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The Best Summer Reads for Community Leaders

The following is a guest post from Chelsea Lamb of

Do you feel like you’re maximizing your leadership potential? Even though we often refer to some folks as natural born leaders, the truth is that those skills are typically acquired. Great leaders know how to keep their people motivated, positive and moving in the right direction—but those abilities can be learned. If you want to see your leadership skills blossom, summer is a great time to work on honing those skills. Dive into these handpicked reads to bring out more of your inner-leader.

Build Better Connections

The way you connect with people will shape how they see you as a leader. Whether you’re trying to network with colleagues, build relationships with volunteers, or boost the morale of your team, these books can be the key:

  1. Winning Words, Winning Life: Fast Track to Life Success by Victoria Draper

Forbes explains that this book explores how the words we use can shape our experiences, as well as how others perceive experiences.

  1. The Non-Obvious Guide to Emotional Intelligence by Kerry Goyette

Examining our own emotional triggers can help to regulate our responses to people and situations.

  1. The Friendship Formula: How to Say Goodbye to Loneliness and Discover Deeper Connection by Kyler Shumway

They say it’s lonely at the top, but leaders can develop meaningful and satisfying friendships with tips from this book.

Improve Your Skills

Being in a leadership role is more than simply holding a position. True leadership goes beyond titles and positions, and these books are aimed at self-improvement in areas that make the difference:

  1. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

This book has also stood the test of time, and it offers insights into how both introverted and extroverted people can put their personalities to work in leadership roles.

  1. Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam

If your work-life balance could use a little help, this book has answers.

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

A beloved classic, Covey connects inner character with outer leadership abilities in this long-standing classic.

If you get inspired after reading these books and want to sharpen your skills further, you can pursue an online MBA degree. These programs can help you earn important leadership skills while providing you with the tools necessary to advance your career.

Implement Changes

Ideas and innovations are the sparks for change, but implementation is a whole different matter. People can be pretty resistant to change, but leadership can gain insights through these titles:

  1. Next Is Now: 5 Steps for Embracing Change―Building a Business that Thrives into the Future by Lior Arussy

Arussy looks directly at how you can encourage others to embrace change.

  1. Building A Winning Culture In Government: A Blueprint for Delivering Success in the Public Sector by Patrick R. Leddin and Shawn D. Moon

While this book makes government organizations its designated audience, Inc. points out that the principles it outlines for improving work culture are applicable across other industries.

  1. Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership by Michael Ventura

This book makes the point that in order to experience lasting and effective change, leaders must exercise empathy.

Let the warm weather months be the turning point in your leadership journey by adding these books from your local library to your must-read list. Whether you’re a mentor, business owner, teacher, coach, parent or program leader, you will benefit yourself and your community as a result.

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