13 Tech Leaders Share Their Favorite Sources Of Leadership Lessons

In recent months, there’s no question that tech leaders have been called on to achieve huge changes and results in record time, taxing their leadership skills to the utmost. As they have navigated the crisis and change of recent months, many have turned to new or long-valued books, podcasts, and other resources—and even new experiences—to gather leadership advice and find support.

Many wonderful resources have information and insights that would be valuable for leaders of any industry who are looking to grow in their roles. Below, 13 leaders from Forbes Technology Council share the favorite sources they’ve relied on to strengthen their leadership skills and stay in the know.

1. Marty Cagan’s Blog And Book

Marty Cagan of the Silicon Valley Product Group has a great blog—insights—and a book—Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products. Having embraced the concept of building empowered teams, I’m excited about how it can transform the organization. It helps everyone feel confident they are solving important, impactful, and valuable problems to drive us forward, especially in this remote environment where it is easy to become disconnected. – James Bateman, Medchart

2. EdX.org

EdX.org has some incredible resources from top-tier schools such as Harvard, MIT, Yale, and so on, with self-paced courses on leadership, adversity, neuroscience for business, tech, and everything in between. It’s incredible! – Amanda Dorenberg, COMMB

3. Fight Song

Over the past year, I reread Kim Bearden’s Fight Song: Six Steps to Passion, Power, Peace, and Purpose. Bearden takes you on a journey through some of the darkest moments of her life, sharing her story of perseverance through times of chaos and heartbreak. It reminds me that although life as a leader can be difficult, your purpose plays a much bigger role than any obstacle. – Junior Bernadin, The Ron Clark Academy

4. How I Built This

The How I Built This podcast, with Guy Raz, is an outstanding deep dive into startup founders and their journeys. It constantly reminds me that the single biggest factor in my success is my ability and willingness to persevere through hardship. If I persevere through challenges and outlast my competitors by outworking them, I’ll give myself the best chance to be on top at the end of the day. – Aidan McCarty, Unum ID

5. How To Lead

How to Lead, by David M. Rubenstein, is a series of interviews with some of the most accomplished leaders of our time. The book zeroes in on the common attributes of successful leadership. Specifically, it talks about the importance of authenticity, humility, and clarity of purpose and vision. I have found it to be a helpful framework—especially during the tumultuous times we experienced in the past year. – Karl Siebrecht, Flexe

6. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great tool that enables one to stay up to date. Most importantly, I have enjoyed getting to know some of the many female leaders around the world who have done amazing work. Their journeys of leadership have helped me in many ways. – Bhavna Juneja, Infinity, a Stamford Technology Company

7. Masters Of Scale

The podcast Masters of Scale, hosted by Reid Hoffman, covers tons of topics and features leaders from all different industries and backgrounds. As an example, he recently had a conversation with the CEO of Beyond Meat, who has mastered the art of listening to the customer. – Chet Kapoor, DataStax

8. Post Corona

I recommend Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity, by Scott Galloway. The pandemic forced ten years of change in three months. Galloway sums up this shift and lays the groundwork on how to navigate from here. If you work in tech and want a new perspective on the economy moving forward, this is a must-read. I’ve said before, “It is a Big Tech world, and we are living in it.” – David Moise, Decide Consulting

9. Radical Candor

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, by Kim Scott, is about the importance of building trusting relationships at work. It teaches how to criticize without discouraging, care personally and challenge others directly. It highlights bad behaviors and talks about how we have been programmed to adopt a different persona at work than we do at home. The book is about achieving results and being honest and transparent, which are foundational for any leader. – Pete Hanlon, Moneypenny

10. Scrum

Jeff and JJ Sutherland’s book Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time has great, realistic advice about how to think about the changes you’re making. As change is now constant in most organizations, understanding the reality of your business is key to setting the right priorities. And you can no longer think only about the work; you must also think about your people. – Laureen Knudsen, Broadcom

11. Turn the Ship Around!

I recommend Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders. In the book, former U.S. Navy Captain L. David Marquet documents the true story of his selection to command a nuclear submarine with poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention rate in the fleet. Captain Marquet flipped the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach model on its head and pushed for leadership at every level, turning the submarine from the worst to the best. – Bhavesh “BK” Kakadiya, The Abstract Operations Company

12. Peer Networks

For me, the most valuable resource has been my network of peers. In particular, YPO has proven invaluable for comparing notes, discussing difficult topics, and seeking advice from other leaders facing similar challenges. In general, though, any network that is trusted meets often and provides plenty of opportunities for collaboration and support can provide tremendous value. – Rob Cohen, Appriss Health

13. Volunteering

The recent months have indeed both tested leaders and helped them grow in unprecedented ways. And at the same time, leadership has never been more important for our teams. My main source of strength and guidance is active: volunteering. Taking action on my gratitude is a meaningful source of leadership strength. Time away from “being in the know” gives me experience that levels up my leadership. – Carlos Pignataro, Cisco Systems, Inc.

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