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Outstanding leaders are not always born to lead. Sometimes, people find themselves forced into leadership positions. Leadership can be an acquired skill, and there are many resources available to help the new leader become successful. Hundreds, if not thousands, of excellent leadership books, are available every year.

No one has unlimited time to determine which leadership book is the most appropriate. Choices can depend upon whether the leader is brand new to the journey or looking to build additional skills. Resources are available for every skill level.

Recommend for the New or Transitioning Leader:

“The First 90 Days” by Michael D. Watkins

Michael Watkins wrote this book to present leaders with strategies and methods for obtaining leadership success. The focus is on leadership during a transition and points out common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Watkins also provides practical tools that encourage self-awareness and grow leadership skills.

Learning to Lead:

“Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman

Goleman’s research uncovered the principal components of emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, impulse control, persistence, motivation, empathy, and managing effective relationships. The author proposes emotional intelligence is learned and may be more important than a high IQ. Developing emotional intelligence determines our success in work, play, relationships.

New Leader of Teams:

“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni

Lencioni explains that teams are dysfunctional because they are composed of humans who have varying goals, strengths, and weaknesses. The author identified five dysfunctions including distrust, reluctance to initiate conflicts, lack of accountability and commitment, and little or no attention to team objectives. Identifying and understanding these dysfunctions helps the leader minimize their negative impact.

Taking Leadership to the Next Level:

“Good to Great” by Jim Collins

Mr. Collins found which key factors helped some companies excel over others. Moving from good to great begins with leadership, but extends into hiring the right people, and being honest about the company’s skills, abilities, and goals. To achieve greatness, leaders must ask and answer the hard questions about what the company does best and determine values and visions for the future.

Leaders of all levels must take advantage of the multitude of resources available to help achieve personal and professional success. Many new and experienced leaders have used these resources to successfully enhance their leadership skills.