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9 books every business leader should read this summer

CEO. President. Manager. These are just titles if you don’t have the leadership skills to back them up. Do you want people following you because of a title or because they respect you, your ideas, and your leadership style?

We had an insightful conversation with growth leader Tiffani Bova last month (read it here) and afterward asked her about her favorite books on leadership. Says Bova, “[If you're looking for] tactics at all, like how do I run a good marketing campaign, there's lots of things...but if you really want to get to the brass tacks of delivering excellence all the time and being that ‘servant leader’ then you have to understand what that even means.”

The list below includes her picks and a couple of our own for helping you develop skills in areas like branding, business growth, communication, and self-awareness. (Note: The links are for easy reference, we’re not in cahoots with Amazon!)

 

Business development:

 

1. Growth IQ by Tiffani Bova

We'll kick off this list with a book by the person who inspired it. Bova argues that every successful business’s strategy can be boiled down to picking the right combination and sequence of growth pathways. Discover these ten pathways and hear real stories from companies who used them to become cultural and business behemoths.

 

2. In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman

A classic for many business leaders, this book explores the eight management principles found across “America’s best-run companies.” While some of the companies included have struggled in recent years, like IBM and Exxon, the foundational ideas of what it means to not only be a great leader but create them remain valuable.

 

3. Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore

Do you dream of being on the forefront of fintech innovation but are afraid your employees or consumers won’t meet you there? Moore’s book lays out the Technology Adoption Life Cycle, with strategies for turning reluctant users into eager adopters.

 

4. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

What makes a brand memorable? Does success boil down to unique products or unique marketing? Godin explores these questions and more with inspirational stories of how companies like Starbucks and Apple stood out from the crowd to become “purple cows.”

 

Self-development:

 

5. Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Sharing and receiving feedback can be hard, but it’s a must for any leader to understand how to do it in a healthy way. Find tactics that will help you create an honest environment where your team (and you) can grow.

 

6. Multipliers by Liz Wiseman

This book breaks down leaders into two categories: Multipliers and Diminishers. One amplifies their team’s capabilities while the other drains them. Discover insights that will help you foster the growth, wellbeing, and productivity of your team — and ultimately become a Multiplier.

 

7. Originals by Adam Grant

Going against the grain isn’t always a bad thing — and may be just what you need to become a true leader. Hear stories from people who spoke up to high-powered entities to propel their companies and ideas forward. (FYI, Adam Grant made his own list of leadership books to read in 2020. Check them out here.)

 

8. Insight by Tasha Eurich

Do you have a clear grasp of who you are? What about how other people see you? Self-awareness is one of the greatest tools in a leader’s arsenal. Learn how to cultivate yours with the first definitive book written on the topic.

 

9. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

If you’re looking to cultivate the characteristics of a true leader in your professional and personal life, you can’t go wrong with this classic — a favorite of Kasasa’s very own CEO, Gabe Krajicek. Covey begins by offering up a new perspective on the way the world works that will help you change your habits regarding time management, productivity, positive thinking, and more.

 

Do you have a favorite book on leadership?

Tweet us @KasasaNews to share the books that have helped you grow as a leader of your community financial institution!

 

Tags: Culture, Research