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A Guide to Leadership Lit(erature)

We sat down with Alpha Wolf, Rayna, to discuss some summer leadership reads.

Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker

Five hundred years ago, we did not have the freedom to pick our own career paths; nobles were born into nobility, an artisan’s son become would become an artisan, and a peasant’s children will inevitably become peasants. In today’s “knowledge economy”, this is far from the case. In Managing Oneself, Drucker emphasizes that if we do not learn how to manage strengths and performance, thus becoming our own CEO’s, we will not be able to take advantage of this newfound freedom and will fail to realize our full potential in our careers. With only 72 pages, this book delivers a few simple yet memorable takeaways to help you excel – figure out how you learn (whether you are a reader or a listener), how you perform, what your values are and how your organization is aligned with them, and how to build relationships on clear, effective, and constant communication.

“Successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values.”

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

A title like this would normally have me running for the hills – it strikes me as a bit cheesy and implies that the next 200 or so pages will be filled with unapplicable mantras that will leave me scratching my head (and angry about the lost several hours of my life that I will never get back). Nevertheless, after seeing that it was recommended two young businesspeople and online personalities I have been following for several years, Lauryn Evarts and Michael Bosstick, I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately, my assumption was roughly 50% accurate. The author’s attempt to connect with a younger demographic leads to the use of cringe-worthy, outdated slang, and the book’s premise is founded on a one-size-fits-all approach to self-fulfillment, involving finding our “source energy”, pushing it out to the universe, and receiving great things in return. However, if you are able to see through its downfalls, you can find great lessons about the importance of gratitude, overcoming mental barriers to pursue what you want, and how to become successful doing what you love.

“Our thoughts become our words, our words become our beliefs, our beliefs become our actions, our actions become our habits, and our habits become our realities.”

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Art of War is the business book about strategy. Its teachings, which have endured over two thousand years, have been praised by business people, educators, military figures and politicians alike. It’s a brief, easy read that will help any reader with understanding the roots of conflict and resolution, winning without battle, and ensuring that the odds are always in your favor in whatever competitive environment you find yourself. The Art of War addresses every aspect of succeeding in rivalry by developing a strategy that capitalizes on critical strengths, including your leadership, subordinates, environment, skillset. If you haven’t read it, you definitely should. If you have, this book can be reread multiple times and still provide valuable insight to whatever situation you may be facing at present, which is likely why it has stood the test the time.

“When superior and subordinate are in harmony, equally brave in battle, that makes for strength”

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