Great leaders are not born in a day. It takes time, effort, and perseverance. One can also say that; great leaders are made. Here, we would be discussing the best leadership books for new leaders.
You grow up listening to stories of people who have led masses to liberation; you can see examples of people around you everywhere. And it would help if you saw to learn. Whatever you see is what you become at the end of the day. There are various places to derive inspiration from, looking up to leaders in your country or state, hearing stories about people who were great leaders, or reading about them. With the onset of genres like autobiographies or even biographies, it has become much more accessible to pick up a book and decide for yourself which leader is the one you want to idealize.
Best leadership books for new leaders:
Many leadership books are available now, and I would want to point out my favorite books that inspired and encouraged me. These are the best leadership books for new leaders.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is undoubtedly my favorite book that is not outrightly about a leader, but it is about the qualities you need to become a great leader. This is one of the best leadership books for new leaders. The book explores themes of perseverance and hard work and shows beautifully how, if you have determination enough, you will get what you want at the end of the day. If you do not let anything sway you away from your path, where would you end up if not the destination?
There are many quotes from that book that I can quote to entice you to read it, but my favorite one is, “And when you can go back, you only have to worry about the best way to move forward.” This is a commentary on how so many people are so stuck on the inhibitions they might have that they forget that they have to forego certain things to move forward. It isn’t easy to move forward as long as something holds you back.
The book has many insightful quotes that are eye-opening, and you most definitely should give it a read.
THE SEVEN HABITS BY HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
Habits are easy to form but difficult to break. Sometimes it is hard to detect which habits are hindering the path to your success, and there comes to rescue this book by Steve Carey, who talks in length about the habits you must form. The book does not just mention the habits you need to create but also dwells on their consequences and are essential for your welfare. He quotes so many great philosophers and leaders that make much more sense when read in this context. This is another one of the best leadership books for new leaders.
I wouldn’t spoil the book for you by listing the habits right here because it would be much better when read with all the connotations attached, but I will quote this one line from the book that shows how significant habits play in our lives. The quote goes like this, “You can talk yourself out of a situation you have behaved yourself into.”
ON BECOMING A LEADER
To become a leader, it is essential to have clarity at the back of your head regarding the changes you want to see in the world. You have to manifest the change, which would only be possible if you become that change yourself. Warren Bennis, in his book, On becoming a leader, talks about how no one is born a leader but is made. This book dives right into the reality of the world that is fast pacing its way towards anarchy and is in dire need of exceptional leaders to show the correct path.
In his book, Warren Bennis rightly said that “Leadership is the capacity to turn vision into reality.” When everything about leadership has to be boiled to one sentence, I think it would be this one because we need leaders to create the reality of the vision of the utopia that everyone has been dreaming about.
THE POWER OF MEANING
Next one in the list of best leadership books for new leaders. In her book The Power of Meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith talks in length about the difference between purpose and meaning. Meaning has four pillars, and purpose is one of them that helps us move forward in the search for the meaning of life itself. In the long run, if you do not entirely find yourself, how will you enable others to find themselves or their purpose in life. It is essential to know the downright “meaning” of purpose, goals, and life itself as a leader. Otherwise, the only thing that would remain in your leadership would be an endless pursuit of meaningless and temporary achievements.
She says this one line that is bound to stay with you throughout your life to find the meaning is to create a life that matters, otherwise what is the point of it all.
The best leadership lessons you will get are from someone who has either been in that position or been near someone who has been. Michelle Obama’s book Becoming is that book. Michelle Obama, a South African woman, a victim of double marginalization, came out with all personal experiences and revealed how she struggled to find a voice in this society that only caters to the needs of white males. Her book is the true testimony to how you will achieve it if you put your mind to something, considering your heart and hard work is at the right place.
There is something so positive about this book that would want you to become something more than what you are, to do more than what you are doing, and to change the world into something much better than it is.
The First 90 Days By Michael Watkins
In this book, Michael Watkins has enumerated various strategies for anyone new to an executive or managerial role. The book provides much-needed insight into how a person new to a workplace can settle down in their position. The author has talked about building momentum in the first 90 days by curating habits that accelerate personal growth and attain credibility and trust with short-term wins while maintaining a clear view of the bigger picture.
This is another one of the best leadership books for new leaders. An important role is given to explicitly designing strategies for that particular work environment. This is done by tailoring the needs of such workplace with precision and clever team building. Watkins warns the readers not to fall into transitional traps. Do not assume that past learnings might not work in the new environment. They won’t lead to alienation and loss of credibility by peers. A healthy relationship with co-workers and promoting their growth with yours is necessary. So that you can become a leader that people trust. This will maintain a healthy and sustainable growth cycle.
The Making of a Manager By Julie Zhuo
“Your success managing others depends on how well you can manage yourself.” This book prioritizes self-growth. It teaches young leaders to invest in themselves and be self-aware regarding their strengths, weaknesses, and biases. Zhuo claims that good leaders are made, not born. One must make themselves as skillful as possible in building a team. Also communicating with it, and establishing a clear vision for the team. A team must put collective effort and take collective responsibility in moving ahead to achieve well-established and achievable goals. Its leader guides the path and ensures that everyone draws out their potential happily and satisfyingly to maximize efficiency. It is the perfect book to motivate new leaders into the right mindset of personal and collective growth, which is why this book finds its way into this list.
Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee
Primal leadership brings into question and explains the emotional aspect of leadership. It emphasizes the importance of emotional goals of a leader. Followers and team members will only be emotionally available in an objective if the leader they can emotionally resonate with. Leaders must have an air of conviction and trust. It can only develop if one has self-awareness and a zeal to move himself and his team.
The four building blocks of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-mastery or self-management of emotion, empathy or social awareness, and relationship management. A leader must be thorough in these to effectively lead a good team of motivated but grounded professionals. A good leader is as honest to themselves as they are to their teams. Thus, authenticity plays an important part too. This book is a changing event in understanding emotional intelligence and relating it with leadership avenues.
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by Barry Posner And James M. Kouzes
“Anyone can be a leader.” This is one of the best leadership books for new leaders. This book has more than a hundred real-life examples. Also there are case studies after extensive research spanning thirty years. It, therefore, explains various strategies that have been helpful mobilize people to produce exemplary results. The book enumerates five principles that made the most outstanding results when followed by leaders. A leader must venture out of their psyche into areas they do not have experience in. And use the anxiety to fuel their knowledge and drive about being a competent leader. Youths aiming to be capable leaders must learn the five habits to achieve sustainable personal and collective growth.
See also: 7 Best Books For Intellectual Growth
These were some of the best leadership books for new leaders. Leadership books are only as helpful as you let them. They are a manifestation of what you have to bring to the world. I hope these five recommendations help you as much they helped me.
- 1 Best leadership books for new leaders:
- 1.1 THE ALCHEMIST
- 1.2 THE SEVEN HABITS BY HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
- 1.3 ON BECOMING A LEADER
- 1.4 THE POWER OF MEANING
- 1.5 BECOMING
- 1.6 The First 90 Days By Michael Watkins
- 1.7 The Making of a Manager By Julie Zhuo
- 1.8 Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee
- 1.9 The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by Barry Posner And James M. Kouzes
- 2 Conclusion: