leadThis week’s installment of Self-Care Sunday delves into the academic realm. Your kids aren’t the only ones who can go back to school this month! Learn how to lead so people will follow. If you click on a link to a book, please know that I’m an Amazon affiliate (but it won’t change the price of the book).

Lead Like a Woman

Don’t get me wrong. Some men are great leaders, and some women are horrible leaders. But this summer I realized that women wrote the two outstanding books I read on leadership. The authors did a stellar job of pulling together leadership and personality research to create something new that made total sense.

Whether we think of ourselves as leaders or not, we are. Women have the incredible calling to lead others—whether we lead our families or a corporation. We shortchange ourselves if we fail to learn how to lead well.

Help Your Family Get Smarter

I read the first book, Multipliers, Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman, because Audible had it on sale. It even sounded sort of interesting. Sometimes, you fall into a book like that and it ends up changing your whole worldview.

Women (ok, everyone, not just women) have the power to either diminish other people’s intelligence or multiply other people’s intelligence. Wiseman and Greg McKeown studied over 150 leaders (and the people they led) to see if they had anything in common. The overwhelming results indicate that the best leaders multiply the intelligence of others.

The worst leaders actually make people dumber. Ok, they don’t make them literally dumber, but by micromanaging and poor leadership, they suck the life out of those around them and make it more difficult for them to effectively do their jobs.

I tend to learn and remember best through reading things, so I’ll have to buy a hard copy of the book and read it again after school starts. For now, my takeaway remains—I have the power to bring out the genius in others. And that makes me a powerful woman.

Lead by Captivating

The stumbled upon the second book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People by Vanessa Van Edwards whilst listening to Donald Miller’s Building a Story Brand podcast. I never would have picked up this book without hearing Donald Miller interview her for his podcast. After all, I feel comfortable enough in my own skin to not feel the need to captivate anyone.

But don’t let the title deceive you. The author could have titled the book ‘Read People Better: The Science of Getting Along with Everyone from Your Friends to Your Enemies.’ Any Lie to Me fans out there? Van Edwards trained under the man who inspired the hit show. You’ll learn all about micro expressions and how they can help you communicate better with those you talk to.

Van Edwards divides the book into three sections—The First Five Minutes, The First Five Hours, and the First Five Days. You can probably guess the content of the first section—how to have interesting conversations with people you’ve just met and how to remember their names.

I tried many of these techniques at the conference I just attended. They helped—especially since I struggle at small talk and with feeling socially awkward.

The second and third sections will help you delve deeper into your own personality and learn how to read the personalities of the important people in your life. Van Edwards uses a matrix that incorporates the five-factor model (said to be more accurate than other personality tests), love languages, and needs hierarchies.

By solving someone’s matrix, we learn how to best communicate with them and in turn, lead them. Think of it as getting to know someone’s style so that you can gift them with the right gifts. Working with someone who ‘gets’ us always feels like a gift, doesn’t it?

I plan on solving my own matrix, and then figuring out my husband’s matrix. Van Edwards provides exercises for figuring out the matrix of public figures—a fun way to practice this skill. She starts each chapter with a great story, introduces the concept, and backs it up with research.

Anyone Can Lead Better

Learn how to lead most effectively, no matter who you are or who you lead. #leadership #lifelonglearning #backtoschool


Both of these books have raised my awareness of my own leadership style (and what I need to do to improve it). I realized, as well, that I shouldn’t wait to hone my leadership skills until I have a CEO position. Not that I want that position. But reaching my students, family members, and colleagues with effective communication is an important form of leadership. One that all women can improve on.

Discover two great books for improving your leadership style (and yes, we are ALL leaders!). #leadership #lifelonglearner #backtoschool Click To Tweet

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  1. These books sound like great reads, Anita! I’m familiar with Vanessa’s since I listened to Don Miller’s interview with her. The topic and interview really intrigued me. I’m always trying to find ways to better connect with people. As an introvert, I struggle somewhat with this–especially with people I’m not familiar with. Thanks for sharing and for hosting the linkup! I’ve pinned this post like crazy! 😉
    Beth recently posted…Comment on The Unfair Task of Making God Priority Over Your Mate by Getting Unstuck : Letting Go of the Past and Choosing to Live AgainMy Profile

  2. These sound like great books. Connecting well with people and bringing out the best in them are important skills for all of us to develop. Thanks for sharing!

  3. They both sound like greatly useful books. I have had experiences with both kinds of leaders the first book mentions – in teachers, bosses, even pastors or women’s ministry leaders. It would be wonderful to know how to bring out the best in others. Lie to Me was one of my husband’s favorite shows when it was one.
    Barbara Harper recently posted…You are not enoughMy Profile

  4. Thanks for the encouragement to nurture our leadership skills. Often we don’t think we have anyone who is following us, but everyone is being watched and followed by someone. We’re just not always aware of it. 🙂 “We shortchange ourselves if we fail to learn how to lead well.” And we shortchange others as well.

  5. I lit right up when I read the conclusion that “the best leaders multiply the intelligence of others. The worst leaders actually make people dumber… they suck the life out of those around them and make it more difficult for them to effectively do their jobs.” Thing is, this last bunch aren’t really leaders. Either they don’t get how to lead, or they’re just takers who don’t want anyone else to look too good because they want to shine the brightest—which defeats the whole team cause! A good leader discerns the gifts in each person under his/her leadership and does all possible to draw it out and get it working in concert with all the others’ gifts—really a monumental job. I don’t think I would have picked up that book just because of reading its title, but what you share here has gotten me really interested in sampling some of it. Thanks!
    Sylvia Robertson recently posted…WomanMy Profile

  6. Anita, these books really sound interesting. They could probably help in relationships whether you are leading or not. Thanks for sharing them. Blessings to you!

  7. Good morning, Anita. I appreciate this post for many reasons. God is leading me to build a ministry beyond just myself. The first book grabbed my Spirit. Adding it to my TBR pile. Have a blessed Wednesday⚘

  8. Great thoughts and resources on leadership. It is so important for women to stand up in their realms of influence. Thanks for sharing on the #LMMLinkup this past week.

  9. Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking blog post about the importance of learning how to lead like a woman. It’s inspiring to see discussions around diverse leadership styles and the unique strengths that women bring to the table. Your insights shed light on the value of embracing feminine leadership qualities in today’s world.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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