DEVELOPING LEADERS

Four books to enhance your leadership effectiveness in 2022

DECEMBER 16, 2021 | BRENDA VAN CAMP

Blog-post---4-must-read-books-for-leaders

In these final weeks of 2021, everyone from BuzzFeed and Time Magazine to Slate and the New York Times is publishing their traditional “Best books of 2021” lists. As veritable book nerds, we love those lists, but unfortunately, many of them end up being mirror copies of one another.

So, we decided to select four must-read books for leaders that you won’t find on any of these lists. Each of them will provide powerful and actionable insights to help elevate your leadership effectiveness in 2022.

Table of Contents

by Stephen M. Fleming

Metacognition, or thinking about thinking, is critical for any leader to be effective: It enables self-awareness and lets us think about the minds of others. In Know Thyself, Stephen Fleming, a cognitive neuroscientist, helps us understand what it is, how it works, and how to use it to improve our performance and make better decisions.

And while Fleming may be a neuroscientist, he wrote it with non-academics in mind. It’s very readable, engaging, and clear.

by Michael J. Gelb

Drawing on Da Vinci’s notebooks, inventions, and legendary works of art, Gelb introduces seven essential elements of genius. Rather than being a biography of Leonardo da Vinci’s extraordinary life, such as Walter Isaacson’s formidable book, Michael Gelb leverages insights about how Leonardo developed and expanded his thinking to provide us with a step-by-step guide to unlock our curiosity and greatly enhance our creative thinking and ability to solve problems.

This is a worthwhile read for any leader who wants to boost their ability to find new solutions for today’s complex business challenges.

by Oliver Burkeman

Most leaders are forever wrestling with their to-do lists, overfilled inboxes, and waging a ceaseless battle against distraction to “get everything done.” However, in Four Thousand Weeks, Oliver Burkeman challenges us to reconsider our modern fixation on becoming more productive and efficient. Instead, he encourages us to embrace finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable truths but choices we’ve made as individuals and as a society–and that we could do things differently.

We found this a genuinely provocative, entertaining, and useful read – and don’t just take our word for it: Adam Grant said:

“This is the most important book ever written about time management.”

by Warren Berger

A More Beautiful Question is a powerful reminder for any leader that being an effective leader is not about having all the answers but rather about knowing how to ask the right questions. This incredibly well-researched book explores how questioning is one of the most potent yet under-appreciated and under-utilized tools to ignite change in business and our daily lives.

Berger outlines what holds us back from asking questions and shows us how some of the most creative, successful people tend to be expert questioners, who raise questions no one else is asking–and find powerful answers.

This is a fantastic book for any leader who wants to start asking better questions.

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