The piles of books aimed at helping leaders achieve their ambitious goals and inspire their talented employees could fill myriad office shelves. Like hard-boiled detectives hunting for clues, diverse authors have studied successful leaders to identify the positive qualities they share. In their guides, they disclose the distinctive attributes and winning strategies of dynamic impresarios. Kirkus Indie recently reviewed three works that explore this rich topic.      

In Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind, Alex Counts presents the lessons that he learned after founding a humanitarian nonprofit organization. He covers fundraising, effective decision-making, supervising a staff during turbulent times, and more. According to our reviewer, “Counts eloquently discusses the dangers of work-life imbalance, how to be a constant learner,” and “the importance of gratitude,” delivering “noble and enriching leadership advice.”

Pamela J. Newman’s Leadership Is Doing offers readers 44 axioms, each one accompanied by a vignette. Many of the stories are based on Newman’s experiences as a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army for the South Region of New York. The axioms range from “The Value of the Mentor/Protégé Relationship” to “Leaders Have Excellent Communication Skills.” The author emphasizes integrity: “Doing the correct thing takes courage, extra energy, perseverance, risk taking and a fundamental belief that ‘right is right.’ ” The manual “leaves a lasting impression,” our critic writes.

Andrew Freedman, a strategic business consultant, shows leaders how to build a high-performance culture in Thrive. Freedman’s book, written with Paul Elliott, includes research that reveals “70 percent of business transformation and change initiatives fail to deliver the intended results.” To help executives cope with this grim situation, the manual supplies a tactical approach, case studies, essential tools, and interactive exercises. The guide, our reviewer writes, provides “valuable high-level thinking about high performance in business.”

Myra Forsberg is an Indie editor.