Review

Read to Lead: Three Books Every Administrator Should Read

Whenever I find a book that I love, everyone around me knows about it. According to my new favorite book, 5 Voices, that is because my foundational voice is a Connector: “It doesn’t matter if it is a movie or a restaurant or a business colleague they want to introduce you to, whatever Connectors are into they are going to use all their persuasive abilities to convince you that you should be, too. And chances are, they will!” (82).

I hope that by the time you’ve finished reading this article, the Connector in me will have convinced you to take a chance this summer on a few of my favorite leadership books.

Three Leadership Book Recommendations

5 Voices by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram

Authors Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram insist that “the more we know ourselves, the greater our capacity to truly lead ourselves and others well” (20). In the book 5 Voices, that means knowing your voice order: a combination of the of the Nurturer, Creative, Guardian, Connector, and Pioneer voices. While we all have some combination of all five, the bottom four are filtered through the voice we unconsciously use most of the time: our foundational voice.

Foundational voice Nurturers are often the quietest individuals in the group, yet this does not mean they are unimportant. Far from it! While Nurturers may not assert themselves over the louder voices in a group, “the Nurturer voice is necessary in building and maintaining relationships” (30). And, as we will see in the next two book reviews, maintaining relationships is fundamental to the success of organizations. For that reason, Nurturers need to be heard!

Creatives “come equipped with an early warning radar system that gives them the ability to sense danger where values run the risk of being compromised, and they can see opportunities, solutions, and possibilities for the future long before they become reality” (33). While it is clear to see that Creatives can offer great value to an organization, they too have quieter voices and are often misunderstood when they first share their ideas. They need the other voices to patiently help them articulate their thoughts rather than write them off for lack of understanding.

The Guardian has a louder voice that will challenge the new ideas of the Creatives, Connectors, and Pioneers. Guardians are needed to hold these future-oriented voices in check, to confront their big ideas with a bit of reality. Their aversion to change for change’s sake can save organizations time and money, even if their tough questions initially take the wind out of some sails.

Connectors, as the name suggests, thrive on connecting with other people and then connecting those people with other people. When a need arises, they know someone who can help, or they know where to go to look for someone. As I mentioned earlier, Connectors are able to persuade and are, therefore, great people from whom to gain buy-in. If they love the new direction or initiative of an organization, everyone will know about it and will probably buy into it as well.

Finally, we have the Pioneer, the loudest of the voices. They can easily dominate conversations because they have a vision of the future that must be shared, yet “Pioneers are experts at aligning people, systems, and resources to deliver big-picture visions,” and, as such, they will be the ones who will keep an organization from becoming stagnant (40).

It is important for leaders to know how their voice is heard by others, especially since those selected for leadership are often Pioneers and Connectors, louder voices that can easily talk over the Creatives and Nurturers. Equally important is understanding that all voices have something valuable to offer and that no organization will be as effective as it could be without representation and input from all five voices.

To find out your voice order for free, visit https://5voices.com/assessment/.

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Mark Brink teaches English at Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville, MI.