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Leadership Tools

Resources for leadership development

LGL RECOMMENDED READING.

Must-reads that all leaders should have on their bookshelves.

Start With Why
by Simon Sinek

This popular book explores a concept he calls, “the Golden Circle.” Fundamentally, Sinek argues that organizations must spend time thinking about their WHY, and while most organizations are able to articulate WHAT they do and HOW, those who capture the essence of WHY are offered a filter through which all other business activity can flow. The book’s synopsis is offered in a powerful, 18-minute TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4).


lf You Get a Moment, Would You Please…
by Louis H. Pepper

This short book is one of our sentimental favorites, and was authored by Lou Pepper, former President, CEO, and Chairman at Washington Mutual Bank. Mr. Pepper offers wisdom developed over two substantive professional lifetimes, one as a corporate attorney and the second as a banker, in bite-sized chunks. Any leader at any level will get something(s) (more than a single something) out of this book. It should be on every leader bookshelf on the planet.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
by Marshall Goldsmith

This is a book that encourages us all, that wherever we are in our personal and professional lives, the things we’ll need to do as leaders in order to move forward effectively are unlikely to be the same things that got us to where we are. Goldsmith additionally highlights the “20 Habits” in this work – and that are predominantly focused on a leader’s emotional intelligence. LGL weaves Goldsmith’s materials into our Leadership Foundations and Emotional Intelligence (Relationship Building) modules.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0
by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

Of all the books on emotional intelligence we have read, this is, by far, the most practical. Bradberry and Greaves outline an argument for its practice and offer some brain biology/ chemistry, followed by an introduction to the same four-domain Goleman model, initially introduced in Primal Leadership. The assessment, made available with the book, provides immediate feedback to readers as a basis for understanding where they are, a recommended practice/focus domain, and highlighted tactics. The latter half of this book offers practice techniques, organized by domain, that the reader can employ to improve their emotional intelligence. Importantly, the assessment available with the book can be taken again – enabling the reader to assess progress after practice.

Primal Leadership
by Dan Goleman

Although a bit more “academic” than some of the other books we’ve recommended, this is a foundational work on emotional intelligence. Goleman explores brain biology and chemistry, offering a scientific basis for why we respond to situations the way we do. His original five-domain emotional intelligence model is, importantly, modified to the four-domain model that LGL teaches. Goleman additionally proffers six leadership styles that should be considered, both in terms of a leader’s “default”, as well as their practicality to different situations (problems and people).

Once an Eagle
by Anton Myrer

This classic contrasts two Army officers (Sam Damon and Courtney Massengale) over their lifetimes and the different, yet individually effective, approaches each took to their professional endeavors. The difference are obvious and demand personal reflection during and after negotiating the book. Which of these extremely successful officers would you aspire to be? Why? While it seems clear that Anton Myrer had an opinion, both succeeded. The lesson – it’s not only about winning, but how you win. Worth the read.

How Did That Happen?
by Roger Connors and Tom Smith

The core thesis is that positive accountability is possible through the use of a model they refer to as the Accountability Sequence. LGL believes their model offers an empathic approach to this often touchy subject, one that takes the sting out of these necessary conversations. Connors and Smith’s organization, Partners in Leadership (https://www.partnersinleadership.com/), offers a book synopsis and other materials readers may find useful.

Change the Culture, Change the Game
by Roger Connors and Tom Smith

This third in the accountability series by Connors and Smith, Change the Culture, Change the Game, provides a tailorable culture model (the culture pyramid) that is extremely relatable given the complexity of organizational culture as a topic. Importantly, the pyramid links business outcomes (results) to culture, and deconstructs the path leading to those results through an analysis of experiences, beliefs, and actions. The authors provide helpful exercises throughout the book that effectively “connect the dots” in their pyramid model. Very practical and among the clearest presentations on culture we’ve read. Connors and Smith’s organization, Partners in Leadership, offers a book synopsis and other materials readers may find useful.

Change the Culture, Change the Game
by Roger Connors and Tom Smith

This third in the accountability series by Connors and Smith, Change the Culture, Change the Game, provides a tailorable culture model (the culture pyramid) that is extremely relatable given the complexity of organizational culture as a topic. Importantly, the pyramid links business outcomes (results) to culture, and deconstructs the path leading to those results through an analysis of experiences, beliefs, and actions. The authors provide helpful exercises throughout the book that effectively “connect the dots” in their pyramid model. Very practical and among the clearest presentations on culture we’ve read. Connors and Smith’s organization, Partners in Leadership, offers a book synopsis and other materials readers may find useful.


Boys in the Boat

by Daniel James Brown

One of the best books on what it takes to become a team and what it means to finally achieve success as a team. This book captures the rise of the 1936 men’s eight rowing team from the University of Washington, presenting rich backgrounds on the team, coaches, mentors, and other influencers. Their journey to the gold medal podium was a challenge at every step, but one that ultimately defined each teammate for the balance of their lives. PBS has also distributed a fine accompaniment to this book, a one-hour movie entitled The Boys of 36. If you want to explore teamwork and what it takes to get from wherever you are to where you wish to go, this is a compelling read.

How Good People Make Tough Choices
by Rushworth Kidder

This work effectively articulates the challenges many of us face, and that put value systems into conflict. Using his framework of four primary ethical dilemmas, Kidder offers myriad examples throughout the book that are useful scenarios in practicing character development.

Endurance
by Alfred Lansing

Listed on several reading lists as the best leadership book ever written. Telling the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s failed expedition with the crew of the Endurance, Lansing highlights:  (1) important hiring considerations, (2) practical emotional intelligence, (3) the role of interpersonal accountability, (4) leadership in crisis, (5) team-building, (6) ethical dilemmas, and (7) the importance of a good, second-in-command (among other leadership lessons). LGL Leadership has developed a 2-day, immersive leadership experience that highlights the lessons learned from Endurance. Learn more >>

The Lost Bank

by Kirsten Grind

While most would bypass this book, thinking it a work on banking and the sub-prime mortgage crisis that led to Washington Mutual’s demise, they would be missing one of the better leadership books ever written. Kirsten Grind was fortunate to have observed these events unfold as a business reporter in Seattle, and has captured the essence of what happened without diving deeply into more technical financial matters. Building an executive team, succession planning, the importance of WHY, sustaining culture during periods of rapid growth, accountability, and the business case for emotional intelligence are leadership topics sewn throughout this fine read. LGL Leadership has developed and presented an immersive leadership experience with this book and the story’s subjects as the focus. Learn more >>

Conspiracy of Fools
by Kurt Eichenwald

Most of us are old enough to remember Enron’s dramatic collapse in the aftermath of a series of poor financial decisions and leader shortcomings. Kurt Eichenwald offers one of the more balanced records of this business drama, exploring the characters and the motivations that ultimately led to this catastrophic failure. Although a longer read, Eichenwald spins a story every bit as compelling as a good Tom Clancey or Dan Brown novel. Well worth the read. Again, LGL has developed an immersive leadership experience that focuses on what leadership lessons we should have learned from Enron.


The Agility Shift

by Pamela Meyer

Agility is a concept often discussed, but poorly defined. Consequently, this book stands out as an extremely practical presentation on an extremely “mushy” subject. Organizations who hope to build innovation, as well as agile and adaptable leaders, would be well served by investing in the time to read this recent work by Pamela Meyer. More information is available from Dr. Meyer’s website, http://pamela-meyer.com/.

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