Do you have executive level leadership skills?
If not, you’ll want to dive into some of the best leadership books on the market below.
Leadership is one topic that is constantly changing throughout time.
In order to be an exceptional leader you need to be equipped with the best tools for the job.
Whether you are looking forward to becoming a leader in the near future, or if you are already a leader as we speak, one thing that’s for sure is that you need to be continually educating yourself and improving your leadership skills.
One of the biggest issues with continuing education when it comes to leadership and the skills the come along with it is that there are thousands of leadership books on the market and it’s often difficult to sort through both the good and the bad advice.
In order to save you time and energy, I have decided to curate a list of the best leadership books so that you can be sure that you will be able to spend your valuable time learning from only the best and brightest minds of our time.
Table of Contents
- The Top 12 Leadership Books
- Learning to Lead: The Journey to Leading Yourself, Leading Others, and Leading an Organization
- Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise
- The Fifth Risk
- Leadership is an Art
- Best Overall: Extreme Ownership
- Developing the Leader Within You 2.0
- Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust
- On Becoming a Leader
- The Art of War
- Wooden on Leadership
- Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
- The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
The Top 12 Leadership Books
Learning to Lead: The Journey to Leading Yourself, Leading Others, and Leading an Organization
Author: Ron Williams with Karl Weber
Ron Williams is the CEO of Aetna and through his experience he writes about his humble beginnings to climbing the mountain of success. His book is for first starters who want to climb even higher and gain more accomplishments. Reading this book will definitely guide you through the right path.
Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise
Author: Horst Schulze with Dean Merrill
Industry titans, Horst Schulze and Dean Merrill have written a book on becoming the best of the best and settling for nothing else. These hoteliers’ approach to business is very cut-throat, they make you work harder for what you want, and this way prosperity and excellence will surely be in your path.
The Fifth Risk
Author: Michael Lewis
The Fifth Risk is one of the greatest non fiction books about leadership ever written. Michael Lewis’ perspective on leadership has helped a lot of people overcome their greatest obstacles when they were forced to face a tough decision in business. Through life example, Lewis demonstrates how long term dedication always pays off, the way it did for him in this case in the federal government.
Leadership is an Art
Author: Max DePree
The author is the former CEO of Herman Miller Inc, and through his book he explains how in his industry he had to hire creative geniuses to help the company strive. As a CEO he had to grant them the freedom to do what they thought best, and while it was hard to let go of the leadership reins he learned that success doesn’t come alone, but it is teamwork that in his case helped him strive.
Best Overall: Extreme Ownership
Author: Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Even if you are not preparing for battle, some of the techniques in this book can very well help you in managing a team. Former SEALS Willink and Babin introduce to the reader different leadership techniques that can ensure full organization within any company’s work.
Developing the Leader Within You 2.0
Author: John C. Maxwell
Maxwell defines the leadership role like no other. The author has written numerous books on leadership only because he gives the best advice in working from the inside out. He claims that a leader doesn’t base his success on the team that he leads, but he likes to work on his inner self and he claims that when one person is living in prosperity then his/her entire team will live under the same benefits.
Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust
Author: Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein
Both Edgar and Peter Schein see leadership very different from other people. They see a successful leader as a humble one. Leadership isn’t about control and gaining power over others, it is about understanding the position you are in and working along your team. The power of relationships you have as a leader can ensure success or complete failure, and for that reason being humble is a quality that you always need to have.
On Becoming a Leader
Author: Warren Bennis
Deemed “the Dean of Leadership Gurus” by Forbes magazine, Warren has always claimed that a leader isn’t born but he is made. Through his book he discusses with his own personal experience how he built himself up to become an admired leader. Through examples of strategies and different cases based on admirable leaders is how he demonstrates what it takes to become the head of the operation.
The Art of War
Author: Sun Tzu
You have probably heard about this book at least once in your life. This famous book on war strategies has helped people to apply these techniques in their daily lives, especially as leaders. This ancient military technique book was used to be tips and tricks on war, and people learned how to utilize these famous maneuvers into work itself. Composed only of three chapters, this is a book you can’t miss.
Wooden on Leadership
Author: John Wooden & Steve Jamison
The former UCLA Basketball coach outlines the mental, physical and emotional qualities it takes to become an admirable leader. Through example as well he uses his experiences to share with people the key aspects of what it takes to become successful at what you do. More than becoming a team player yourself, the author shows the reader how to take the reins of your life to become a leader.
Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
Author: Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee
This book is based on emotional intelligence. Rather than just being a book talking about success and how leaders think, these authors dive deep inside of what a real leader does, how he/she acts and what is going on through their mind. While some people wish to leave emotions aside, this book’s primary purpose is to show how to use them as a leader. Emotions ignite passions and usually speak for us, and for that reason, they are said to be the best qualities in a leader.
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
Author: James Kouzes & Barry Posner
Leadership Challenge is a book on how leaders use their positions to incentivize other people in power and this way makes a challenge out of success. With the right motivation and the ideal incentives, people can achieve great things from life. This book sets the difference from just making things happen to actually get things done. A lot can be learned from other people in power and in this book you will be able to do so.
Do you have any Leadership Books that you’d like to recommend? If so, leave a comment below with your favorite leadership related reads.
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