I was recently asked to define people-centered leadership. This question came on the heels of 2 days with 13 leaders, as part of a leadership development program I designed and deliver once a year for a Michigan-based company. The timing was perfect, because the first task I give them is to finish the sentence, ‘Leadership is . . .’
So when the teacher (me) became the student, here are the 7 books that came to mind as having shaped my thinking on leading in all areas of my life:
- The Servant by James C. Hunter
- One-Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
- Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
- Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Don Clifton
- Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
Why Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx? As a parent and a leadership coach, I am often reminded of how both roles require the same skills and focus. I love this book because of the message and the wisdom it shares. It helped me define my own belief that I share in my book: I believe fear motivates for the short term and love motivates for the long term. I guess you could say I teach leaders how to love in the workplace. If that sounds risky, read my book – Chapter 1: ‘I Believe…’, point 4.
Why Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom? I coach leaders who are amazingly successful, but all the money and power in the world won’t make their sacrifices worthwhile. This book helped me seek a more balanced state before my death bed and is a constant reminder of the value of relationships.
What books on your list helped you define – Leadership is . . ? I would love to hear them.
Listen . . . Lead. Repeat often! (This is at the core of people-centered leadership.)