This 5 min. read saves you up to 29 hours
For your knowledge advantage, we put together the most actionable insights from 6 getAbstract summaries (6 books with a total of 1417 pages) on this topic. If you did this work yourself, you would be busy for at least 1696 minutes (about 29 hours). Learn more.

How to Lead Yourself First

You can learn all sorts of leadership things – but if a trained leader doesn’t know how to lead themselves, all gathered leadership insights will never be put to powerful use.

How to Lead Yourself First

“You can’t pour from an empty cup: If leaders are unwilling or unable to develop themselves first, they will be less capable of leading their teams,” Danielle Goodrum, getAbstract’s Head of Sales America, writes.

Here are the most critical skills a (new) leader should master or learn as soon as possible, and the most essential articles and summaries from getAbstract to fill in gaps. But before you go through them one by one, make sure you know a bit about yourself – because self-awareness is the one skill that affects them all.

Develop and Nourish a Learning Mentality

Continuous learning at work and in private life has always been preached with pleasure, but it is still not lived in many companies and minds. Companies can support people in their ongoing development, and those who abandon widespread learning myths are ideally prepared to become lifelong learners.

Image of: Hardwired to Learn
Book Summary

Hardwired to Learn

Harness your ability to learn at any age to grow your career and reach your highest potential.

Teri Hart Teri Hart
Read Summary

The following interviews explain why learning, unlearning and relearning are so important:

Improve Your Time Management

Of course, stress occurs from time to time. But if you learn to focus properly and set priorities correctly, you’ll experience much less of it – and get more done in less time. “A study conducted in the UK, involving around 28,000 people over a four-year period, sought to establish a link between stress and negative health outcomes. The study uncovered that high demands and long working hours did not correlate to stress and negative health outcomes. Instead, perceived lack of control was the biggest driving force of stress,” says Health and Performance Educator Richard Sutton.

Image of: The Now Habit
Book Summary

The Now Habit

Neil Fiore’s classic advice can help you overcome procrastination.

Neil Fiore TarcherPerigee
Read Summary

Following, you’ll find a few useful tips to keep in control of things and structure your day to support you. And here are a few more from focus guru Cal Newport.

Cultivate Courage & Grit

Many people become managers, but are not suited for the job. That is an organizational problem. Many more, however, become managers and do not feel suitable – even though they would be. What they often lack is courage and some stamina. Because leading can be tough, and you have to be – or become – decisive.

Image of: From Conflict to Courage
Book Summary

From Conflict to Courage

A unique guide to help leaders manage conflict and navigate difficult conversations.

Marlene Chism Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Read Summary

All of this can be trained, and here you can find out how:

Develop a Growth Mind-Set

Leaders are supposed to provide for their own growth, grow their team – and their own organization. So if you don’t really know what this is all about, you need to get to grips with the exciting world that lies behind the term “Growth Mindset.”

Image of: Mindset
Book Summary


People can be of two minds: fixed and flexible. In a changing world, flexible is better for relationships and growth.

Carol S. Dweck Random House
Read Summary

To cultivate a growth mind-set, you have to learn to read mistakes as clues to new learning and development opportunities. Listen to others without judgment, focus your limited time and energy on important tasks, get high-quality sleep and push yourself out of your comfort zone often – this will cultivate an optimistic outlook and have an impact on your (professional) life in days rather than weeks. Find more advice here:

Gather Expertise

To be a good leader, you always have to be especially good at something. Whether it’s improving your soft skills, which are becoming increasingly essential for leaders, or gaining specialized knowledge for a specific industry or job profile – it pays to specialize and to think critically. Yet, at the same time, thinking more broadly regarding foresight, context, and critical examination of economic or historical circumstances and trends must be added to the equation if you don’t want to lose yourself in subject idiocy.

Image of: How to Think
Book Summary

How to Think

A tech philosopher’s guide to thinking critically, questioning assumptions and dispelling bias.

Tom Chatfield SAGE Publications
Read Summary

Here are some more insights on how to find the right balance between specialization and broadening knowledge and skills:

Understand that You Are a Role Model

With everything you do from now on, as a new leader, you’ll attract attention – whether you like it or not. That’s why it’s essential to discover and live up to your values, work on your emotional intelligence and train your empathy skills to read your surroundings better. Show appreciation to people and welcome open feedback from your peers to gain trust and learn to navigate uncertainties better. Show courtesy, demonstrate sportsmanship and live civic virtue.

Image of: Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership
Book Summary

Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership

Your corporate title doesn’t make you a great leader, but five value-based practices may do the job.

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner Wiley
Read Summary

Do you want to learn more about leading people? Or do you feel that you should improve your skillset and broaden your knowledge toward leading organizations? Click on the links and find more advice.

How the Journal Saves You Time
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This article saves you up to 29 hours of research and reading time.
Researched Abstracts
6 We have curated the most actionable insights from 6 summaries for this feature.
6 We read and summarized 6 books with 1417 pages for this article.
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