Nicole Monturo is an accomplished executive and leadership expert.

Month: January 2017

nicole monturo books

The Best Books On Leadership

The Reading List For Leaders

Leadership is not merely earning a position; it is a process to always work for the betterment of yourself and your employees. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet for becoming a strong leader; and with the diversity of technology in the workplace, you may find as a leader that there’s a lot you still need to learn. Still, one of the hallmarks of a strong leader is a constant pursuit of self-education, and in keeping with this, I’d like to discuss some notable books that all leaders, current or aspiring, should read.

Adaptive Leadership by Roselinde Torres, Martin Reeves, and Claire Love

The long-held perception of a leader is of an individual that spearheads and singlehandedly leads an organization to success. However, the idea of a single, dominant leader simply does not work in this day and age. Adaptive Leadership posits that a company must be invigorated by a free flow of ideas and information between employees, with leaders willing to take risks and listen to advice from their subordinates.

This book states that modern leaders should be able to lead with empathy and create a collaborative environment that rewards experimentation and unconventional thinking.

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Teams are never homogeneous. As a leader, you will have to reconcile a variety of personalities at all times, a practice put to the test in times of crisis. Team of Rivals describes Lincoln’s struggle to unite the country to abolish slavery, surrounding himself with a diverse team of individuals unafraid to challenge him. Kearns Goodwin depicts Lincoln as a humble leader, one that understood the value of working with others of differing opinions.

Lincoln’s understanding and compassion earned the respect of his cabinet members; and any leader can stand to learn from his willingness to listen to others.

Thinking In New Boxes by Luc De Brabandere and Alan Iny

Any company should be unafraid to experiment and work with new ideas. For instance, BIC, a pen company, took the risk of selling disposable pens and wound up carving themselves a niche with other disposable items.

Moreover, it’s not just about a one time effort—businesses should always test the limits of what’s possible and constantly reevaluate the spaces that they work in.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Any leader should be prepared to confront adversity. Endurance tells the story of Ernest Shackleton’s ill fated expedition to Antarctica. Perhaps losing a deal is not as dire as a voyage through Arctic oceans, but Shackleton’s determination and courage were responsible for keeping a disaster from being a tragedy.

The Social Animal by David Brooks

Perhaps a more unconventional choice than the other books on this list, The Social Animal follows two fictional characters throughout their lives and their relationship, peppering their experience with Brooks’ own research on human psychology and social norms. It’s a case study and deconstruction of modern culture and the notion of success; as leadership is redefined as a concept, Brooks similarly makes points about human achievement on a broader scale.

A great read for any leaders interested the primal forces that drive us as individuals and members of society.

Personal History by Katharine Graham

As the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, Katharine Graham fought hard to build up the Washington Post after her husband’s suicide. Graham’s constant learning and struggles against her husband’s abuse to find success is moving and an excellent story about overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. It’s a very personal biography, one that gives you firsthand insight into Graham’s strife and eventual victory. Personal History is an inspiration to me and an excellent read for anyone that feels that they cannot overcome their own circumstances.

nicole monturo leaders

8 Rules From the World’s Most Successful Female Leaders

Women are making incredible strides in their professional careers, taking on roles that would have never been considered possible a few short decades ago. There are female workers in every sector in the United States (and many other places throughout the world) and more women hold leadership roles, accomplishing incredible things in those positions. While it’s inspiring to see how far we’ve come, there is still a lot that can be done for women and their professional journeys. Women hold less than 4% of corporate CEO positions and are only about 20% of America’s government, even though they make up half the country. For the rest of the women out there, here are some rules from the world’s most successful female leaders on how to keep moving forward and help women achieve even more!

Find courage

To become a successful women, you need to say goodbye to fear or use that fear to further your career. If something seems intimidating, do not let it get the best of you. You can conquer your fears to achieve true success. Be courageous and try something new, even if you don’t know how it will work out. Refuse to become complacent with what you’re doing and constantly seek improvement.

Understand calculated risks

Taking risks likely instills a sense of fear in you, because you do not know whether the risk will pay off. Remember to find courage and take that risk! Carefully think over the decision and then make a calculated risk in order to help yourself. Know how you can benefit from the risk and make sure it isn’t rash.

Imagine bigger

When trying something new, ask how big it can be. Instead of settling for how things already are, innovate new ideas and get creative. You can always be more successful or aim for something higher, so keep yourself on your toes and look ahead to the best you can be.

Discipline yourself

Learn to focus on what’s important and where you wish to accomplish the most. You cannot do everything at once, so practice discipline to manage your time and focus on the areas that truly ignite your passion. If you spread yourself too thin, everything you’re doing will suffer.

Take control of your career

Constantly evaluate your career and think about where you want to be. What do you want to be doing in five years? Ten? Take the necessary steps to reach those goals. Find businesses that help you reach those goals, but if they hold you back, go somewhere else. The only one who can really help your career is you.

Utilize determination

If you truly want something, you need to constantly stay determined to get it. Without that determination and focus, you’ll feel defeated whenever an obstacle arises. Know what you want and never stop chasing that dream; with determination, you’ll find it much easier to reach your goals.

Make smart hiring decisions

Many people advocate hiring a diverse group of employees, so you can hear a variety of ideas and perspectives. If you hire a group of people who thinks exactly the same way, you’ll miss valuable viewpoints and lack a well-roundedness that’s essential to business.

Be a master at delegating

While it’s common for successful people to value control so they know tasks are being done correctly, it’s vital that you know when to delegate. If you try to do every single thing yourself, you’ll burn out. Learn to delegate tasks, at work and home, so not everything rests on your shoulders. True leaders know how to recognize competent workers (and partners) and let them help out.

Check out this article for real-life applications of these rules and the women who follow them.

nicole monturo leadership

Why Leadership Is An Important Trait To Possess

A career is a series of steps, each one taken on our faith in what we’ve learned from those who walk ahead of us. But the sense of direction granted from the insights of previous travelers extends beyond the boundaries of one path. Direction doesn’t tell us where to go. It tells us where we can go; it illuminates the reality of both departure point and destination, shedding light on countless possible routes in between. And people need direction, precisely because we’re not born with some innate, individual instinct for it. From our first breaths to the start of our professional lives and beyond, we constantly trust in the authority of others’ experiences to inform our own decisions. Without direction, there would be no progress.

Becoming someone who people trust to follow is a journey in itself, one that only the persistent can weather. This is because great leaders do not blindly command, they suggest and advise based on knowledge gained from those who led them. Regardless of whether it’s professional or personal, leaders realize their efforts are necessary. Developing the traits that distinguish great leaders will not only ensure you perform an essential human service, but point you firmly in the direction of progress as well. If you’re still unconvinced, below I’ve listed just a few of the reasons leadership is an important quality to possess.

Leaders Inspire

When you accepted your current job, did you expect to stay in that position indefinitely, your efforts never recognized or rewarded? Probably not. In fact, you might’ve been awed by the presence, knowledge and penchant for leadership of your boss, or others. You might’ve witnessed the finesse with which they handle difficult clients; the ease with which they mitigate potentially disastrous scenarios, and set winning renown in your industry as your goal. Or perhaps you feel your boss is inept and unqualified, and you’re certain that you could (and will, eventually) do a much better job. Either way, a leader has inspired you to achieve.

Leaders Strategize

Any organization, no matter its size or function, has a purpose; a mission which is always considered when formulating strategies. Leaders consider the pitfalls and positive points of every feasible strategy. They combine a practical assessment of objectives needed to be completed for a goal to happen with a theoretical pattern of potential actions, and settle on an approach which achieves the most objectives and minimizes negative results for everyone invested.

Leaders Delegate

To reach a goal, someone needs to assign tasks. Delegating responsibilities is a primary function of the leader, the individual who is trusted above others to hold a position of authority. Handing out jobs is far from the most fulfilling aspect of leadership, but it is essential for everyone’s success in the long run.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén