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10 Leadership Books Every Leader Should Read

By October 21, 2019 No Comments
leadership books

Leadership is tricky. When it comes to being the head of a church – in charge of shepherding others, managing all aspects of an organization, and dealing with a wide range of personalities – everyone could use a little guidance from some of the world's top leadership minds. Those that have “been there and done that” have plenty of valuable lessons to teach us. Luckily, there are plenty of incredible books out there with lessons all leaders can utilize. Here is our list of ten leadership books every leader should read.

  1. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey – Over 25 million people have enjoyed the lessons in this breakthrough leadership book since its first publication in 1989. It's one of the must-have leadership books for anyone's shelf, with in-depth examinations of those seven habits – everything from proactivity and synergy to win-win mindsets and continuous improvement. This is an essential book for any leader. Oh, and if there are any teens in your life that could use some guidance? Try the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Covey's son.
  2. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg – Sandberg grew to prominence as the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. Her engaging and empowering book contains a full roster of leadership essays, with a focus on women's place in the workplace and their unique struggles within an organization. It's a valuable tool for leaders of both genders, and a great look inside the neo-tech industry.
  3. Wooden on Leadership, by John Wooden and Steve Jamison – Over his incredible career at UCLA, John Wooden brought his Bruins ten national basketball championships and became known as one of the greatest coaches in sports history. This book dives deep into his fabled 12 Lessons of Leadership and “Pyramid of Success,” providing valuable managerial lessons and tips from the “Wizard of Westwood.”
  4. Powerful: Building a Culture of Leadership by Patty McCord – As one of the key members of Netflix, Patty McCord helped to establish an innovative, high-performing corporate workspace that changed entertainment forever. She brings valuable lessons on leadership to the world in this book, preaching “radical honesty” and utilizing engaging assignments to assure success in work and life.
  5. First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers do Differently, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman – After careful study of some of the world's most successful business leaders (in both Fortune 500 companies and smaller enterprises), the authors distilled their findings into this excellent book. Full of examples and lessons from the world's most out-of-the-box thinkers, this book provides a fantastic look at creative leadership.
  6. How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life, by Geoffrey Lewis, Joanna Barsh, and Susie Cranston – This engaging and entertaining leadership book collects lessons from some of the most successful female leaders from around to world to deliver a wide selection of leadership insights. Featured leaders include orchestra conductor Alondra de la Parra, Andrea Jung of Avon, Ruth Porat of Morgan Stanley, and Eileen Naughton of Google. There are plenty of helpful tips in the book for any leader, man or woman.
  7. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie – Originally published in 1936, this extraordinary work by the acclaimed self-help author Dale Carnegie is one of the landmark volumes in the self-help and leadership genre. There's a reason why this book has sold millions of copies and continues to be popular today – the smart, insightful lessons Carnegie imparts about leadership, personality, management, and more are eternally helpful. Sections like “Seven Rules for Making Your Home Life Happier,” “Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment,” and “Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking” will help any leader in all walks of life.
  8. Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, by Judith E. Glaser – As any successful leader will tell you, the art of conversation is key to success in business and life. Judith Glaser's valuable book explores “conversational intelligence,” delivering plenty of excellent tips for leaders to get the most out of their conversations and establish meaningful relationships within them. The book also utilizes a science-first approach, distilling new neuroscience and psychological findings to underscore its lessons. It's an interesting and vital book for any leader to add to their library.
  9. It's Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks, by Howard Behar and Janet Goldstein – With an employee-focused approach, Starbucks has grown into a true behemoth in the United States economy. In this entertaining book, famed Starbucks executive Howard Behar explains the people-first approach from Starbucks and provides plenty of lessons about how to apply this revolutionary approach to all leadership situations. Stories from inside the Starbucks expansion and growth movement provide plenty of color to this excellent leadership book.
  10. Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, by Hugh Delehanty and Phil Jackson – Throughout his long and successful career as an NBA player and coach, Phil Jackson – leader of the 1990s Bulls and 2000s Lakers – became known for his unique style in dealing with volatile and complex personalities. This engaging book contains plenty of valuable lessons in creative management techniques as well as dealing with complex and challenging characters. The insider NBA stories (featuring stars like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, and Michael Jordan) add spice and flair to an engaging book.
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