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Challenge your perspective: 5 book reviews

How do you challenge your default thinking? How do you uncover blindspots? How do you learn? Reading is one of my key development habits. I have an Amazon account that gets a good workout! Occasionally I get hard copy books. Here are some worthy reads if you want a new look at how you’re operating as a leader.

Here is my end of financial year book recommendations! Perfect for the beach if you’re somewhere warm, or curled up by the fire. Be sure to have notetaking device handy – there is a ton of useful insights here.

Forever Skills – The 12 skills to future proof yourself, your team, and your kids

By Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanigan

The definitive roadmap for leadership skills required in an age of relentless change. Finally a positive message about staying relevant in the charge to the robot-AI dominated future! Dan and Kieran have done a remarkable and thorough job in their research of the evergreen skills needed to be useful at work. Creativity, communication, and control are the three major areas. This book is the perfect professional development roadmap to uplevel your leadership perspective and skills.

Leaders Who Ask – Building fearless cultures by telling less and asking more

By Corinne Armour

Leading with questions not answers – this is secret leadership leverage. Corinne has done a great job differentiating between a leader and a coach. A leader who asks is not a coach – they are a leader that educates and uplifts by using useful questions with their direct reports. The book is a great handbook for getting better at guiding others and developing leaders as you do so. Full of sample questions to use in different situations, you’ll become a powerful influencer in no time.

Ish – The problem with our pursuit for perfection and the life-changing practice of good enough

By Lynne Cazaly

Get out of your own way! Perfectionism be damned! Lynne Cazaly’s manifesto-Ish book is just what a perfectionist needs to learn how to let go and thus do more. Iteration is one of the key principles. Another one is increments. Lynne knows not to throw the baby out with the bath water; there are times when we need to get detail right and ish less. A useful book for those trapped by perfectionist tendencies or those wanting to just get going.

Change Makers – Make your mark with more impact and less drama

By Digby Scott

Essential reading for all leaders and ‘change makers.’ Digby Scott’s new book is a clarion call for whom he calls “restless go getters”. In it he outlines the journey to becoming a change maker, someone inspired by the future they imagine and want to bring others along too. If you’ve ever felt alone in wanting to nudge positive change forward, this book is for you.

Real Communication – How to be you and lead true

By Gabrielle Dolan

This is Ral’s best book yet! She makes clear and sensible assertions about the need to quit using jargon, avoid acronyms, and just say it how it is. There is a difference between brutal truth and kind truth and Ral’s story-telling strategy that leaders can adopt is the way to be both kind, genuine, and forthright, even when the truth is brutal. The book is full of excellent case studies and stories (no surprise there with the stories as this is her clear expertise). The stories have a way of staying with you, causing shifts in perspective around speaking the truth and building trust.

Great book for leaders who are looking for a no bullshit way to connect genuinely with teams, colleagues, customers.

Gabrielle ‘Ral’ Dolan is the epitome of authentic cool. She is a straight talker with a keen interest in getting people to connect better. We certainly need in this time of dissolution of trust, especially in the wake of numerous corporate scandals.

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