My Recommended Essential Reads for Growth-Oriented Marketing Leaders.

The path to effective and transformative management often feels like a non-stop journey.

Despite attending countless leadership seminars and reading tons of articles, many leaders still struggle to grasp what it takes to make a real impact. It’s like there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to being a great leader. It’s more of a personal journey that requires constant nurturing, insight, and wisdom. Unfortunately, most conventional leadership programs tend to overlook that reality.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to being a great leader. It’s a personal journey requiring constant nurturing, insight and wisdom.

Unfortunately, most conventional leadership programs tend to overlook that reality.

You can take steps to shift your mindset and embark on this leadership journey.

One way is to start seeing leadership as a journey rather than just a role.

When I dive into books and podcasts from other industries or learn from those not in my industry, I tend to pick up golden nuggets that help me improve my game.

Most people try to develop their leadership skills by attending workshops or seeking advice from mentors. And while those methods are helpful, and you should do them, they often lack the diverse perspectives to handle the complexities of leadership.

That’s why exploring different industries and learning from various leaders is important. For instance, one book called this out is “Sustain Your Game” by Alan Stein, Jr., an NBA Performance Coach. He teaches business leaders the lessons and habits he learned in the NBA that can be applied to leadership. Pretty cool, right?

There you see there truly is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to leadership. What works for one person or in one situation might not work for you. That’s why some leaders still struggle despite attending all those seminars and workshops. They need more personalized, diverse, and comprehensive resources. And that’s where a well-chosen book list comes into play. Don’t discount working with a coach 1:1 as well. But if you can’t afford that, I’ve found books have been game changers for my mindset.

Instead of relying solely on traditional learning methods or industry-specific avenues, why not add a mix of insightful and transformative books to your leadership journey?

The books on this list offer unique perspectives, practical advice and thought-provoking insights that can shape your leadership mindset. And the best part? You can always revisit them whenever you need a refresher.

These are my book recommendations specifically for marketing leaders who want to encourage a leadership mindset:

  1. “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks is the first on my list because it was my breakthrough and is the key to knowing yourself. Do you know your zone of genius, and are you operating it daily? If not, this one is all about identifying your genius and barriers to true happiness and success.
  2. “Sustain Your Game” by Alan Stein, Jr. – This is actually the second part of a 2-part series but I didn’t realize until I was already deep in. You don’t need to read the first one for this book to inspire you. I started this book in a time I was burned out and this book promised to help with that – and it did. It helped me figure out what burn out truly is and how to fix it.
  3. “Tribes” by Seth Godin – Anything by Seth is amazing. This was a great leadership lesson in building communities and using leadership to connect people. And good for all marketers book.
  4. “Twelve and a Half” by Gary Vaynerchuk – A must read for ALL leaders or those who strive to lead. The twelve and a half are key soft skills to identify and work on. This book helped me identify and use my strengths to my advantage and improve upon my weaknesses to turn them into advantages.
  5. “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon – All marketers should understand the concepts of this book, we are in a time where content is plenty and there are truly no original ideas. But how do steal ideas and make them our own?
  6. “Crushing It” by Gary Vaynerchuk – Another marketing book that is great for leadership as well, by understanding the concepts of leading (and building) communities online – and teams.
  7. “Atomic Habits” by James Clear – Building habits are a signature of success for all leaders, this is the go-to book on how to build better habits and stick to them. Be ready to make some immediate improvements witht his one.
  8. “Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility” by Patty McCord – This inspirational book showed me how transparent management really looks and should look at all organization. The Netflix story is truly inspiring and will get you motivated and give you take aways to become a better leader.

How to Begin

– Begin by choosing one of these books that catches your interest and dedicate some time each day to reading it.

– As you read take some time to reflect on the key insights from the book and how they can be applied to your unique leadership journey. I did this by journaling after my daily reading to note what stuck with me.

– Engage in discussions or join book clubs focusing on leadership development books. This will allow you to exchange insights with other leaders, further enriching your perspective.

– Implementation is the real magic. Put those learned principles into action and observe the outcomes. Make changes where necessary and keep refining your approach and see how these new approaches and strategies work for you. If something doesn’t quite click, don’t hesitate to make adjustments and refine your approach. It’s all part of the learning process.

– Friendly Reminder! The journey to developing a strong leadership mindset is a marathon, not a sprint.  It takes time, patience, and continuous learning. Keep seeking new insights, evolving your approach, and never stop growing as a leader.

Leadership isn’t just about the position you hold. It’s about cultivating a mindset that empowers you to make a real impact. By incorporating these recommended books into your leadership journey, you’ll foster that mindset and transform the way you approach leadership. 

So, go ahead and dive in!

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