Have you ever heard that old saying, “leaders are readers” and thought, “Well, shoot! I’m out of luck” - because you are not a reader?
Or, maybe you do enjoy reading but you have a family and you’re thinking, “And when exactly am I supposed to find time to read?”
For those of you who don’t like reading or don’t have time to read, this post is for you.
This is all about 3 SHORT and EASY leadership books that have transformed the way I think and lead.
They won’t take you too long and are pretty fun reads. So here we go:
Leadership and Self-Deception
One of my co-workers recommended this book to me a few weeks ago and I listened to it through the Audible app while on bike rides.
By the way, I listen to most books and listening to a book counts as reading!
Research shows that when you listen to a book you retain slightly less of the information than traditional reading, but you still retain.
All I’m saying is that if it is a choice between no reading or audio reading…do audio reading!
Because, I believe the saying “leaders are readers” is true!
If you currently aren’t reading much, consider listening to books on your commute.
If I listen to audio books on my 20-25 minute drive to work, that translates to almost two books a month.
That’s 12 more books a year than you’re currently reading!
Anyway, back to the book Leadership and Self-Deception.
This was an easy book to read because, like I said, it is short—only 240 pages in paperback—and it is written as a fable, meaning that it reads like a fictional story.
You catch all the important ideas through the narrative.
The idea of the book is that each of us is prone to operate from “in the box” at work, in our families, or wherever we engage others socially, and it severely hinders social relationships and productivity at work.
What does it mean to be “in the box?” You’ll have to read the book!
I will say this though, I found this book to be very helpful in understanding why some of my employees act the way they do, and the ideas in this book have really helped me relate better with my wife and kids.
Give it a read or listen!
Death By Meeting
Raise your hand if you get bored in staff meetings and think of them as a time waster.
Yup. Been there.
It’s like, “Can we get back to our productive work now?”
That is how I used to think of meetings before I read this book.
So, if you lead staff meetings of any kind or if you have influence with those who lead staff meetings, this book could be a great choice.
This book is also written as a fable—well, half of it is anyway.
The first part is a fable and the second half is written like a traditional leadership book, explaining the ideas that were explored throughout the fable.
Honestly, if you read the first half and catch the ideas, you can skip the second half and use it as a reference guide later.
Another reason to read this book is that the author, Patrick Lencioni, is a leadership guru. If you like this book, he has a bunch of others, including The 5 Dysfunctions of Leadership and The Ideal Team Player, both of which have deeply influenced how I think and lead.
The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey
If you’re not familiar with these authors or this book, you’re probably thinking, “What in the world is this?!?”
Trust me on this one!
Yes, this book is fairly old but it is a leadership classic, very short and well worth reading.
Also, it is part of a series of “One Minute Manager” books, some of which have been updated.
Here’s the basic idea: Most managers (supervisors, bosses, whatever you want to call this role) don’t actually manage their employees.
They get managed by their employees.
In other words, if you are a manager, you spend a huge amount of your time doing the work that your employees should be responsible for and don’t have time to do the work of true leadership.
This book will help reverse this cycle in a healthy way.
I found this book to be incredibly helpful. Give it a read or a listen.
Even if you aren’t much of a reader, these 3 SHORT and EASY leadership books will help you think and lead in fresh ways.
I hope this has been helpful.
Feel free to suggest a few books that have impacted how you lead. I’m always looking to add to my reading list. Thanks for reading.