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Top 3 Books Leaders Should Read

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With the start of the new year, we can’t help but consider the immense potential of the year ahead. Whether we would like to adopt a healthier lifestyle, invest more quality time in our relationships or become a “better” leader to our team members. I put the term better in quotations because it can mean many different things to different people. What would becoming a “better” leader mean to you? Do you hope to inspire your team, improve your skills as a listener or trust your intuition more frequently? As I mentioned, being a better leader can be defined many ways, but I believe we all have the capacity, within ourselves, to be a better leader in our community.

The CPT strives to advance ethical leadership in business, institutions and organizations. Therefore, the staff is continually researching books, data and the latest news to support everyone, across all industries, in becoming a “better” leader. Below, are a few books the CPT believes every leader should be reading next year.

Book Recommendation:
Title: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team
Author: Patrick Lencioni

Why Ryan Chose This Book:
I selected this book because it was recommended to me by one of my college professors. After having read this book, I realized it was unlike any other leadership book in my collection. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team is a fable about a new leader, and the challenges she faces with her new team. Although she tries to implement leadership philosophies that seem practical, she is met with resistance and unexpected hurdles. However, throughout the story, the reader learns about the underlying reasons for the resistance, and sees how the leader handles these conflicts and navigates workplace politics.

What Makes This Book Special?
One of the most significant points I took away from this book, is that the right decisions may not always be popular or appreciated, but they are still the correct decisions. No one says leadership is easy, and this book highlights the ups and downs of being a leader. This book also illustrates how and why leaders should take the time to ask the right questions, understand the personalities of their team members, and be willing to embrace difficult conversations. Avoiding an issue does not eliminate the problem; it allows the problem to grow and become a larger issue. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve the culture of their team (both team leaders and members). The book was easy to read, and I completed it over the course of two evenings.

Ryan W. Hirsch, M.Ed.
CPT Operations Director

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Book Recommendation:
Title: Strengths Finder
Author:Donald Clifton, Tom Rath

Why Ashley Chose This Book:
I have been told, by one of my biggest mentors, great leaders know their strengths, but they also know where they lack. By hiring leaders who excel where you lack, you will create an effective team. If you haven’t read Strengths Finder, or taken a CliftonStrengths Assessment, add it to your 2018 to-do list! Do it for yourself, but also for your team. The assessment will analyze your top strengths from four different domain areas including strategic thinking, executing, influencing and relationship building. Throughout the book, you will be enlightened on how to best use your strengths and how to maximize your effectiveness.

What Makes This Book Special?
Each year, we ask students attending the StudentCPT Leadership Conference to take the ClifronStrenghts Assessment- and it is one of their favorite parts of the conference! I love seeing their faces light up when they learn how to succeed with the things that come naturally to them! I think if every organization took the assessment, and read the book together, they could really learn a lot about team cohesiveness, and may revaluate certain responsibilities and goals.

Ashley Metivier
Business Development Specialist

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Book Recommendation:
Title: #GIRLBOSS (Paperback)
Author:Sophia Amoruso

Why Sydney Chose This Book:
I chose the book #GIRLBOSS because I believe that it is a both a practical and humorous account of how one woman achieved success in the male-dominated business world. Rather than being a tedious self-help book, Amoruso gives a first-hand account of how she became what she describes as, a #GIRLBOSS (and yes, the capitalization is necessary by her explanation). Published in 2015, the book chronicles her life and the lessons she learned as she went from broke and hitchhiking, to running a company with revenue exceeding $20 million before the age of 30. #GIRLBOSS is both humorous and frank, as Amoruso outlines the hard work and dedication that it will take to achieve success in this realm.

What Makes This Book Special?
What is particularly distinct about this book is the way Amoruso shows the reader that success is not built upon life circumstances (though that can certainly help). She is living proof that no matter where you come from, hard work and common sense can take you to places you never dreamed possible. The Washington Post called #GIRLBOSS, “Lean in for misfits” and this could not be a more apt description. Whether you are an aspiring #GIRLBOSS, seasoned professional, man, woman or someone down on your luck, I highly suggest this nontraditional take on leadership from a young woman who has a lot of worthwhile lessons to share.

Sydney Shearer
Development & Student Programs Specialist

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Is there a book that you would recommend to current and future leaders? We would love to hear from you! Email to share your suggestions.