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Books to help you re-imagine leadership in 2021

By Lionel Alva

We are living in a new reality today. It is an opportunity to re-imagine and re-think leadership, business, and innovation.  We have witnessed widespread technological adoption take place.  Business leaders today must adapt if they want to ensure long-term business continuity.

Workplaces have changed from conventional offices to work-from-anywhere.  Leaders who have successfully pivoted organizations through this change have adopted a digital first mindset.  Many leaders today seek to future-proof their workforce and business but this requires venturing into the unknown.  Moving away from what is tried and tested and has worked for many years to something radically new is a significant challenge.

However, re-imagining your leadership in 2021 is critical to long-term business continuity and success. Based on insights from Gartner, let’s take a quick look at some books that will give you the insight you seek to re-think leadership in 2021.

The 5 Disciplines of Inclusive Leaders: Unleashing the Power of All of Us by Andrés T. Tapia and Alina Polonskaia

In an era where organizations are trying to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable work-culture, this books acts as an important guide. According to the authors, for a work culture to be truly inclusive, the leadership must imbibe the values of inclusivity and diversity at all levels of the organisation. To achieve this they highlight the five key disciplines that inclusive leaders must implement, based on leadership assessments in a database of 3 million. These disciplines are the foundation of many organisations today that have cultivated behavioural and structural inclusivity.

The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks

It is still unknown what galvanizes the memory and sears thought into indelible action. Consciousness is something of an enigma as it fosters change, innovation, and creativity. Our experiences, consciousness, and memory form the basic tenets of sentience. Among the biggest focal points of this book is Sacks ability to offer insight into unexpected connections that act as an epiphany for readers on various topics like the mental lives of invertebrates and plants to our changing speed perception. This is just what the doctor ordered to re-invigorate the mind and look at the world from a fresh perceptive.

The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation by Carl Benedikt Frey

Technology disruption is not new. However, getting keener insight on historical nature of technological disruptions lends one a more holistic perspective. This books sheds insight on how technological progress has affected the socio-political and economic balance. It sheds light on how the power dynamics have changed due to technology. However, this book isn’t just a history less, it elucidates upon why our perception and subsequent interactions with technology (resistance, adoption) affect how technology impacts society. The use of blockchain, AI, and emerging tech is leading to a new age and leaders must prepare themselves psychologically for this change.  This books sows the seeds of the necessary mindset shift.

The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights by Douglas Conant

Sometimes, a setback or perceived failure can sow the seeds of lifelong success. Conant too had a setback after being fired in 1984 without warning. He used this setback as fuel to transform his professional journey: Dig deep, reach high, create a blueprint, design, build, and reinforce. Conant soared to new heights in his professional career by holding roles such as being President of Nabisco Foods and the CEO of the Campbell Soup Company. This books is a practical guide with exercises that will help leaders navigate difficult situations, bring a sea change in their organizations and boost their leadership.

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