Takeaway: Be at your best when your best is needed – team spirit, loyalty, enthusiasm, determination. Acquire and keep these traits and success should follow.
“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”
by Steven Covey (2004)
Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity―principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates. This book sold over 15 million copies!
YLD’s Key Leadership Takeaway: Change your mindset in order to embrace an alternative perspective.
“On Becoming a Leader”
by Warren Bennis (1989)
This book provides many fine insights. Perhaps the key one is that true leaders are not interested in proving themselves; they want above all to be able to express themselves fully. A leader is continually seeking his or her fullest expression, and must be willing to engage in periodic reinvention. Structured education and society often get in the way of leadership. Real learning is the process of remembering what is important to us, and becoming a leader is therefore the act of becoming more and more yourself.
Bennis makes the case that becoming a leader involves: Continuous learning and never-dying curiosity; A compelling vision; leaders first define their reality (what they believe is possible), then set about 'managing their dream'; Developing the ability to communicate that vision and inspire others to follow it; Tolerating uncertainty and taking on risk - a degree of daring; personal integrity: self-knowledge, candor, maturity, welcoming criticism; taking time off to think and reflect, which brings answers and produces resolutions.
YLD’s Key leadership Takeaways: Personal integrity, a compelling vision and the ability to enjoy risk and uncertainty define leadership – To lead, we have to make a declaration of independence against the estimation of others, the culture, the age. Leaders do not just 'do well' by the terms of their culture; they create new contexts, new things, new ways of doing and being.
by Alfred Lansing (1959)
In 1914, explorer Edward Shackleton undertook an expedition to the South Pole. No satellite radio, no GPS, no freeze dried food, no rescue aircraft. Just “guts” and a team of very brave men who trusted and believed in their leader. Although the mission was a
failure, the resulting story of survival in the ice-bound Antarctic seas serves as a guide-post for leaders confronted with adversity.
The book recounts the failure of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton in its attempt to cross the Antarctic continent in 1914 and the subsequent struggle for survival endured by the twenty-eight man crew for almost two years.
YLD Leadership Takeaway: Be Real - No one can fake leadership. And, if they can, it won’t last long. Acknowledging fear and vulnerability are far more valuable leadership skills than being cold or shut-off.