African Leadership University

8 Must-Read Books on Leadership, Productivity and Success for Young Leaders

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We have been asking leaders about the books that have shaped their leadership styles and influenced their journeys to success. A common thread in all the recommended books is the need for consistency in order to form habits that allow you to be productive and efficient. These habits will make you stay true to the task. Below are a few of their recommendations.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey’s popular business and self-help book is a blueprint on time management and personal effectiveness. It gives its readers simple but sometimes difficult to practice principles which when applied continuously translate into habits that make you productive. It comes highly recommended by ALU’s technology lead, Kola Olajide.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

This book comes highly recommended by ALU’s founder, Fred Swaniker. Described as a passionate argument for the fact that successful people are not talented people who take advantage of opportunities rather take advantage of singular opportunities, Outliers looks at the factors that lead to success. Throughout the book, Gladwell argues that the key to success in any field is practicing a specific task for about 10,000 hours.

Getting Things Done by David Allen

As its name suggests, David Allen’s Getting Things Done is a time management book that gives tips on how to be productive and efficient. Allen’s method suggests writing down tasks and dividing them into actionable assignments. He says the best way to get things done is to capture, clarify, organize, reflect and engage by simply doing. This book comes as a recommendation from The Cobalt Partners’ Enyo Kumahor.

How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon

Using lessons from the business world and academia, Christensen and his co-authors advise readers on how to be build a happy and satisfying life based on the principles they will use in their professional lives. The book comes as a recommendation from Infinite Potential’s founder and MD, Arun Sharma. “How will you measure your life?” is an excellent read, helping us to remember that especially with the fast pace of life and business today, having clear long-term life goals is essential, he tells ALU.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg uses scientific data to explain how and why we form habits. Duhigg also shows how they can be changed because habits are formed from focusing on patterns that shape every aspect of everyday life. It comes as a recommendation from The Cobalt Partners’ Enyo Kumahor who also coaches individuals and teams on productivity and leadership development.

Designed for Success: 10 Commandments for women in the workplace by Dondi Scumaci

Designed for Success gives women the tools to be more effective, successful and satisfied in the workplace. These tools include how to communicate effectively, negotiate, think like a project manager, add value to everything you do, etc. It comes as a recommendation from Yawa Hansen Quao, Founder of Leading Ladies’ Network and member of the African Leadership Network.

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Start with Why encourages readers to envision a world where people are inspired to go to work everyday and feel inspired by the work they do. Sinek sets out to explore why some companies such as Apple achieve tremendous success while others don’t. For him, all great leaders and innovators started their journeys because they asked the question “why?” It comes as a recommendation from Yawa Hansen Quao.

The Hard Things about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz’s book, is a must read for all entrepreneurs. It tells the hard truth about the hurdles that startup founders must jump and gives practical advice on building and running a business. “The Hard Things about Hard Things” is an honest perspective on the challenges that leaders face, says Arun Sharma, Founder and MD of Infinite Potential.

Have you read any of the books on the list? What books have influenced your leadership style?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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