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The Top 10 Books Every Leader Must Read

Being a leader requires a strong drive to learn, something these 10 authors dwell on.

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Were you to ask any great leader in the world for his or her secret to success, the answer would be simple: listening. That’s because the best leaders aren’t necessarily the best at speaking, in order to dictate, but rather listening, to understand.

Yes, being a leader requires a large drive to learn, which is why I’ve compiled a list of some of the best books on leadership. Check them out below.

1. “Meetings Suck,” by Cameron Herold

Everyone hates useless meetings. You know . . . the ones where you’re sitting there not really knowing what to do or say, and feeling that whatever is being said could be consolidated into a single email. They’re tedious, frustrating and, quite frankly, a waste of time.

Luckily for us, Cameron Herold, founder of COO Alliance, put together Meetings Suck, a crash course into how to run successful meetings. Herold’s crash course includes wisdom on how to make your meetings more productive, as well as resources on conducting them and tips on saving time. And, as an entrepreneur or leader, you’ll likely find that Meetings Suck is the perfect introduction on how to bring your team together, starting from day one.

2. “The Art of Seduction,” by Robert Greene

As a book lauded by the likes of celebrity entrepreneurs 50 Cent and Jessica Alba, Robert Greene’s The Art of Seduction takes a look into the relationship between power and manipulation. While many consider this book a “pick-up artist” piece, Greene offers more, detailing the power dynamics and behaviors for people. Believe it or not, the book actually follows suit with how being a nice guy (or gal) can be a good thing (and also work to your advantage).

Related: Think It. Become It. How Your Thoughts Have Power Over Your Destiny

3. “The 4 Hour Work Week,” by Tim Ferriss

The The 4 Hour Work Week’s primary focus is helping you maximize your work efficiency and productivity. The goal is to cut out the clutter and accordingly help you live a more stress-free, successful lifestyle.

4. “The Tanning of America,” by Steve Stoute

Perhaps one of the most important books on the relationship between marketing and culture, The Tanning of America dives deep into the relationship between brands and artists (specifically, those in hip hop.) As a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame (as well as the former manager for Nas, Will Smith and Mary J Blige), Steve Stoute dives deep into how culture is shaping advertising and marketing, as well as the success of innovative partnerships.

5. “The Art of the Pitch,” by Peter Coughter

Every leader needs to learn Peter Coughter’s The Art of the Pitch, to be successful. Coughter walks you through the journey of not just how to write a good pitch or presentation, but also how to tell a captivating story in a concise way. And, as we can all talk for days about the changes we want to make in the world, The Art of the Pitch helps us carve out the meat and potatoes there, empowering us to express our core mission.

6. “The 48 Laws of Power,” By Robert Greene

Greene’s first hit book, The 48 Laws of Power, goes over a few different sets of laws dealing with power dynamics. These are incredibly useful for anyone striving to be mindful in formulating an approach to leadership.

Related: 5 Vital Keys To Success From The Likes Of Tony Robbins And Gary Vaynerchuk

7. “A People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn

Usually, the winners of wars are the ones who write history. But Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States tells the stories of the losing side. Diving deep into the perspective of those who had little power, A People’s History is a good way for readers to reflect on holding a well-rounded approach to leadership.

8. “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People,” by Stephen R Covey

Arguably one of the most popular self-help books ever, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People delivers the basic principles on how to become a more productive person. You can check out a peep of some of them here.

9. “The Lean StartUp,” by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup offers advice gleaned from the career of serial entrepreneur Eric Ries. Ries develops a philosophy in the book on how we tend to look at our processes all wrong, leading most companies to failure. Instead, he puts his focus on what the business should represent as well as what people want.

Related: 10 Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal The Books That Changed Their Lives

10. “Extreme Ownership,” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Written by two former Marines, Extreme Ownership takes the lessons they learned from their time in the service and applies them to business and life. The thesis of the book is to understand how leadership is structured, why it’s necessary for every scenario and how to build high-performance, winning teams. This book will give your company structure like no other.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

AJ Agrawal is the CEO and co-founder of Alumnify. an alumni-engagement platform.

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Enhance Your Entrepreneurial Flair With An Online Postgraduate Diploma From The University Of Pretoria

The Department of Business Management at the University of Pretoria, a leader in business management education, will be offering an Online Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship for the 2018 academic year with some seminars to enrich your action learning experience.

Dr Alex Antonites

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The Department of Business Management at the University of Pretoria, a leader in business management education, will be offering an Online Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship for the 2018 academic year with some seminars to enrich your action learning experience.

The programme content focuses on the start-up processes, creativity and opportunity recognition, business planning and marketing as well as financial management. Furthermore, the programme emphasises entrepreneurial growth and small business policy development with relevance to the enabling environment.

Who should enrol?

The programme is designed for pre-, nascent and start-up entrepreneurs who want to attain an advanced degree in entrepreneurship. It is also intended for individuals who work in an entrepreneurial environment and are involved with small business policy development. Although many students in the programme have academic credentials in entrepreneurship or business management, the programme is also appropriate if your education and/or experience may be in other disciplines (e.g. engineering or medicine).

Admission requirements

A relevant bachelor’s degree.

Related: This Enterprises UP Expert Explains Why Start-Ups Really Fail

Additional programme information

The duration of the course is one year. The language of tuition is English and the course will be presented in two blocks by means of the blended learning method (70% online and 30% contact sessions). Students need continuous access to the internet to complete the course.

Course Contents

Overview of modules for Block A

  • Ideation-to-market: Starting up
  • International Business Venturing
  • Venturing Strategy Building (Part 1)

Overview of modules for Block B

  • Entrepreneurial Marketing
  • Entrepreneurial Supply Chain Management
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Venturing Strategy Building (Part 2)

Click here for more information.

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How English Language Skills Play An Essential Role In Building Trust With Your Customers

The English language is the global language of business, politics, international relations and entertainment for a number of countries worldwide.

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The English language is the global language of business, politics, international relations and entertainment for a number of countries worldwide.  While English is not an official language in many of these countries, it is the language most often taught as a foreign or second language, which means that it is spoken by over two billion people.  It therefore breaks down barriers, drives global collaboration and thinking and opens doors to a multitude of opportunities around the world.

However, in spite of this leading role of English in the globalised world, management often considers language skills a ‘soft’ issue and does not recognise that  immediate or concerted efforts for change are required; or more specifically, that individuals need to be fluent in English in order to be competitive in an international business market. As  Jeff Standridge, Vice President of Global Workforce Management at Acxiom Corporation states, “We have to be able to work seamlessly across the enterprise. That requires us to overcome any language barriers that exist. Without the ability to communicate clearly, concisely and effectively, significant risks begin to enter the equation, including lower quality and lost productivity. By addressing these needs early on companies can see a significant financial impact with global initiatives”.

Companies face challenges in educating clients about services and specifics of a product when they lack English language skills. Misunderstandings or mistakes in conveying that type of information cost time, relationships and money.

Related: Effective Communication Means Business Success

The potential loss of trust and commensurate loss of business as a result of misunderstandings through language underscores the importance of a full knowledge of the language for external communications, marketing and branding as well as for handling government and media relations. Ultimately, developing trust with local and global clients and overseas partners requires highly developed English language skills. This sentiment is echoed by Herman Uscategui, Director of Global Strategic Initiatives and International Business Development, Starbucks Coffee Company:

“Advanced language skills provide the foundation to trusted relationships with customers, communities and partners”.

There are many companies and individual professionals who fail in their quest for business or professional success. This failure can primarily be attributed to one of the most basic foundations of forming business relations – the language spoken. Undoubtedly, the English language is the global language for business and having a good command of English will definitely give one who is eyeing globally competitive business or career a clear edge.  Any communication problem, whether personal or business, translates to losses, zero result in negotiations, incompetence for global business or will just simply leave you ill-equipped to carry out business.

In an increasingly aggressive and competitive environment where people work an extraordinary amount of hours and have a number of objectives to reach,  language vendors need to ensure that individuals are capable of learning successfully at their job. The best results occur when instruction is customised to employees’ roles. Subsequently, they will be able to listen to and communicate effectively with diverse people, using appropriate verbal and nonverbal behaviour, language and strategies thereby bridging geographic and linguistic barriers.

The Wits Language School English Communication for Professional Development programme customises English language solutions for public and private organisations that enable organisations and individuals to reach their language goals and to maintain their competitive edge in local and global business.

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10 Books Tim Ferriss Thinks Every Entrepreneur Should Read

Check out these titles curated by the productivity expert and podcast host.

Emily Conklin

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Tim Ferriss, the productivity expert, author and inspirational speaker, is an avid reader, and has highlighted many books on his show and through his blog, seeking to share some of the same wisdom that inspires him.

From self-help to science fiction, there is something for everyone, and these 10 tomes have been selected from the many that make up Ferriss’s library. See what he recommends and why, and get ready to spend your Sunday mornings curled up with one – or several – of these books.

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