Successful leaders are always looking for ways to increase their effectiveness and the impact of their organizations.  So whether you are running a small or start up organization or if your firm had a tough 2012, now is the time to reboot and set yourself up for success in 2013. There are a couple of excellent books you ought to pick up and put into action.  These will help you make a positive impact fairly quickly.

The first is EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey. In this book, Dave offers a lot of very practical ideas and suggestions to help leaders run their firms. You may have the very best mission statement and the most devoted board of directors, but there are many subtle ways leaders get tripped up. This book helps you anticipate and avoid  those traps. What I especially liked about the book is Dave Ramsey’s addressing real world problems leaders face, and then offers suggestions. No esoteric, pie-in-the-sky solutions that are difficult to implement Dave offers real world thoughts to real world problems.

The second book is The 1 Hour Plan for Growth, by Joe Calhoon, which I reviewed previously. Whether you love strategic planning or view it as a necessary evil, this is a rich resource that will hold your attention, grab you by the hand, and walk you through the planning process with out talking down to you or confusing you with a lot of jargon.. This is simply the clearest and easiest planning tool I have ever seen. Practical, simple, quick, on the mark.  I have used the book several times, both personally and with clients, and it always satisfies.

Finally, if your board is less than effective, seems confused at times, and unclear on what is is supposed to do, I suggest you develop a short Board Policy Manual (BPM).  One of the best step-by-step books on the subject of governance and running effective boards is Good Governance for Nonprofits, by Fredric Laughlin and Robert Andringa. I also reviewed this book previously.

The wisdom found in these three books can be your new best friend, whether you are a board president or an executive director, and will have positive effects on you and your organization. The wisdom found in each of these books is as good as gold!