Spotlight’s Holiday Gift Guide: Seven Savvy Leadership Books

by Andrew Hsu

December 16, 2020

Spotlight’s Holiday Gift Guide: Seven Savvy Leadership Books

Despite this year feeling like it may never end, we have finally arrived at the holiday season! If there’s someone on your list (or maybe even yourself!) who loves to read about leadership and business, we pulled together seven of our favorite books in this category. Quick links provided for easy ordering, or better yet, find them at your local bookstore!

“The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Jim Genis, Client Executive, says, “Leadership, whether direct or indirect, is frequently about prioritization. ‘The One Thing’ shows that no matter how big or small, you can always narrow down your priorities to just a single thing that will make your work (or life) easier or better. I use this principle in my own leadership and coaching.”

“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck

Jim also recommends Dweck’s book saying, “We all have goals and are measured against them. However, we frequently beat ourselves up if we don’t achieve that goal 100%. Carol Dweck breaks that myth, pointing out that having a “growth mindset” is much more important than realizing a fixed goal. She proves in detail why the most successful people in the world are built on mental resiliency through the right perspective on growth. ‘Mindset’ is a book that helps leaders rally teams and keep them focused even when fixed goals are missed.”

“Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins 

Christina Neill, Director of the Spotlight Academy, says Collins’ book “explores repeatable ways for companies to move from good to great. One thing I loved about the book is that it explains the danger of settling for good, and how ‘good’ companies will fail if they don’t use discipline – disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action. To summarize in the most basic terms: disciplined people is about creating leaders, disciplined thought is about pragmatism and not getting distracted, and disciplined action is about prioritizing what to do and what NOT to do.”

“Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek

Christina also recommends “Start with Why” saying it “explores how great companies create values that are guiding principles for the organization. Those values are predicated on everyone understanding and believing in the ‘why’ behind what they do. The book helps you uncover the definition of your why, how that why impacts the rest of the organization, and how to stay focused on that why long-term.”

“Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown 

Jennifer Sheffield, Operations & Growth, recommends Brown’s book: “Brené Brown spent seven years studying the future of leadership. The result was this book, which has three lessons: 1) to be a daring leader, you need to be vulnerable 2) being transparent with your team creates respect and 3) sharing values builds trust throughout a team.”

“What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” by Marshall Goldsmith

Jennifer also likes this book saying, “Goldsmith (an executive coach) shares stories about the leaders he has coached over the years, and the behaviors – things as simple as saying, “thank you” – that held them back from having more success.”

“Writing Without Bullshit: Boost Your Career by Saying What You Mean” by Josh Bernoff 

Katherine Johnson, Researcher, recommends former Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff’s book saying, “This is not a leadership book, but everyone in our department reads ‘Writing Without Bullshit’ by Josh Bernoff. He believes in elevating your career by saying what you mean and treating your readers’ time as more valuable than your own. A helpful lesson, indeed!” 

Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season. Happy gifting!