Personal Development
Best Leadership Books: 29 of the Most Impactful Reads

Best Leadership Books: 29 of the Most Impactful Reads

Shiken premium Upgrade Banner

Discovering Leadership Books

Choosing a leadership book from the over 50,000 titles available on Amazon can be an intimidating process. That's why we've put together this list of the most acclaimed leadership and self-help books to make it easier. Whether you're looking to build a better mindset, regulate your emotions, or develop essential leadership skills, these books will equip you with the necessary knowledge.

The 5 Best Leadership Books

  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown - In this book, Brene Brown speaks of practicing self-compassion and loving oneself. By learning to accept our imperfections and to appreciate our talents as gifts to others, we become more aware of our authentic self and can form better relationships with those around us.
  • The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander - This book provides an innovative approach to thinking about the possibilities before us. It contains 12 practices that can help us form new paths of thought and self-image, essential for becoming a more perceptive leader.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey - Covey's motivational book encourages readers to focus on their inner habits and build stronger relationships. It will help you become more efficient, prioritize, and develop critical skills.
  • The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer - This reflective and spiritual leadership book will take you on an inward journey of watching your ego self more objectively and calmly. Freeing yourself from the thoughts and emotions that may limit your awareness will open you up to growth.
  • Immunity to Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey - This book introduces an approach to change that can help you identify which habits are obstructing your progress and abandon them to seek the right path for you.

More Notable Books

  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg - In this book, former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shares actionable tips about how to become successful both in the office and at home. It is full of research and data that will inspire many women to take risks and pursue their goals.
  • Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl - Frankl conveys the message that no matter what is taken away from us, we are still free to choose our attitude in any situation. Written by a concentration camp survivor, this book will leave a lasting impact.

Improving Your Leadership Skills

To become an effective leader, it is essential to have the ability to manage yourself as well as others. This requires having a good foundation of psychological strength, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness. Developing these traits can have a powerful impact on your leadership skills.

GO - Put Your Strengths To Work, by Marcus Buckingham

Marcus Buckingham argues that our strengths are the things that give us energy and help us to grow, whereas our weaknesses are the things that drain us of that energy. Through this perspective, we can focus on our authentic talents instead of the skills that we have learned.

The Five Thieves of Happiness, by John Izzo

John Izzo puts forth the idea that our natural state is happiness, yet there are forces that can rob us of it. He calls these forces the 'five thieves': control, conceit, coveting, consumption, and comfort. By understanding these forces and what contributes to our happiness, leaders can foster a greater sense of meaning and engagement in the workplace.

The Importance of Understanding Leadership

"Success in dealing with people depends on a sympathetic grasp of the other person's viewpoint.� This quote from Dale Carnegie encapsulates the essence of successful leadership - empathy. In today's ever-changing workplace conditions, being an effective leader is more than just communication, and requires qualities such as accountability, trustworthiness, and the ability to handle poor performance.

Leadership and Influence

John C. Maxwell commented that 'true leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence, and that cannot be mandated. It must be earned.' His book, True Leadership, explores strategies for success from the experiences of U.S. Navy Seal Officers Willink and Babin that teach how to lead others and find one's purpose as a leader.

Daring Leadership

Brene Brown's bestseller, The Dare to Lead, looks to answer the question of how to cultivate braver and more daring leaders, and also how to embed courage into the workplace culture. It provides insights into how to be an even better leader for one's team.

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

Daniel Goleman's book, Primal Leadership, is all about the importance of emotionally intelligent leadership. By understanding and self-awareness, along with empathy, leaders can learn how to effectively guide their team in an ever-changing and unpredictable world. His practical tips will aid any leader in their success.

Managing Resistance

Mike Maurer's Managing Resistance examines how to successfully change in the face of opposition. He identifies three primary sources of resistance- knowledge gap, emotional gap, and trust gap- and offers strategies for successfully overcoming them.

Building Trust for Teamwork

Patrick Lencioni's book, Remember, Teamwork Begins by Building Trust, remedies the five most common dysfunctions of teams- absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. By understanding and correcting these behaviors, leaders are more likely to create successful teams.

Becoming Likeable As A Leader

Fran Greene's book, How to Be Likeable, explores the eleven laws of likeability and how to use these to build meaningful relationships with others. It helps us recognize the importance of networking and creating impactful connections to be successful.

Role of Senior Business Leaders

The most senior business leaders must define the company's mission, values, culture, and strategy. It is a role that requires foresight and an understanding of the importance of their responsibilities to the organization.

Fundamentally Human Skills

Organizational leaders, and those who want to become successful, should take into account the importance of soft skills in modern leadership. Technologies and analytics are essential components of business today, but the importance of truly human qualities such as emotional intelligence, communication, trust, respect, and collaboration can�t be understated.

Conscious Business and Good To Great

In Fred Kofman's book Conscious Business: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Inside Out, he helps leaders find their values and boundaries, communicate constructively and negotiate successfully. Jim Collins' classic, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't, reveals crucial components to success for leadership teams, how to build a culture of discipline, and the role of technology and analytics in an organization's growth.

These books will help leaders to become more successful and help them to remain current in an ever-shifting work environment.

Leadership Books for Business Growth

Leadership books can be vital to the growth and development of businesses and entrepreneurs. Understanding the insights, ideas, and strategies that great business leaders have left behind is key to achieving success.

Simon Sinek's Start With Why

Simon Sinek's best-selling book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action encourages companies to focus on why they are doing what they are doing, rather than solely looking at the practical and analytic benefits of their product or service. It's suggested that customers are more drawn to understanding why a company or product exists, and their reasons behind it. This style of thinking is echoed in his follow-up book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't, which states that the best leaders are those who make the ultimate sacrifice and put their team's interests first.

Ibram X. Kendi's How To Be An Antiracist

When discussing the difficult topic of racism, Ibram X. Kendi's book How to Be an Antiracist provides a unique and valuable perspective on the issue. By breaking down the definitions and dimensions of racism, he encourages leaders to take an active stance against it, and to re-examine their approach to inclusion and unconscious bias.

Michael Lewis's Moneyball

In Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, Michael Lewis looks at how the Oakland Athletics team disrupted their industry in 2002 with their ground-breaking strategies. He outlines how good change management can give organizations a market advantage, but also discusses the potential risks of upsetting the status quo, and the importance of understanding how to manage those risks.

Ben Horowitz's The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz's The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers is essential for entrepreneurs who want to understand the right business strategy, the right mindset for achieving success, and the hard work required to make it happen.

Maximizing the Benefits of Leadership Books

Leadership books are an invaluable resource for business growth and development, and come in a variety of formats such as audiobooks, e-books, or hard copies. Taking the time to learn from the great business leaders of the past can have a huge impact on present and future success.

Join Shiken For FREE

AI-powered learning tools. Create, relax, learn.

Gumbo Study Buddy

Try Shiken Premium
for Free

14-day free trial. Cancel anytime.
Get Started
Join 20,000+ learners worldwide.
The first 14 days are on us
96% of learners report x2 faster learning
Free hands-on onboarding & support
Cancel Anytime