Leadership Books Everyone Should Read

Here are some well curated lists of leadership books for entrepreneurs, leaders and managers.

1

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

- Daniel H. Pink

In this provocative and persuasive new book, Daniel H. Pink asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.

2

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

- Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Detailing the mind-set and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult missions in combat, Extreme Ownership shows how to apply them to any team, family or organization. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic such as Cover and Move, Decentralized Command, and Leading Up the Chain, explaining what they are, why they are important, and how to implement them in any leadership environment.

A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership revolutionizes business management and challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.

3

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

- Jim Collins

Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great.

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness — why some companies make the leap and others don’t.

The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

  • Level 5 Leaders:The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
  • The Hedgehog Concept(Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
  • A Culture of Discipline:When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results.
  • Technology Accelerators:Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
  • The Flywheel and the Doom Loop:Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

4

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

- Simon Sinek

Start With Why shows that the leaders who have had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

5

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations

- James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

The Leadership Challenge has been the most trusted source on becoming a better leader, selling more than 2 million copies in over 20 languages since its first publication. Based on Kouzes and Posner′s extensive research, their work proves how leadership is a relationship that must be nurtured, and most importantly, that it can be learned.

  • Features over 100 case studies and examples, which show The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership in action around the world
  • Focuses on the toughest organizational challenges leaders face today
  • Addresses changes in how people work and what people want from their work

6

Thinking, Fast And Slow

- Daniel Kahneman

In his mega bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, world-famous psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives―and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.

 

7

Developing The Leader Within You 2.0

- John C. Maxwell

By examining the differences between leadership styles, Maxwell outlines principles for inspiring, motivating, and influencing others from any type of leadership position–including as a business executive, a church leader, a teacher, or even a parent.

Thoroughly revised and with two additional chapters, Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 has updated these foundational principles and promises to provide for both new readers as well as longtime fans of the original book the necessary wisdom to help any leader and organization succeed in fostering integrity, self-discipline, and effecting positive change.

8

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success

- Adam Grant

In today’s dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. In Give and Take, Adam Grant, an award-winning researcher and Wharton’s highest-rated professor, examines the surprising forces that shape why some people rise to the top of the success ladder while others sink to the bottom. Praised by social scientists, business theorists, and corporate leaders, Give and Take opens up an approach to work, interactions, and productivity that is nothing short of revolutionary.

 

9

How to Win Friends & Influence People

- Dale Carnegie

Written by Dale Carnegie and published in 1936, it has sold over 30 million copies. This book is a guide in improving a person’s aura in the world. It is about changing how the world views and treats you by changing your own behaviour. That means that if you change the kind of energy that you emit, what comes back to you is also different. This is one of the most influential business and communication skills guide.

This book teaches you how to market yourself and generate more clients. This book has been acclaimed by many known figures around the world. If you read the book carefully and follow majority of the tips, you can learn to be friendlier and more presentable as a person. You can become a person who emits the positivity that is inside the heart. You can become a person people trust and want to be associated with. As long as you have good friends and good business associations, you will probably stay strong in personal as well as professional life

10

What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School: Notes From A Street-Smart Executive

- Mark H. McCormack

To this day, McCormack’s business classic remains a must-read for executives and managers at every level. Relating his proven method of “applied people sense” in key chapters on sales, negotiation, reading others and yourself, and executive time management, McCormack presents powerful real-world guidance on

  • The secret life of a deal
  • Management philosophies that don’t work (and one that does)
  • The key to running a meeting—and how to attend one
  • The positive use of negative reinforcement
  • Proven ways to observe aggressively and take the edge

And much more…

11

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

- R. Stephen Covey

It is rightly said that habits make or break a man.

The 7 habits of Highly Effective People is a book that aims at providing its readers with the importance of character ethics and personality ethics. The author talks about the values of integrity, courage, a sense of justice and most importantly, honesty. The book is a discussion about the seven most essential habits that every individual must adopt to in order to live a life which is more fulfilling.

The author continues to take the readers through the journey of character development. He elaborates how the development of the character of a being ranges from the time of his birth to the years until he grows independent. The book is highly recommended for people of all ages. It also holds a record of having over 25 million copies sold in about as many as 40 languages all over the world.

12

On Becoming a Leader - Warren Bennis

- Blake Morgan

The key difference between this book and other leadership books is that this one promotes developing leadership from within, rather than to describe what a person should strive to be. A large area of focus is that of experience.

Warren Bennis stresses the importance of experience as the primary development vehicle for leaders. Education is important – but does not substitute for experience — whether successes or failures. Warren Bennis then focuses on the lives of a few of today’s successful leaders.

  • What other book(s) do you recommend?

  • Which of these is your favourite and why?​

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