If you own a small or medium-sized business, you may not have the luxury of pressing pause and pursuing an MBA or a business degree. Just because you don’t have a degree or background in business, doesn’t mean you can’t run a successful company. Many business owners start a business because they are knowledgeable about a specific industry or have a skill set in a particular field. Despite your expertise in your industry or lack of time to pursue a specific business degree, you should still spend time developing your leadership acumen and one of the best and easiest ways to do that is to always be reading.
You may not be a business owner but if you are a rising professional within a larger company, spending time improving your leadership skills may help you better lead your team, accomplish company goals and rise through the ranks. School may end in your twenties, but all business leaders should endeavor to be life-long learners.
There are countless benefits of reading: an increased vocabulary, having a deep and broad knowledge base to draw information from, relaxation, memory improvement, better communication skills and an improved focus and concentration. Many of the greats from Benjamin Franklin to Steve Jobs have advocated reading often and widely to become successful.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by: Robert Kiyosaki
Kiyosaki writes in parable form about the two father figures in his life. His own father the “poor dad” worked a steady job, while the father of his best friend, “the rich dad” owned a series of businesses. The book is broken up into six lessons. In the first lesson, Kiyosaki teaches that rather than working for money, the rich work to learn things that can be applied to making money. The author goes on to redefine the meaning of an asset as something that generates an income. Throughout Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki hopes to inspire the reader to develop financial intelligence literacy and to work to build wealth as an entrepreneur.
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Collins presents the results of a study that measured and defined what qualities differentiated companies that bridged the gap from mediocre to exceptional. These elite companies possessed a few things the okay companies did not: a culture of discipline, exceptional leaders, and the ability to transcend the curse of competence. Collins explores what sets these great companies apart from the rest and desires to shake up the status quo of modern business culture and practices.
Tribes by Seth Godin
Technology allows us to connect with other people and from tribes around the globe, but Godin asks the question, “Who will lead these tribes?”. Through presenting a series of unlikely leaders, Godin encourages the reader to take the opportunity to become a leader in their own community.
David and Goliath by Malcom Gladwell
Gladwell tells the story of the underdog in David and Goliath. Drawing upon a diverse range of subjects from history to psychology to science and teaching methodologies, Gladwell seeks to reshape the way we look at the misfits and how we tackle the giants.
What book would you recommend to a friend looking to improve their leadership skills?