In our June issue, we'll be taking a look at four inspiring leadership books. As a bit of a preview, here's a look at two strong, leftover books that didn't make it into the article.
Hard Things about Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
Reviewer: Chris Cloutier, owner of Golden Rule Auto Care, and founder of Autoflow.me
While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about the struggles and difficulties faced in running one. In The Hard Thing About Hard Things author Ben Horowitz bluntly lays out the difficulties business owners will face when growing their business, including losing employees and having to lay off people.
Horowitz draws from his experiences in the late ‘90s and early 2000s as the co-founder of Loudcloud, a cloud services company that thrived, faltered, then shifted strategies to thrive again, eventually selling for $1.6 billion to Hewlett-Packard. One of Horowitz’ main lessons is that if you devote real time, energy and money to developing the right people for your business, and treat them responsibly and respectfully, they’re more likely to perform at their best.
Horowitz also wrote an essay called “The Struggle,” which details the many hardships an entrepreneur faces on the road to success.
“The struggle is when you wonder why you started the company in the first place, when food loses taste, when you go on vacation to feel better but you actually feel worse,” Cloutier says. “He shows the realism in what we do.”
You can read Horowitz’s essay here.Multipliers by Liz Wiseman
Reviewer: Kevin Wolfe, owner and president of Leadersway, a business coaching, culture and leadership development company
The book Wolfe recommends in our June issue is great for a member of your shop looking to step into a leadership role for the first time. One of his other suggestions, Multipliers by Liz Wiseman, is a good option for someone currently in a leadership role, looking to get better.
The book basically says that there are two different types of leaders, mulitpliers and diminishers, and your form of leadership can either help or hinder the people you’re managing.
The diminishers are people in lead positions that bring down their employees, and reduce their abilities and talents. Multipliers on the other hand, are leaders who encourage growth and creativity from their workers. Wiseman offers solutions and guidance to help the reader become a “multiplier.”
“For established leaders, I would recommend this as a way to change the way you think,” Wolfe says.