Business books, particularly ones focused on leadership and managing, are among the very top bestsellers in bookdom. One of the top bestsellers right at the moment is Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. There are also always the perennial favorites, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie , The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, and Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson.
You’d think there would be better leaders and awesome managers with all the copies of leadership and management books – but no.
Just as it’s tough to learn how to cook from a cookbook or how to draw from a drawing book (the example above is an exaggeration, but still – I swear I’ve gotten instructions like this before), learning to lead a team, a company, or a project takes more than reading books.
How have you learned to lead? How much from books? From other people? From school? From other experiences?
As a middle manager, where have you found the missing pieces and are there pieces still missing?