Required Reading: 10 Books On Leadership (Summer 2017 edition)

Summer on the beach. Summer in the country. Summer abroad.  Summer Time.

For some reason or another, Summer is the time of year for fun and relaxation. Summer is also time to catch up on your reading. That’s why I have put together this list of 10 books on Leadership as Required Reading for any up and coming leader, including those leaders that require a refresher or two (ALL LEADERS).

Why 10? Ten books is enough for one person to read from early June to late August.  90 days. Think about it, does it really take you more than nine days to read a book?

It should not. Sure some of these books may seem a little long and daunting but in the end, it does not matter how long or how short they are. What does matter, is the vast knowledge and wisdom that will be gained by reading these 10 books.

Now if you have read them or some of them that’s OK. Read the ones you have not read and re-read the ones you have. Personally, I am re-reading The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Actually, it is my fifth re-read. Sometimes, things are that important to study, analyze and do so over again.

THE REQUIRED READING LIST

1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
2. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
3. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
4. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
5. The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
6. Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
7. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
8. Good to Great by Jim Collins
9. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
10. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard

Do you agree or disagree with this list. Let me know either by Twitter @daveguerra or by email dave@daveguerra.com or both.

Now that the Golden State Warriors Won, Let’s Talk about Teams by David Guerra

“Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors for winning the 2017 NBA Championship. Congratulations for creating the beginning of the end of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

 

That is most certainly one of the headlines you will be reading in the coming days. Delivering congratulations to a team then singling out one player and his team. One loss of a series of games and everyone is ready to throw in the towel for this individual, stellar NBA player. They are also ready to throw in the towel for his team. His entire team.

What does this all mean? It means that all over, LeBron James is recognized as the one individual that is the heart, soul and glue of the Cleveland Cavaliers. How can that be? How can it be that outsiders see this as the LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers instead of “The Cleveland Cavaliers”?

It is so easy for people to drive a wedge between a player and his team. The media is no help, they have all but exalted the most honorable and most high “King James” as they like to call him. Yet, what about the team? Do they call the Cavaliers something like “King James and his court”? You had better believe they do. They do so much that when the team does not do well you can almost hear the teaser commercials call it “King James and his court jesters”.

Seriously, not even James believes that nonsense or does he? While he has been quoted as saying, “There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself.” However, when has he been heard saying or asking not to be called “King James”?

James is a very good player. He does what he can to distinguish himself on the basketball playing court. There is no argument there. However, what about the team. It takes a great team to end the NBA Playoffs year after year. It takes a greater team to enter the NBA finals but the greatest team for the season is the one that wins the NBA Championship.

That last paragraph NEVER mentions an individual. It mentions teams. To be great players of the game and the sport you have to be bigger that the game. This means having to be more than the sum of all your teammates. That is why the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls will always remain great teams (no matter the Win-Loss record). It takes a team to make great teams. When one individual is elevated to a position above his own team, then is the team truly great?

To be great team and great team members, the individuals must believe in the team and the team must believe in ALL the individuals to make the team great. From game one to game 82, the team must work together as one cohesive unit with each member of that team doing his part. Eighty-two games later, if they worked and worked with one mission and vision, they enter the play offs. They advance as a team. They move forward building their legacy by being a team. One day, history will look back on that team and its legacy and with a little luck it will call that team GREAT. Then and only then will history decide which individual or individuals were great. Until then, this is still a game played by a TEAM and as a TEAM!

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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

Journaling Your Leadership by David Guerra

When it comes to journaling and leadership the two have to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Writing down the actions of the day and recalling them at a later time is the main reason biographies of great military, political and business leaders are written. It is the exact same reason for you to journal your daily events.  Document activities as they happen. Obviously, there are times you cannot go into specifics (to protect the privacy of all parties) however you can present enough information that when you need it, there it is. However, all of this is not possible if you do not have the right materials to do the right job.

• Always have writing materials.

Any leader that has been a great follower knows to always carry something to write with and something to write on is vital to your existence. Typically, that means carrying paper and pen. Unless you like remembering names, dates, and other information it is best that you carry that paper and pen(s) at all times. However, I have recently seen a disturbing trend: People writing important (critical) information on the palm of their hand.

I cannot understand why people would take such a chance. Yet, they seem to have no problem writing names on the palm of their hand and hoping they don’t sweat it away. Folks, don’t take a chance and smudge a name or a word, don’t take a chance of misspelling a word or running out of room to write. Make it part of your everyday carry (EDC) kit, have paper (notepad, note cards, journal) and pen or pens or pencil.

Having this will allow you to keep important information handy and within arm’s reach.

• Document Everything especially names, times, places, and events.

Now that you have something to write with and something to write on what do you do? You start writing, of course. Now you ask, but what do you write? Great question. If you have never written in a journal you start slow.

At first, just give the highlights. However, the highlights should include names, times, places, and events. Then as you get more comfortable with your writing you start including things like time of day, weather, and actual dialogue.

As leader, now it becomes even more important to document, chronicle, or whatever you want to call it, all your daily interactions no matter how mundane or important. Treat every interaction as the same. As anyone who has spent anytime managing people you have to document or it didn’t happen.

The ability to efficiently and effectively document your day will increase as you do it every day. Once you are effective and efficient, you will be able to describe and document situations with the best of them.  That documentation will come in handy as you move along in your career or time as a leader.

• Refer to the past to create a new future.

Once you are well on your way to journaling or documenting your day-to-day adventures as a leader something unique starts to happen, you are building a library. A library of events, situations, and how you handled them. This library built from your daily journaling not only shows you what happened in the past but helps guide you in the present and the future.

When a situation arises and it is similar to something that happened in your past, you can quickly refer to your journal(s) and instantly you have a point of reference not only to help you figure out what to do but to ensure that as a manager you remain consistent.

Keep journaling, even when you think that life is boring. It is a great tool to show your kids or those you mentor that life is mostly boring but when it isn’t life can be a challenge. Future challenges will be in good company as you will have a resource, a recollection that allows you to use the past to address the present.

Keep writing.

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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

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