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Our 6 Must-Reads for Leadership Development

Being a leader in today’s ever-changing environment requires continuous commitment to education and growth. For leaders of companies, keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and insights is crucial for supporting your team to the best of your ability. At Humani, our passion for HR means we are always finding ways to develop our leadership skills and grow in our understanding of what teams need to succeed.

There is an overwhelming amount of resources with valuable insights, in-depth focuses and notable references for leaders to absorb, and it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. We asked our very own Director of Leadership & Development Amber Branny to share her 6 essential reads for any leader on their journey to learn and grow in their field.

6 Must-Reads for Leadership Development

1. Leading Without Authority - by Keith Ferrazzi

From the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Who’s Got Your Back? and Competing in the New World of Work comes Leading Without Authority, a book that redefines collaboration and how we think of the leadership space. With offices spreading out virtually, corporate structures changing, external pressures mounting and thirty years working with senior leaders, Ferrazzi challenges us to choose a new methodology of leadership (“co-elevation”) to boost our teams. Within this model, Ferrazzi asserts we can deepen commitment and engagement among employees, create a base level of trust, accept mutual accountability and work better together toward a common purpose. To put it in his own words, “Regardless of your title, position, or where or how you work, the ability to lead without authority is an essential workplace competency.”

2. Five Dysfunctions of a Team - by Patrick Lencioni

A New York Times Bestseller that has sold more than three million copies, Five Dysfunctions of a Team showcases a functional concept of the issues plaguing teams of all sizes in a clear outline with advice on how to overcome each step. From a pyramid of dysfunctions that starts with trust and ends with results, Lencioni presents a cohesive diagram of where we are going wrong with our teams (and how to get it right). He challenges our difficulties with conflict, commitment and accountability, and gives us the courage to overcome these struggles so our team can succeed together.

3. The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success - by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman and Kaley Klemp

Understanding how to be a great leader often means overcoming our own innate insecurities and egos. In The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, the authors walk us through how our egos, fears and emotions (including anger) lead us away from success. A very simple concept of being “above or below” the line is introduced in this book, which teaches us that if you are leading “above the line” you are curious, open and above all, committed to learning. If you are “below the line”, you are defensive, closed, unapproachable and committed to being right. This book demonstrates the ways in which evolution and corporate structure have led us to fearing being wrong more than being able to grow, and how we can get back “above the line” so we can lead our teams consciously.

4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - by Stephen R. Covey

Written by one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Americans”, this book has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and was named the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the 20th Century. It’s no wonder why. In The 7 Habits, Covey demonstrates how our own experiences and perspectives warp the ways we work and lead. Through changing ourselves, and therefore our perspectives, we grow in how we relate to others and understand ourselves. With seven attainable habits focused on teamwork, development and communication, Covey gives us the tools to better lead ourselves as well as others.

5. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High - by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler and Emily Gregory

Crucial Conversations is a New York Times and Washington Post Bestseller, inspiring millions of leaders worldwide to change how we communicate. In this revolutionary book, we are taught the skills to communicate effectively, persuasively and productively. Particularly in a leadership position, where dialogue can become high-stakes due to the topic or the people involved, communication is crucial. In this book, you will learn how to respond when someone initiates a high-stakes conversation with you, how to identify and address time lags between identifying a problem and solving it, and how to communicate more effectively across varying mediums (such as digital channels). Emotions and opinions vary when the stakes are high, and consequences can mount, but Crucial Conversations will give you the tools to make any communication productive – whether it’s with your coworkers, your clients, your friends or even your spouse.

6. Lead. Care. Win. How to Become a Leader Who Matters - by Dan Pontefract

Bestselling author Dan Pontefract returns with his fourth book, Lead. Care. Win. How to Become a Leader Who Matters – a book that in his own words focuses on “our exchanges with people and how to make them more meaningful and mutually productive”. In nine insightful points, Pontefract demonstrates lessons to become a more caring and engaging leader with a focus on respectful relationships. He asserts that by understanding the meaning behind our interactions with each other, we can relate, share and commit to our purposes better than ever. When we focus on working in harmony and inclusivity this way, Pontefract says, the entire organization benefits.
At Humani, we believe communication and leadership development are essential to supportive cultures and organizations built to thrive. From focused projects to fractional support, our training can develop your leaders with the skills required in today's economy along with strengthening your teams. For additional resources and information on how we can support your organization, book your free consultation with us.