12 Great Leadership Gifts


Okay.  Maybe not 93% but there are tons of deals to be had.  Holiday time is just around the corner and my guess is now that you’ve recovered from your turkey and football-induced food coma, you’re realizing you had better get cracking on getting holiday gifts for your boss, your team members, your customers, and every other professional in your network.  In the spirit of the twelve days of Christmas, I made a little shopping list for you.

So in the hopes of saving you time, energy and effort scouring the web for the perfect gift options, I’ve compiled the below list of great gift ideas for those special people.  The vast majority are books and most of those books have been featured here on the thoughtLEADERS Blog in the past year so I’ve also linked to the relevant blog post.  So without further ado, I give to you 12 great gift ideas for the leaders in your life:

One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership1. One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership
I would be a complete idiot not to have my own book as the first on the list.  That said, I think it’s a great gift for any leader or aspiring leader in your life.  It’ll help them better articulate who they are and who they want to be as leaders.  It’s straightforward, entertaining, and – most importantly – pragmatic and practical.

Lead with a Story Book Cover2. Lead With a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince, and Inspire
Paul Smith discusses the power of storytelling and how you can be a stronger leader by using that method to communicate. The book is chock full of great stories and clear, simple techniques you can use to be a better storyteller. Check out Paul’s guest blog post here.

The Innovative Team Book Cover3.The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential For Breakthrough Results
Chris Grivas covers the four critical steps for generating breakthrough ideas and turning them into real-world impact. It’s all about how to take those eureka moments and turn them into practical ideas that turn into real products and services that benefit your organization. Read Chris’ guest post here.

The Language of Leaders4. The Language of Leaders
You guys know how big I am on how important language is especially with respect to leadership. This one is by Kevin Murray, Chairman of Bell Pottinger, one of the UK’s leading PR agencies. He was previously the Director of Communications for British Airways and is a former national newspaper journalist. You can read Kevin’s guest post here.

Getting Change Right Book Cover5. Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out
Seth Kahan’s bestseller covers the notion that to communicate better, we have to abandon old signal-receiver models and adopt ones that are mindful of the social constructs in which we operate every day. You can read an excerpt from the book here.

The Zappos Experience6. The Zappos Experience: 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage and WOW
Dr. Joseph Michelli follows up on his bestseller The Starbucks Experience with a wonderful view into Zappos – one of the greatest customer service stories ever. Learn from Zappos and how to prevent your business from being commoditized by your competitors. Read his post here.

Connect by Lyn Boyer7. Connect: Affective Leadership for Effective Results
Lyn Boyer shares methods successful leaders use to make personal connections that change the future. These include use of language, emotional intelligence, leadership presence, trust-building, mental models and lightness. Check out her post on how Winston Churchill did those things.

Innovation You Jeff DeGraff8. Innovation You
Jeff DeGraff, discusses how to use conflict as a way to drive innovation and break out of the cycle of keeping the status quo. Jeff is a Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Read some of his thoughts on innovation here.

What's Holding You Back9. What’s Holding You Back: 10 Bold Steps that Define Gutsy Leaders
Former Microsoft COO Bob Herbold shares his perspectives on what differentiates gutsy leaders in the workplace.  Based on extensive experience in real world, high pressure situations, Bob offers some great thoughts on how you can become a gutsy leader.  Read some of Bob’s thoughts on top talent in this post.

The Next Level Book Cover10. The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success
I often find myself coaching my clients using some of the principles Scott Eblin lays out on how you can be a more successful executive. It’s a great perspective on how you need to abandon old behaviors and adopt new ones if you want to advance your career. Check out Scott’s thoughts in this post.

Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals11. Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals
Heidi Grant Halvorson is a motivational psychologist and a Fellow of the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia Business School. Her book will help you better define your goals and understand what you need to do to achieve them. Here are her thoughts on how to get reluctant bosses to back your ideas.

Surprise Package12. A Surprise for a Crappy Boss
No, this isn’t the tile of a book (but it would be a good one!). Not all of us are blessed with good bosses and some bosses are downright crappy. They probably won’t appreciate any of the above great leadership books so instead, I’ll offer you a perfect gift for a crappy boss. Click here to see what it is.

Kindle Fire13. Those Books are Heavy! If you don’t want your boss (or the gift recipient) throwing out their back, why not pick up a Kindle Fire for them?  They’re amazingly cheap for the technology involved (and if they get bored with the books there are plenty of games and movies for it too.  Yes, I said the post was 12 great gifts but we all know #12 above doesn’t really count so I had to add one last awesome one and this is it!

If you can’t find anything on this list that’s to your liking, we’ve featured other lists of great leadership reads before too so I encourage you to check out this post for additional options.

Happy Holidays!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Photo: Bullring – Selfridges lit up in the evening – Sale by Elliott Brown

4 Responses to “12 Great Leadership Gifts”

  1. Paul Smith says:

    Whether you wrote it or not, One Piece of Paper deserves to be on the list. Really finding my copy useful! Thanks for including mine here, along with a worthy list of ideas.

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