I started reading leadership and self-help books at first, because of professors making it a requirement in college. I then took a career path that also recommended reading them, so I could grow along the way. It was great advice, but if I’m honest, at that point in life I was reading them out of duty, rather than reading them because I enjoyed them. It just seemed like everyone made the same points over and over again in these books, but worded them in different ways, hoping that readers wouldn’t notice.
As I began writing more often, I began enjoying books much more than previously. It was fun to see the ideas that others had, but still not much had changed in the past ten years on what authors were serving with their words. I began seeing how stale the topic of leadership really was, and also what it needed. I saw that leadership needed to return to the reason the word even exists.
Here are the three main points that I see most leadership books miss out on and why they are too important to miss:
1. These leadership books I am talking about always places the importance on you, but never take it one step further.
Leadership is always about impacting other people, but leadership books seem to always look out for numero uno. I get it. You have to be better to impact other people, but that’s always where it stops. What if I told you that if you are stopping there, you are missing out on impacting people and ultimately missing out on leading well? You can read all the leadership and self-help books that you want to, but if you don’t actually share your knowledge and put them into action, then you aren’t leading; you are just consuming.
2. If other people are so important, then empathy and love are the biggest leadership traits there are.
empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Again, you have to care for others deeply in order to lead well, and the only way to do this is to listen to the needs of others and act upon them. Since this is true, then empathy may be the best tool in your leadership arsenal, while hustle is the best tool in your advancement tool belt .
Maybe you are in your car right now, listening to this podcast, and saying back to me, “Well Adam, you don’t know how little time I actually have to talk with others, let alone be empathetic.”. While that may be a valid point to you, everyone else in this world is in the same boat.
Like I have said before, it’s less about the amount of time you have, and more about what you do with the time that you have. I am not asking you to create more time, but rather choose to use it more wisely than you are right now. Choosing better ways to use your time should include loving other and showing empathy towards them as well. When you can relate to people, you will know how they need to be helped and what you can do to best serve them and lead in their life.
Listen, I know you are busy. Everyone is busy. But, that cannot be your excuse anymore. When you choose to take the time to stop long enough and hear someone else’s story and then show love through your life, you are leading. That’s the best way each and every one of us have to lead in this moment.
3. You don’t have to wait for “someday”.
This being said, you already have everything you need to lead right now. Most books will tell you that when you are a manager, or “in charge” in some capacity, or become a CEO of a company, then maybe just maybe you will be ready and able to lead. But, what this misses out on is that you already have the essential tools in your possession to lead with your life every single day. You have a full heart and the ability to care and do for other people. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not enough, because you are. You can and will make a difference once you believe that. Choose to take that belief and run with it.
Even though most leadership books miss these three points, you don’t have to. We can look through out history and see the difference makers of this world and how they made a difference, and these three points are the difference makers. You can do the same when you believe these three life-changing points and begin doing something with them, today.