In yesterday’s post I listed five books that have most impacted my understanding of leadership and success. Today I will share five more.
Jim Collins’ book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t affected me more than most books I’ve read. Collins explains that, although many companies are good, few of them become great. The reason is that they settle for being good. When I read that I wrote in the margin the same is true of churches, families and individuals. He then proceeds to explain how any organization can make the leap from being good to becoming great.
I’ve attended a number of motivational conferences where the late Zig Ziglar spoke. His book Over the Top: Moving from Survival to Stability, from Stability to Success, from Success to Significance contains a lot of the wisdom he shared in the messages he delivered in those conferences. This book has been around since 1994 but it’s still full of valuable insights on how to enjoy tremendous success in everything you do. The chapters on the importance of goal setting and how to set goals to achieve more in life is worth far more than the cost of the book.
As I wrote yesterday, my understanding of leadership has been greatly impacted by John Maxwell. Many of his books are in my library. I could list several of them, but the only one I’ll mention today is Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others. Leadership is all about influencing other people. If we cannot influence them we cannot lead them. This book taught me much about how I could better influence those I lead. It has been a valuable book.
I cannot say enough about Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. It’s hard to lead or do anything when one’s personal finances are a mess. For many years we lived paycheck to paycheck sometimes having too much month left over at the end of the money. A few years ago I began listening to Ramsey’s podcasts while driving. I bought the book and began to put his simple plan into action. A few months later we were out of debt. More importantly, we learned a lot about good money management we never knew. I recently served as a Transitional Pastor in a church and asked a person to lead Ramsey’s Financial Peace University in a small group. The financial turn-around in the lives of those in that group were amazing. If you struggle in your personal finances I encourage you to read this book and put its principles into practice. Not only will it help you financially, but you will see improvements in your leadership, in your family life and in your personal satisfaction.
The last book I’ll mention is Up Your Business!: 7 Steps to Fix, Build, or Stretch Your Organization by Dave Anderson. Sometimes those of us in business make things more complicated than they need to be. We can also get carried away by the latest fads or gimmicks. Anderson keeps things simple and basic. In this book he presents commonsense principles that anyone can use to improve their organizations.
This concludes the list of 10 books that have impacted my understanding of leadership and success. Leaders are readers, and I hope you’ll find some of these books will have the same impact on you as they have had on me.