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How to Create New Habits: Top 5 Books for Leaders

Are you looking to make a change in your life that could lead to a better role, new career, or professional success? Learning how to create new habits is the most natural place to start your journey!

As you begin taking a deeper look at your most frequent actions, you may be surprised to notice there is a lot more that goes into building new habits than you realized—especially into building habits that support your leadership goals. First, you have to analyze your current habits and determine which are getting you closer to your goals and which are not. Then, you need to find out if you should be adding new habits to your life. From there, you’ll dive into the habit making process and begin changing your behaviors by intentionally setting up a routine that encourages you to transform a new behavior to a common habit.

A robust healthcare and wellness industry has made us familiar with the idea of developing stronger habits around physical activity and nutrition, but where can you find guidance on creating habits that will improve your leadership skills? Luckily, there are engineers, physiologists, psychologists, salespeople, and executives who have studied habit building for leadership growth and published some fascinating books with their research, strategies, and advice.

Check out our top five books to help you create new habits that will make you a better leader!

5 Books to Create New Habits for Stronger Leadership

  1. The Achievement Habit

Do you have talent and good ideas but struggle with follow through? Stanford University professor of engineering Bernard Roth teaches one of the most popular classes on campus called “The Designer in Society” where he encourages students to bridge the gap between trying and doing. Using design thinking and its principles including empathizing, defining the problem, ideating, and prototyping, readers will learn how to treat personal achievement of their leadership goals like a skill so they can learn it and make a habit of it.

A Note from the Author: “Most of our action is more the result of habit than reasoning. If we choose to, we can be mindful about controlling our intentions to create habits that make our lives better.” ~ Bernard Roth

  1. The Morning Mind

If your goal is to become somebody that others follow, how you start your day is crucial to your success. In this science-based manual for leaders, Dr. Robert Carter demonstrates not only why successful people understand the importance of a morning routine but also how you can build yours to unlock your greatest resources: creativity, imagination, and the courage to win. Gain a deeper understanding of your body, brain, and heart functions in the morning and how you can hack each part of yourself to create new and positive habits in The Morning Mind—one of the most popular books in the Leadership Essentials store.

A Note from the Author: “This book was written to help you make better choices about your mornings, wake up early and happy, and create the most fulfilling and empowering start to your day.” ~ Dr. Robert Carter

  1. The Leader Habit

Building upon the work of habit changing experts including author of Atomic Habits James Clear, CEO of Pinsight Martin Lanik creates a habit development plan for leaders comprising 22 essential leadership skills every aspiring leader or coach should master. The best part? Lanik has discovered that these skills—which focus on aspects of leadership ranging from planning and execution and growing people and teams to solving problems and making decisions and leading change—can be acquired through just 5 minutes of practice each day! The Leader Habit is an absolute must-read with valuable guidance if you aren’t sure which leadership habits you need to build, but you know you want to become a better leader quickly or immediately.

Bonus! Download our Ultimate Guide to Building Strong Leadership Habits FREE here →

A Note from the Author: “This book is about becoming a better leader by forming better habits…The method is simple: you identify a leadership skill you want to master, such as active listening, then you practice that skill through a short, focused exercise every day until it becomes a habit.” ~ Martin Lanik

  1. A Mind for Sales

Current and aspiring salespeople will appreciate the specified roadmap for creating stronger sales habits that sales expert Mark Hunter provides in A Mind for Sales. Divided into 5 easily digestible sections, this book prepares readers to shift their perspectives on and overcome the common challenges of a job in sales such as tense negotiations, recurring customer objections, and disciplined relationship-building. If you’re seeking inspiration and motivation to form new habits that support your goal to become a leading sales professional, you’ll get it from Hunter in his third groundbreaking sales book.

A Note from the Author: “Confidence creates confidence. Motivation creates motivation. Momentum creates momentum, and success creates success.” ~ Mark Hunter

  1. The Effective Executive

Learn how to create new habits in the realm of leadership development from one of the greatest business and management philosophers to have lived on this planet! Peter F. Drucker has a massive collection of bestselling titles, including The Effective Executive where he identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness and shows readers how to put the practices into action. As you start to determine which new habits you need to introduce into your life to meet your leadership goals, take a few cues from Drucker who suggests that most leaders focus on:

  • Managing time
  • Choosing what to contribute to their organization
  • Knowing where and how to mobilize their strengths for best effect
  • Setting the right priorities
  • Knitting all of these practices together with effective decision-making

With a foreword by Good to Great author Jim Collins, this commemorative edition of Drucker’s timeless classic work on leadership and management belongs in the hands of anybody who wants to ensure they’re putting their effort into the right leadership habits.

A Note from the Author: “The effective executive is fast becoming a key resource for society, and effectiveness as an executive is a prime requirement for individual accomplishment and achievement—for young people at the beginning of their working lives fully as much as for people in mid-career.” ~ Peter F. Drucker

Gabrielle Reed

Editor at Leadership Essentials

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