“If we encounter a man of rare intellect we should ask him what books he reads” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
By Simba Nyamadzawo
I was first introduced to books by my sister Florence and ever since then I have developed a passion and thirsty for books. As an author and inspirational speaker I have been asked by friends and clients questions about books which have made me to compile this list. Questions such as which book are you currently reading? How many books do you read per month? Which book do you recommend? Which book has had the greatest effect on you?
Let me set the record straight I do not have a target number of books to read per month although I have a target reading time per month. I read about 4 books at a time. I gravitate more to books on leadership, business, inspiration, biographies and spirituality.
Below is a list of 12 books I would recommend every leader emerging and established to read. Do not expect to find all your favourite authors on this list. Dozen is a small number to do that considering that over 20 000 leadership and business titles are published each year.
1. 21 LAWS OF LEADERSHIP DR JOHN C.MAXWELL
Maxwell ranks together with the likes of Ken Blanchard, Jack Welch, Tom Peters as top expert on leadership.21 laws of leadership is arguably his best book. He outlines and explains 21 Irrefutable laws of leadership. Each law is explained in detail, Maxwell being a good researcher and narrator he employs real life stories to drive points home.
2. HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE DALE CARNEGIE
The title may appear as a manipulative book but its far from that. It’s a book about authenticity, sincerity and meeting the needs of another person first. Dale Carnegie says “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” In this book you will learn
-Three fundamental techniques in handling people
-The six ways to make people like you
-The twelve ways to win people to you way of thinking
-The nine ways to change people without arousing resentment
3. INTELLIGENT CONVERSATIONS by Cynthia Hakutangwi
This book is written in the context of Africa .It is a call for everyone to begin to shift our paradigms and develop intelligent conversations which are productive as a way for Africa to escape her problems and challenges. She says those conversations should look beyond today and be sustainable. Hakutangwi is a Communications and Personal development consultant and Life Coach.
4. PRINCIPLES AND POWER OF VISION by Dr. Myles Munroe (1954 – 2014)
I always say every leader’s greatest asset is his vision. This book will give you keys to pursue and fulfil your vision. It will make you escape the mediocrity and stand out as a leader you were meant to be. The book is divided into 3 parts, Part 1 What is vision, Part 2 Principles for fulfilling vision and Part 3 The power of Vision.
Dr Myles Munroe was a Pastor, Teacher, best-selling author and motivational speaker he was respected and listened by leaders across all mountains of influence including business, education, Church and government. He died empty.
5. CAPITALIST NIGGER by Chika Onyeani
Chika Onyani argues that the black community is as gifted as the white community but he depends on the white community for its language, feeding, clothing and other essentials. This book will change your paradigm, provoke and challenge you. You will never be the same again after reading it. He says we should do away with the consumer mind-set and begin to be productive.
6. DIMENSIONAL LEADERSHIP by Dr. Patson Dzamara
Dzamara challenges and correct leadership misrepresentations by redefining leadership. A definite game-changer, this book is set to reach all corners of the world and provoke a lot of debate and rethink about leadership. It is going to be an indelible feature on the landscape of leadership. In this book, the author offers a succinct model and a very strong argument, backed by real life experiences and examples, to assert the fact that there is far much more to leadership than most superficial approaches have taken it to mean.
7. IT’S TIME TO UNLEASH YOUR GREATNESS by Milton Kamwendo
It’s time to Unleash your greatness offers proven principles and a guide for personal development. It’s a holistic approach. Kamwendo is one of the pioneers of motivation in Zimbawe. He is a leading Management and Strategy consultant, Kamwendo is also a bookseller his brand
Innov8 bookshop has the largest branch network in Zimbabwe
8. LINCHPIN by Seth Godin
Seth Godin says of all his books Linchpin has the largest value per page to the reader. The main message of this book is if you are to survive in any environment you should make choices and actions which make you essential to the building block so that you become indispensable.
9. MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN by Scott Belsky
Scott subscribes to the philosophy of Thomas Edison that Genius is 1% inspiration and 99%.Scotty in this book argues that dreams are easy to come up with what’s hard is execution, he goes on to share how you can develop execution as a skill so that the ideas you dream about will actually happen.
10. 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by Dr Stephen R.Covey
This is a book about self-mastery and paradigm shift. Covey advocates for character development as opposed to personality development. This book will broaden your perspective…do you know that two people can look at the same thing and see two different things because of their perspective.
11. HOW LIFE IMITATES CHESS by Dr. Garry Kasparov
I have a personal copy signed by the author in black ink. This is not a book about chess. Its a book about life, decisions and success although its one of those books which can easily baffle you if you are not and intellectual and you understand chess. Kasparov takes the reader through the thought process underlying his own decisions: observation of self and others, intuition, experimentation, tactics, strategy, and the value of many “intangibles” such as persistence and confidence. Where does success come from? According to Kasparov The answer is synthesis, the ability to combine creativity and calculation, art and science, into a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Chess is a unique cognitive nexus, a place where art and science come together in the human mind, and are then refined and improved by experience
Kasparov is a Russian Chess grandmaster, writer, political activist, and philanthropist and is arguably the best chess player of all time.
12. FOUNTAIN OF INSPIRATION Vol 1 & 2 by Rabison Shumba
These are collections of inspirational statements covering a broad range of topics including leadership, family, business, wisdom and spirituality. All these statements have been penned by Shumba himself. He has received international endorsements for his inspirational statements.
Rabison Shumba is a household name when it comes to inspiration. He has spoken in the region and beyond. He has also presented at TEDx.
This list was compiled by Simba Nyamadzawo.
Simba Nyamadzawo is a Leadership and Business Consultant, Inspirational Speaker and Author Faithpreneurship. Through his company Infinite Inspiration he has assisted hundreds of young entrepreneurs to set up and formalize the registration of their businesses