The most effective leaders are those who invest in their own development. Too often, high achievers are so immersed in the demands of their work that they don’t believe they have time to work on themselves. But, leaders can’t afford NOT to invest in their personal and professional development.
Here are some tools to help you implement proven ideas on building trust, communicating with clarity, leading with compassion, and developing emerging leaders in your organization.
Books and More
These are must-reads for leaders who want to advance their careers.
I’ve written often about the benefits of truly knowing your strengths. Self-awareness is essential to maximizing your effectiveness in leadership roles.
Nearly a decade ago, Gallup unveiled the results of a landmark 30-year research project that ignited a global conversation on the topic of strengths. Millions of people have since taken Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment. It forms the core of several books on this topic, including the #1 international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0.
Take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to discover your top 5 strengths, and download the bestselling ebook, StrengthsFinder 2.0. Learn how your dominant talents help you excel, and begin your path to better performance and higher engagement. Intended as an introduction to strengths, this solution is ideal for people who want a quick, focused approach to strengths based development.
My top five strengths are Strategic, Activator, Futuristic, Input, and Belief.
Strengths Based Leadership
As they continue to learn about strengths, Gallup scientists have also been examining decades of data on the topic of leadership. They studied more than 1 million work teams, conducted more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and interviewed more than 10,000 followers around the world to ask exactly why they followed the most important leader in their life.
In Strengths Based Leadership, #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and renowned leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of this research. Based on their discoveries, the book identifies three keys to effective leadership: knowing your own strengths and investing in others’; getting people with the right strengths on your team; and understanding and meeting the four basic needs of those who look to you for leadership.
Communication is the most important skill in life. Success is 15% professional knowledge and 85% “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people,” according to Dale Carnegie.
Research reveals that many leaders (and aspiring leaders) miss the mark on communicating ideas that generate success for themselves and their teams. Even the smartest leaders with the best ideas and teams won’t win if they don’t have good communication skills.
Fierce Conversations is based on more than 10,000 hours of conversations with CEOs and senior executives. It’s the quintessential guide to productive, respectful, and results-driven communication. Fierce Conversations is not a typical leadership development book. It doesn’t deal in the abstract; rather, it provides concrete tools and practical models for developing new skills, improving workplace relationships, and creating high levels of engagement.