Top Five Books for Leadership Mindset and Behaviors

Regarding Leadership Mindset and Behaviors — A colleague asks: “What are your top five (in order) leadership books, specifically, talking about mindset, behaviours and leadership culture? Not looking for systems or processes but the human side.”

Great question. The greatest predictor of leadership success — especially senior leadership success — is Emotional Intelligence.

Looking around the bookshelf, I see these, and I recommend them in this order:

  1. The 2R Manager – by Pete Friedes – excellent mindset and behavior coaching for leadership
  2. Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader – by Flanagan and Runde – dissects the passive and active forms of both constructive and destructive conflict
  3. Trust is Everything – by Aneil and Karen Mishra – lays out the four behaviors that make up the otherwise nebulous concept of “trust” (which builds the bridge from destructive to constructive conflict). I consider this a better book than the more famous “Speed of Trust” by Covey.
  4. Various books on Emotional Intelligence and how to grow it — I got a lot out of “Intimacy and Desire” by Schnarch, but it’s not a workplace book; “The Language of Emotions” by Karla McLaren is great, as is “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. I’m being indecisive here, sorry. Go with “Daring Greatly.”
  5. The Emotionally Intelligent Manager – by Caruso and Salovey – good scientifically grounded work that teaches a sound “four skills” approach to EI growth

All of these play a role in the Becoming a Best Boss training that turns normal people into exceptional leaders.

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