3 Leadership books you must read as recommended by Tack TMI’s Managing Director, Nick Washington-Jones

World Book Day is often accompanied with parents across the world buying children’s costumes of The White Rabbit or Fantastic Mr Fox – but at its very heart, it is still very much a celebration of reading.

For children, World Book Day brings their favourite books to life, and helps to keep them interested in order to improve their literacy skills outside of school.

But as adults, how do we keep our love of books alive in order to improve our professional skills? Even during these uncertain times, it’s still important we spend time developing our skills in order to keep our minds active. Some of the most successful leaders in the world ensure they leave time for reading because they recognize its real value.

If you are a leader looking to open yourself up to new ideas, improve your confidence or develop your communication skills, a leadership book should be one of your first ports of call.

Of course, the market is saturated with leadership books – some great, some not so great… So where should you start?

We asked our Managing Director, Nick-Washington Jones, to put together a list of leadership books that have had a big impact on his professional career – and they might just do the same for you. Read on below to find out more.

Good to Great – Jim Collins

I was recommended to read this book by an Associate Trainer who assured me that he didn’t recommend it to me because all of my colleagues within Tack begged him to! He just felt that it contained some real nuggets of pure genius and might create some AHA moments. He was right on both counts of course.

From the inside cover page it reads “Jim Collins and his research team set out to answer one simple question: “Can a good company become a great company and, if so, how?” That got me interested for sure so I devoured the contents and set about implementing some of his key points. I like his key point “First Who, Then What” and in simple terms he talks about getting the right people on the bus so that you can point it and take everyone in the right direction – a leadership must!

Start with Why – Simon Sinek

Some years ago, I was putting together a very large training initiative with a client and we kept discussing ways in which we could influence people to get them on board with the changes needed. Someone suggested “Start with Why” and as I listened to them explain everything I realized two things: One was that I used to always do this naturally and two: I had stopped doing it so needed the conscious incompetence moment to get me back on track!

If you can give people a reason why something needs changing and they buy into it or, even better, are a part of the process right from the start, then you have a far greater chance of implementing those desired changes. I’ve seen it time and time again in the training world. Tell someone to attend a course “because I told you to” and don’t be surprised if they have a good time but change little. Get them involved, explain why the changes are needed, and ask them to open up to the trainer and seek performance improvement – you’ll see real changes happen quickly and consistently for far longer.

As a leader, you need to take people on a journey. Start with the why and make that journey easier, more successful and more enjoyable for everyone!

Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goldman

What makes a great leader? There are many qualities that are needed for sure but one that stands out for me is their level of Emotional Intelligence. In my sales career, I have worked for people who have displayed little of this and for some that have been very adept at it. I’ve had managers literally flying off the handle and shouting at the slightest remark or action taken by their subordinates (usually me). I have had others who remain calm whilst under extreme pressure, they listen attentively, they empathise and they communicate effectively.

Now here’s a key point – you can develop and increase your level of Emotional Intelligence and that’s what this book is all about. It gives you a real understanding of it and shows you how you can develop this skillset. As a leader, I have definitely grown and become better by applying some of the key principles outlined in this book.

Nick Washington-Jones, Managing Director, Tack TMI UK

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