Below are the 6 best leadership and self help books that you can read right now to develop your sense of direction, find your most authentic self and achieve your goals!
Wondering what are the best leadership books to read before this year comes to an end?
1. Grit By Angela Duckworth
Grit is nothing more than a combination of courage, passion and perseverance.
In her book Grit, Angela Duckworth interviews a series of leaders from all walks of life whose grit has helped them succeed and whose stories will surely inspire you.
2. How To Win Friends & Influence People By Dale Carnegie
In How To Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie gives practical advice on how to successfully attract people, convert their way of thinking towards our ideas, on how to be more confident, achieve more and reach your highest potential in life thanks to your relationships.
3. The Little Book Of Big Lies By Tina Lifford
In The Little Book Of Big Lies, Tina Lifford gives helpful advice for you to build up your inner self and shares fourteen real life stories to help you move on from trauma and your past.
4. Year Of Life By Shonda Rhimes
In her funny memoir Year Of Life, Shonda Rhimes shares her poignant life story and her journey towards personal success.
Throughout her book, she makes you laugh but also reflect on the power of saying yes, of continually staying positive and focused.
5. The Magic Of Thinking Big By David J. Schwartz
David J. Schwartz teaches us throughout The Magic Of Thinking Big to:
Think big and set bigger than life goals.
Overcome our fear of failure by actually accomplishing our goals.
Fail forward and trust the process.
6. The Obstacle Is The Way By Ryan Holiday
In The Obstacle Is The Way,Ryan Holiday employs the lessons of Greek philosophy to help you see past your failures and obstacles.
He encourages you to persevere no matter what and to apply a certain stoicism to most of your life situations.
Last Words Of Advice!
Each one of these books demonstrate ways to achieve long term success, accomplish your dreams and figure out a solution to every single one of your problems.
To top it all off, these books also exhibit great examples of people who have remained optimistic and creative in the face of challenges.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.
Journey To Leadership is now hosting networking events…
We seldom are perceived the way we see ourselves or the way we want to be perceived.
Contrary to popular belief, our facial expressions are not always readable, our emotions are not that obvious and we don’t communicate as much as we think we do.
There are many heuristics and assumptions that guide our perceptions and create inaccurate interpretations of people.
Assumption #1: The confirmation bias
Some people look at you and see what they expect to see, taking into account the stereotypes of the groups to which you belong, your culture and their past experiences with you.
Assumption #2: The primary effect
Other people forme their perceptions of you using their initial impression of you.
With this assumption, first impressions are lasting impressions.
Assumption #3: Stereotypes
Stereotypes are the beliefs about categories of people to “better understand” them.
Assumption #4: The halo effect
The halo effect is the belief that someone, with one powerful positive trait, has a lot more positive traits.
Assumption #5: The false-consensus effect
The false-consensus effect is the belief that others think and feel the same way that we do.
The Two Phases of Perception
There are two phases of perception that exist in every interactions: Phase 1 or System 1 and Phase 2 or System 2.
Phase 1 or System 1 is the automatic and effortless ability to recognize strong emotions in someone’s facial expression and voice, to identify, categorize and interpret a given behavior, to attach that given behavior to “some aspect of your personality, character or abilities”.
First impressions are made in Phase 1.
Perception often stops at Phase 1 and people, being busy, tend to rely heavily on heuristics and assumptions.
Phase 2 or System 2 is the ability, through complex and effortful mental operations to get a complete and accurate understanding of someone, by taking into account additional factors about yourself.
This effort has to purposefully be motivated by an attention-grabbing circumstance.
Distortion of The Phases of Perception
The level of trust, the possession of power and the size of the ego tend have an impact on these phases of perception.
However, these distortions can be averted by understanding the circumstances and the wanted results of each interaction.
The level of trust
Most of the time, people are not just trying to make assumptions about you but are trying to find out unconsciously if they can trust you, especially in the workplace: are you a friend or a foe?
The decision to trust is made unconsciously in Phase 1 of perception and depends on the way that you project warmth and competence.
To increase trust to the people around you:
Convey warmth indirectly by giving subtle but genuine complements, by providing assistance whenever you can, by showing interest in others feelings and thoughts.
Demonstrate empathy by acknowledging someone else’s perspective.
Manifest your trust in people first by being cooperative, talking about your vulnerabilities and challenges.
Transmit competence by making eye contact while speaking.
Show will power by showing self-control.
Avoid overconfidence by showing modesty and restraint.
Adopt a power pose in order to take up most of the space, to signal your competence.
Emphasize your potential for greatness and for success.
The possession of power
Having more or less power changes the impressions that we form about one another.
Powerful people tend to be overwhelmed with responsibilities and have no time to spare, to be focused on their goals, rely heavily on stereotypes to categorize people, stay stuck in Phase 1 of perception.
Furthermore, the sad truth is that powerful people don’t pay much attention to less powerful people.
To get noticed by powerful people and to increase your influence:
Be instrumental to their success.
Find out how you can align your. objectives with those of the powerful.
Ease their burden.
Anticipate their needs and challenges.
Avoid complementing them because they don’t care.
The size of the ego
Perception is distorted by the size of the ego in such ways that you must come out on top, feeling good about yourself.
Your ego has the purpose of protecting and enhancing your self-esteem.
To control the way people perceive you through their ego, you will need to:
Help people enhance their self-esteem.
Evaluate the threat that you and your abilities pose to your colleagues.
Be humble about your accomplishments, past and current difficulties. Avoid tooting your own horn, playing dumb or acting like someone else.
Affirm other people by praising them and their achievements.
Avoid stereotyping other people.
The eager reward seekers and the vigilant risk mitigators
The safety and security of our personal situations also poses a threat to our perceptions of people, of our colleagues and of our career.
On one hand, the eager reward seeker looks for opportunities everywhere, are effective, risk takers, rule breakers, adventurers, optimistic, motivated, innovative and often creative.
Unfortunately, eager reward seekers are prone to fail and to underestimate problems.
On the other, the vigilant risk mitigators see danger everywhere they go, are vigilant, risk averse, reliable, thorough and deliberate, prone to analytical thinking and self-doubt.
To get the best of both types of people, simply adapt your language to each of them by making one see a potential for gain and the other a cautionary plan.
The clingy, anxious and the aloof, avoidant
The need for closeness shapes our relationship with others.
The clingy and anxious people tend to have low self-esteem, need validation, constantly seek closeness and are worried that the people that they have built a relationship with will leave them, see injuries and slights where there aren’t, fear rejection.
To accommodate them, practise empathy, don’t take it personally, clarify your speech, stay reliable to this person.
The aloof and avoidant people don’t foster close relationships but instead maintain emotional distance.
To accommodate them, don’t take their behaviour personally, restraint your own warmth, give them time to open up.
Correcting bad impressions and fighting misunderstandings
Finally, to correct bad impressions and start over on the right track, you can exhibit attention-getting evidence of the contrary evidence of you so they can notice and cannot deny reality.
You can also force people to revisit their opinion of you by making them feel that their judgement is unfair or unequal.
Finally, you can make people depend on you and need you to reach their goals.
No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson is a great self-development book that explores the prominent reasons why we are often misunderstood and gives useful advice on how to clean up our reputation, to clarify a difficult situation.
Every single conclusion that Halvorson draws is scientifically researched and illustrated with probing examples.
This book is intended for people who have made past mistakes with people and want to correct them.
It was absolutely hard to read because Halvorson revealed hard truths, reminded me of the stereotypes that pursue me on a daily basis and that keep interfering with my goals, forces me to question myself and my behavior.
In addition, this book made me more self-conscious about my presentation to the world and my decisions, more aware that first impressions are critical, that most people don’t think the same way I do, react the same I do, or perceive me the same way I do.
Furthermore, No One Understands You and What To Do About It was also cathartic and purging, helped me become a better judge of others, understand that the way people treated me in the past was not my full responsibility.
In No One Understands You and What To Do About It, Heidi Grant Halvorson explains how perceptions are born, describes a set of stereotypes and assumptions that affect how people perceive you, the different ways for correcting bad impressions and for overcoming misunderstandings.
Studies show that while very strong, basic emotions—surprise, fear, disgust, and anger—are fairly easy to read, the more subtle emotions we experience on a daily basis are not. You are never really starting from scratch with another person, even when you are meeting him or her for the first time. The perceiver’s brain is rapidly filling in details about you—many before you have even spoken a word. Knowing this gives you a sense of what you’ve got going for you and what you might be up against. And the more you can know in advance about your perceiver’s likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses, the better equipped you will be to anticipate what’s being projected onto you.
The benefits of projecting trustworthiness (and the costs of failing to do so) are Enormous, particularly in the workplace. Studies show, for instance, that the willingness to share knowledge with colleagues—a sticking point in most large organizations—is strongly predicted by feelings of trust among employees.
At some point, we all want to be that definition of success.
Yet, most of the time, we don’t get to hit our deadlines and achieve our goals.
Even though we put our best foot forward, we just seem to be stuck, blocked at a particular stage in life and limited by specific beliefs.
Wondering what are the self-limiting beliefs that are hindering personal success?
1. You don’t know who you are
When you don’t know who you are, it’s difficult to know where you are going and why you are going.
You tend to focus on everyone else and monitor what they are doing.
When you don’t who you are, you are easily threatened by others.
You may easily be jealous or constantly compete and compare yourself with others.
You may project on other people to avoid having to deal with yourself or get to know yourself.
2. You don’t think that you can do it
You may think that you’re not enough, that you don’t have the proper skills, or that you don’t have what it takes.
If you believe that you can’t, then won’t.
If you believe that you can, then you will.
3. You don’t take responsibility your life
Now, that’s a hard one.
Some people go through life blaming others for their shortcomings or for their failures.
However, blaming others is short-lived and doesn’t get anything done.
Taking responsibility for your life means taking control of your life.
It means managing your decisions, your actions, your thoughts and the people you allow in your space.
Taking responsibility for your life is difficult at first but gratifying in the long run.
4. You don’t care to learn
Learning helps your mind evolve and see new perspectives.
If you stop learning, you stop growing.
There isn’t just one way to learn.
You can search the internet, watch movies, listen to audio books.
However, reading is the quickest way to acquire the most knowledge in a short period of time.
5. You favor your comfort zones
Maybe you don’t like to try new things…
Maybe you just like the company of your 3 friends or 3 cats or your parents…
Maybe you just don’t like being bothered…
Nothing wrong with that but by doing that you don’t evolve, you stay in the same frame of mind, within the same circle, acting out the same behaviour, living out the same patterns that have kept you in the same spot.
6. You lack vision or an objective
Without a solid vision or objective, there is no plan.
Without a plan, there is no action.
Without action, you will unfortunately end up in the same place.
7. You procrastinate
Procrastinating is different from taking a break or going on a holiday.
Procrastinating can go from doing nothing to keeping busy in one area to avoid getting to the important goals.
Working on your goals is a choice.
8. You give up when you are closer to success
People often quitting sound like something only losers do.
But winners quit too: they quit things that are unhealthy for them, that aren’t improving their lifestyle and that are diverting them from their goals.
However, if what you’ve been doing isn’t degrading your lifestyle and is perfectly aligned with your goals, you might be giving up too soon.
You are always closer than you think to reaching your goals.
Last Words Of Advice
Just remember, success is available to everyone and great things take time!
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.
Credibility, the quality or power to inspire trust and belief, is essential and strategic to career evolution.
Credibility is so difficult to acquire and to maintain but so quick and easy to lose.
Credibility is 45% how you look, 45% how you sound and 10% what you say.
In agreement with McCroskey, scholar in West Virginia University, there are five factors of credibility:
This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to champion the company’s vision, engage in innovation, focus on performance and results, and to build a high performance organization.
With competence, an employee is able to explain concept with the appropriate message and to calibrate a message to a specific listener.
Credibility is easily lost if someone:
Is not understanding or is reacting inappropriately to an issue at hand.
Is lacking better judgement in order to make the right decisions.
Reflects too long before making a decision.
This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to foster a climate of innovation, to foster and model the company’s values.
Credibility is easily lost if someone:
Is lacking passion and drive for their work
Is arrogant. This character flaw can be corrected by changing your words when addressing your colleagues, expressing interest in them, asking for advice, listening more in conversations and sharing your personal weaknesses.
Cannot manage emotions very well.
Has it out for some people in their organization.
This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to manage workforce performance and delegate appropriately.
Credibility is easily lost if someone:
Is not timely (not punctual with deliveries, appears frantic and rushing,…).
Cannot manage emotions very well.
Maneuver their body language to manifest their belonging.
Decorate and manage their personal space.
Does not look the part by not applying the company’s dress code, by not grooming oneself when coming to work or even by not working out.
This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to demonstrate interpersonal skills.
Extroversion as defined in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to passionately drive the company’s strategy.
So Smart But…: How Intelligent People Lose Credibility – And How They Can Get It Back by Allen K. Weiner is a self-development book is very relatable, accurate and was very difficult to read since I have met up with most of the scenarios and possess some of the corporate personality flaws discussed in this book.
Allen N. Weiner, in So Smart But…, provides tips on how to preserve and enhance your credibility in the workplace.
Furthermore, every argument is properly illustrated with realistic workplace scenario and is not gender biased.
According to Allen N. Weiner, to climb the social ladder, it seems that one needs to :
comply to too many non written rules, indicative of a rigid and intolerant society that is the corporate world. Is it possible to apply every single one of these rules to the cost of spreading oneself very thinly?
be likeable to succeed when, in my opinion, likeability can only take you so far. Indeed, in my experience, it is preferable and more effective to be respected in corporate culture because being liked puts you on equal footing with your pairs, constitutes additional emotional work and subjects you to fluctuating and random external opinion. Nevertheless, according to Allen N. Weiner, people who are not liked are trying to find excuses instead of trying to be liked.
Most Millennials and Gen Z require more out of the companies they are affiliated with.
They demand a healthy relationship with their work.
They pay closely attention to their purpose within their role, to their leadership, to what their organization does and most importantly why they do it.
What is Shared Purpose?
Shared purpose is the reason why a company, leaders, teams matter and should bond together.
Shared purpose relates to a personal mission statement, to core values, to personal motivation, to a given motivation.
Shared purpose allows for deeper understanding of overall objectives, clearer expectations of performance and code of conduct, stronger resilience in the face of adversity, job satisfaction on all levels, and better team engagement and alignment.
In Daring Greatly, Brené Brown explains the reasons why we are afraid of being vulnerable, the different ways we protect ourselves from vulnerability, and how to become more vulnerable in our society.
Daring Greatly means being vulnerable, being engaged, being exposed and avoiding being perfect.
A Narcissistic Society
Many researchers have shown that the American culture has turned into a narcissistic influenced culture, a culture of scarcity, a culture where people put themselves first, think that they are special, are always connected to social media, go after money and power, chase beauty and other vanity, compare themselves, are disengaged and concerned with the idea of lacking.
Instead of putting sown narcissistic people and showing them that they are not special, it is better to seek understanding and find the root of the problem.
Being narcissistic stems from a feeling of not being enough and of being ordinary.
Vulnerability & The Feeling Of Not Being Enough
The feeling of not being enough brings about shame and stops us from being vulnerable. Shame is a universal emotion, is corrosive, “keeps us small, resentful and afraid”.
Furthermore, we become disengaged when we are too afraid to be vulnerable, when we are ashamed, when we lack purpose, when a social contract is not met.
It is critical to speak out on your shame, to be self-aware, to know your self-worth, to ask and receive feedback because knowing your worth will help you become more vulnerable.
To eradicate the feeling of shame:
Identify your shame triggers.
Observe your self talk.
Accept your experiences.
Share your experience, be vulnerable with someone who genuinely cares about you.
Common Misconceptions About Vulnerability
We are thought not to be vulnerable, not to show our emotions, to look down on those who do. There are several misconceptions when it comes to vulnerability.
Misconception #1: “Vulnerability is weakness”
The reality is vulnerability is not a weakness, is not good or bad. Vulnerable is the origin of all emotions.
It therefore becomes important to acknowledge your vulnerability.
Besides, the people who think that they are impenetrable are in fact the most vulnerable.
Misconception #2: “I don’t do vulnerability”
Vulnerability is unavoidable. When we try to avoid it, we often exhibit unusual inconsistent behaviors.
Misconception #3: Vulnerability is letting it all hang out”
You cannot be vulnerable with everyone. It is important to build trust and boundaries before being vulnerable.
Otherwise, more times than ever, you will end up getting betrayed and hurt.
Misconception #4: “We can go it alone”
Individualism and going it alone are highly regarded in American culture.
In this case, it is essential to construct a support system, to ask for and receive help
Shame As A Management Tool
Most of the time, shame and the blame game are used as management tool, yet is ineffective.
Subsequently, the situations that we face on a daily basis, in the education system, in the workplace, force us to keep our head down and our mouth shut which doesn’t encourage innovation, creativity or the learning process.
Vulnerability & Protective Mechanism
Our protective mechanisms are survival strategies, used to shield our vulnerability. Those shields can go from foreboding joy, to perfectionism to numbing down your emotions.
To avoid shielding vulnerability, it is critical to:
Appreciate your strengths and weaknesses.
Confront your emotions.
Live a more fulfilling life and feed your spirit.
Focus your time and energy on the essentials.
Consider how your behavior affect those around you.
Shield #1: Victim mentality
Some people go through life with a victim or perpetrator, win or lose mentally and subsequently fall into one of these categories.
Surprisingly, the people who have been through the most trauma, demonstrate the most resilience. And, people who don’t feel like victims or perpetrators, see themselves as thrivers.
Shield #2: “Floodlighting”
Floodlighting is essentially oversharing and stems from a need for confirmation and validation.
We have to be careful not to share vulnerable stories too soon with people who have not earned the right to hear them.
The people on the receiving end often shut down, lack empathy or feel disconnected.
Shield #3: “The smash and grab”
With this shield, some people use vulnerability as a manipulation, sensationalizing tactic that is common in celebrity culture, as an attention seeking tool.
Shield #4: “Serpentining”
Serpentining is a draining and an avoidance behavior.
It happens when people are not facing a situation head on for fear of being vulnerable, of not being present.
Shield #5: Mean-spiritedness
In this case, people use criticism, cynicism and mean-spiritedness to protect themselves.
They are mean to people who dare demonstrate vulnerability.
Daring Greatly is essential to leadership, parenting, relationships, finding your purpose and your passion.
Through Daring Greatly, Brown has gathered data from people from different walks of life so we can somewhat self diagnose and become more aware of some of our toxic behavior.
Brené Brown makes some pertinent point and writes exactly like she speaks. Furthermore, Brown is very open and authentic, shares her anecdotes, fears and doubt.
For example, she is vulnerable with us, mindful of the stories to share, lets us into her conversations with her therapist.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.
Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.
We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying. Researchers don’t find shame correlated with positive outcomes at all—there are no data to support that shame is a helpful compass for good behavior. In fact, shame is much more likely to be the cause of destructive and
hurtful behaviors than it is to be the solution.
Much of the beauty of light owes its existence to the dark. The most powerful moments of our lives happen when we string together the small flickers of light created by courage, compassion, and connection and see them shine in the darkness of our struggles.