3 Books to Help You Grow As a Leader

UPDATED: May 14, 2024
PUBLISHED: December 27, 2021
3 Books to Help You Grow As a Leader

Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact

By Jenn Lim

Author Jenn Lim knows a little something about happiness. She co-founded the workplace culture company Delivering Happiness with Tony Hsieh, the late CEO of Zappos.com. Their goal? To teach businesses how to make their employees happier while also improving their ROI. Since its inception, Delivering Happiness has helped over 400 organizations in 110 countries. 

Lim’s book breaks down Delivering Happiness’s model for how companies can improve their culture and help employees connect to their purpose, all while still remaining profitable in the process. The book is divided into five sections, with easy-to-digest, actionable tips for how to put Lim and Hsieh’s ideas into practice. 

“This book is about understanding the authentic self in our work-life journeys,” Lim writes. “It shares how we can get back to the core of who we are and live the purposeful life we want through the work we do every day.”

Pass It On: What I Learned from Mary Kay Ash

By Jennifer Bickel Cook

Saying Mary Kay Ash was a pioneer would be an understatement. The founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics empowered thousands of women across the globe to work for themselves through her innovative company. Jennifer Bickel Cook, director emeritus for the Mary Kay Museum, shares everything she learned from the businesswoman in her new memoir. 

Pass It On explores Mary Kay’s many personas, with chapters such as “Mary Kay the Philanthropist,” “Mary Kay the Leader” and “Mary Kay the Christian.” Her book explores a side of the makeup tycoon that most people are unaware of. 

Bickel Cook worked with Mary Kay for 25 years, and she felt it was her calling to pass on the lessons she learned from her. “Many times, when women would ask Mary Kay what they could do to thank her for her influence in their lives, I would hear her say, ‘Pass it on,’” Bickel Cook writes. “That’s why I’m writing this book.”

The Power of Nothing to Lose: The Hail Mary Effect in Politics, War, and Business

By William L. Silber

Award-winning economics professor William L. Silber’s latest book is dedicated to a fascinating concept: the Hail Mary Effect. This gambling-like phenomenon (often referenced in regards to football) occurs when someone takes a risk that has a huge potential benefit and little to no downside. Examples from history, which Silber notes in his book, include Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat and George Washington crossing the Delaware River during the American Revolution.  

Silber’s ninth book takes a look at how the nothing-left-to-lose mindset has changed history both for better and for worse. Not only does he look at positive Hail Marys, but also negative ones, such as Adolf Hitler’s counterattack, the Battle of the Bulge

In his introduction, Silber says he’s been thinking about writing this book for 30 years, and it shows. His examples and subsequent analysis are well-conceived and thought-provoking, leading readers to question just how much past Hail Marys have impacted life as we know it today.

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2021 Issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Jamie Friedlander is a freelance writer based in Chicago and the former features editor of SUCCESS magazine. Her work has been published in The Cut, VICE, Inc., The Chicago Tribune and Business Insider, among other publications. When she's not writing, she can usually be found drinking matcha tea into excess, traveling somewhere new with her husband or surfing Etsy late into the night.