What are the 5 leadership skills?The five leadership skills are
Empathy:a strong leader can see where others are coming from, and their moral compass lets them empathize in genuine conditions. They are also able to understand an individual’s change in circumstances and can advise long-term for what’s best for both the company, and the individual.
Strategic thinking:Strategists think long-term, and evolve their approach to solving problems towards facing future consequences. They make decision trade offs based on objectivity and advanced planning. Such leaders need no reminding of the business vision, goals and means to achieving them.
Team building:an important leadership skill to have is to unify members and enable teams to cooperate and collaborate. Team management starts with helping members to play to their strengths.
Creative innovation:a leader who encourages ideation is one who can see how the company fares in a future context. Innovation sparks engagement, and centralizes ideas coming from different people. It's down to the leader to sustain and nurture that channel so that there always remains the scope for improvement and uniqueness.
Adaptability:rolling with the punches is an expression most leaders are familiar with. It's about knowing the need to be flexible and using a combination of situational judgment and work expertise to combat unexpected changes.
The best leadership books for new leadersI’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t always confident that what I was doing was necessarily right. I later learnt that it's okay to make mistakes so long as you learn something from it and evolve to approach the problem or process differently the next time. Over the course of time, my style of leading became a balance of casual and firm. I like to stay deadline-driven while being empathetic within reason. These are lessons from both my own experiences as well as what I’d read about. Here is a list of books on leadership and management that challenge a leader’s emotional, operational and financial intelligence;
2.1 Best on Teamwork: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni
About BookThe Five dysfunctions of a team was authored by Patrick Lencioni in 2002. It's a leadership fable that follows the career of fictional CEO Kathryn Peterson, and the setbacks she faces trying to lead her team at DecisionTech Inc. It talks of organizational politics, and the importance of cultivating team spirit.
What makes it a must-readLike most of Lencioni’s best books on leadership and management, this read is relatable because of the spectrum of conflicting emotions its main character has. The book opens with a backstory of DecisionTech, and how Kathryn is invited to take over as CEO by the company’s chairman, who she knows only from a social context. It talks about her observational skills, and respect for the co-founders who she essentially leads. The five dysfunctions she placed into a pyramid are results, accountability, commitment, conflict and trust. It takes the reader through conflict management and resolution, building trust through team activities and reorienting priorities around ownership.
2.2 Best for Millennials: Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek
About BookSimon Sinek is an acclaimed writer and speaker. His book leaders eat last, came out in 2014. The extended version includes a chapter on leading millennials, from his viral video on millennials in the workplace. It talks of how those whose work matters to them can inspire others to feel the same. It's available on Amazon for USD 29.
What makes it a must-readThe main purpose of this book is not to give leaders a shortcut to the corporate ladder. The message Sinek is trying to convey is that better leaders make a better world. It reinforces the point that leadership defines you, not your position in a company. Other readers have praised Sinek’s ability to direct your attention towards developing empathy and enabling workers to be self-reliant and accomplish work. It makes you question the longevity of your business success, and whether teams are empowered or just doing what they’re told to do. I particularly liked the collection of short, and true stories from the military and government bodies that are an example of the code leaders follow, irrespective of their seniority.
2.3 The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations, James Kouzes & Barry Posner
About BookBarry Zane Posner is an Accolti Professor of Leadership at the Leavey School of Business. He and James Kouzes co-authored a leadership series, and the one on making extraordinary things happen in organizations does not disappoint. This book is considered by many to be the gold standard for effective leadership. The 6th edition contains more international examples of leadership.
What makes it a must-readThis book brings out the distinction between good and great. A good leader makes things happen, but a great leader is a source of inspiration for others to achieve more. It explains how to bridge communications gaps so that you can get things done. It delves into the complexities of personalities. I like that it focuses on making leadership both a learnable skill and a relationship that has to be tapped into and nurtured in order for leaders to reach their full potential. The eBook starts at USD 22 and is available on the Wiley library 2.4 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven R. Covey
About BookSteven Covey was an American businessman, keynote speaker, and author. His most famous work is the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which was originally published in 1989. It has been featured in every reading list compiled and has sold 25 million copies. The book promotes character ethic over personality ethic, and considers values as internal and subjective. Amazon carries the 25th anniversary edition, which costs GBP 24.
What makes it a must-readThis is one of the best books on leadership and management. The habits are listed as chapters, and are as follows
- Being proactive: cleaves through communication barriers to achieve desired results.
- Begin with an end in mind: envision the outcome to help the team you’re leading find the way to achieving it themselves.
- Put first things first: have the big picture in mind and prioritize by removing time consuming tendencies.
- Think win-win: create an accountability mindset by sharing expectations on performance.
- Think first to understand, then to be understood: listen first before reacting so that you know you’ve fully understood the issue before you.
- Synergize: encourage and welcome different problem solving skills to come up with better alternatives.
- Sharpen the saw: unlock individual potential and make teams more cohesive. Entrepreneurs, in particular, will find the insights from this book compelling. It talks about moving into a more objective frame of mind and how to evaluate your first responses before acting on them.