To continue with our celebration of black authors for National Book Month, I’d like to shift the focus toward leadership and success. It’s something we all want, and everyone has a different definition of it. However, how do you get it? Where do you find it? What do you have to go through to obtain it? These 5 books were able to better explain leadership and success to me.
The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently by Tony Dungy
Tony Dungy, in my humble opinion, is one of the best coaches in NFL history. Having led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl victory, he could teach a thing or two on leadership. In The Mentor Leader, Coach Dungy speaks on how being a mentor is a crucial part of leadership. Using stories from his coaching and playing days, along with examples from the Bible, he demonstrates the different components of being a mentor leader. Dungy insists, “Building a life of significance, and creating a legacy of real value, means being willing to get your hands dirty.”
The Secrets to Success by Eric Thomas
Eric Thomas, also known as ET, the Hip Hop Preacher, wrote a powerful book that is part memoir, part personal development. ET narrates his struggles growing up in Detroit, coming to grips with his gift in college, and balancing his purpose along with a marriage and growing family. If you’ve ever heard ET speak, you know how inspiring he is, and this book is no different. I got the audiobook version, which is narrated by him, and takes the story to a new level. Principle number 8 by ET is, “The right environment is pivotal to your success.”
Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success Without Losing Your True Self by DeVon Franklin
I borrowed this book from the library immediately after watching DeVon Franklin on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. For those who aren’t familiar, DeVon is Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures, and worked on such movies as Pursuit of Happyness and Jump the Broom. In his book, DeVon talks about how he was able to maintain his faith in the tempting world of Hollywood, and still be able to thrive in his career. This book made me really feel like I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me. DeVon proclaims, “To get where you want to go, you first have to become the person God wants you to be.”
Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All by Russell Simmons
We all know who Russell Simmons is and the things he’s been behind. Def Jam, Phat Farm, Global Grind, etc. Simmons is definitely not a stranger to success. The book’s title doesn’t just focus on money, but allowing you to redefine rich, and become rich in all areas of your life. Simmons talks about his different ventures and how he’s dealt with the stress that comes with it. He encourages prayer and meditation, and warns readers not to chase the money. While warning to never be attached to the material things that come with success, he notes, “Our happiness lies in the process, never the results.”
It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership by Colin Powell
Political affiliation aside, Colin Powell has made serious moves in government and in leadership. Before reading, I didn’t know much about the former Secretary of State. This book provided some insight into his life, in and out of politics. Gen. Powell has 13 rules he follows; including remaining calm and having a vision, and he stresses the importance of mutual respect and teamwork. I would recommend this book to any leader, both large and small. One of the best gems from this book is that, “Your past is not necessarily your future.”
BMWK: Have you read any of these books? What other books would you recommend on leadership and success?