Many leaders read books regularly to learn and improve themselves continuously. According to surveys and studies, successful leaders often have reading as a habit. A five-year study of more than 200 self-made millionaires found they don’t watch TV, but 86% say they read, and 63% say they listen to audiobooks on their morning commute. Simply put: Successful people read. But what are they reading? And why are they reading it?
Why Should Tech Leaders Read Books Each Year?
The mantra for tech should be, “Stay modern or die.” The field changes too rapidly not to make continuing education a core part of any job and company. Tech leaders should read books each year to stay current on industry trends, acquire new knowledge and insights, improve their communication skills, and expand their problem-solving abilities. Not to mention the inspirational value found in a good book. So, what books should leaders consider this year?
Three Leadership Books for 2023
You’ll probably think of three (or six) more for every three leadership books we list here. But here are three leadership books for 2023 to get you started:
- G. Shawn Hunter’s Small Acts of Leadership: 12 Intentional Behaviors that Lead to Big Impact is a must-read for 2023. Perhaps ironically, Hunter suggests putting down your digital device to look around, and lead is exactly what we need. He laments the exhausting always-on online culture, suggesting that we are burning out on the tech we love so much. This book will give you actionable insight into a small step you can take every day to become a better leader and a better person. The idea that a slight change in your behaviors can make a big ripple in your pond isn’t new. It mirrors the idea and fact that changing one line of code in a software product can significantly affect the entire technology. But in this book, Hunter applies the idea of taking just 12 intentional behaviors and gradually practicing can create the kind of positive change to your leadership style and organization that you need.
- Adam Grant’s Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t is particularly applicable to the software engineering field, where the future is the great unknown. This book will help tech leaders understand and embrace the ambiguity of not knowing all the answers while embracing the need to rethink and unlearn accepted best practices in the face of a rapidly changing field. The book emphasizes the need to remain “the seeker” by surrounding ourselves not with “yes men (and women)” but with those who challenge our thought processes and decision in a way to achieve continuous improvement. This book is a call to action to let go of the things that no longer serve us because they were how we always did it. It’s an exercise in mental flexibility that everyone in tech needs to embrace.
- Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts focuses on the way to lead your team with an emphasis on leaning into vulnerability, empathy, and courage in leadership. Effective leadership, she argues, requires the ability to engage in difficult conversations, create a culture of trust, and lead with integrity. Creating work environments built on safety, courage (grit), and vulnerability are hallmarks of effective leadership. Brown provides a powerful framework to achieve this through her personal stories, practical exercises, and research-based insights. If you are looking for the tools to cultivate an authentic, inclusive, and resilient organization, this book is for you.
Blackstone Talent Group believes in the philosophy and practice of continuous improvement. If you are a leader considering a career switch or just looking for top technology talent, we can help you achieve your goals. Contact us to find out how we can help you achieve your goals this year.