From time to time, I like to set aside a blog to look at trends in the world of business books, just to see on what topics authors are focusing their time and research. It’s a great way to measure the hot button issues.
Although there are many topics I could focus on, today I want to return to that old standard – Leadership. This subject has risen above the status of a trend, to become a recurring theme necessary for executives to master.
Although what is said about leadership in these books may include some recurring lessons we’ve seen over the past decades, authors are also intertwining these common-sense lessons with a new twist, with perspectives that are being gained as the world continues to change. Leadership is affected by technology, culture, greater diversity, changing perspectives about how companies related to the outside world, and much more.
Here are a few recent and upcoming leadership books that epitomize how our view of leadership is evolving in a changing world.
4D Leadership by Alan Watkins – Watkins introduces a 4th dimension to leadership – the vertical dimension. Vertical development focuses on being able to think more complexly, systemically, and strategically, whereas horizontal development consists of learning new skills and knowledge.
The Heart Led Leader by Tommy Spaulding – Authentic leaders, Spaulding says, live and lead from the heart. The values and principles that guide our lives and shape our ability to lead others is far more important than our title, or our ability to crunch numbers, or the impressive degrees we display on our walls.
Lead More, Control Less by Marvin Weisbord & Sandra Janoff – Lead More, Control Less describes eight essential skills for establishing a culture of autonomy and self-leadership. Using examples and case studies, Weisbord and Janoff describe how leaders can share responsibility, defuse group conflicts, show everyone the big picture, and more. With this approach, leaders truly gain more control by giving it up.
Unconventional Leadership by Nancy Schlichting – Unconventional Leadership is a style of leadership based on confronting reality and leading headlong through adversity. In this inspiring story, Nancy Schlichting, the CEO of Henry Ford Health System, reveals her unique strategies that drive success: maintaining a focus on people, creating a culture of innovation and reinvention, and embracing diversity as a key strategy for growth.
These are just four of the many leadership titles coming out in the last quarter of 2015, but they should give you a taste of the ongoing challenges to our view of leadership in this changing world.