10 Books about Leadership everyone should read
Want to develop your leadership skills by yourself but don’t know where to start? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Investing in yourself and your leadership skills can be as easy as updating your reading list. The number of Leadership books available out there is quite literally endless, so how to know which are the books actually worth reading? The list below holds our top picks - the books that have left a deep impression on our life and leadership style. Keep in mind this It’s also a great place to start learning about leadership:
1. “Strategize to Win: the New Way to Start Out, Step Up or Start Over in Your Career” by Carla A. Harris
Harris takes us along as she tells her story and, shows us the way to get ahead in life. She shares a treasure trove of tips and tricks and provides readres with strategies they can pursue in their professional lifes, no matter where they’re at – whether you’re a total newbie or a veteran with 20 years of experience, Harris’s got you covered. I particularly enjoyed her guidance on leadership habits to work on and her tips on improving my emotional intelligence.
2. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
This book discusses what Simon calls the Golden Circle: why, how, what. To be successful, people and businesses must know not only what they do and how they do it, but, most importantly, why. Start with Why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action, provides many examples of different values, purposes and ideals, and how to explore yours.
3. Drive by Daniel H. Pink
Drive will show you how to turn an unmotivated and unproductive team into a highly motivated, effective and productive team. Daniel H. Pink uses a scientific approach to explain why old theories of motivation based on rewards and punishment do not work and argues that rather autonomy and purpose are key to motivate team members.
4. Dare To Lead by Brené Brown
This book shows that what yields the best results in leadership is often contrary to our initial instinct. For true leadeship, Brown writes, only vulnerability, values, trust and resilience are important. Whether you are captain of your soccer team or oversee hundreds of employees, this applies across all leadership roles. Especially for aspiring female readers, this book will help you kick your leadership skills into high gear.
“The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.”
5. Flow by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi
We’ve all achieved the state of Flow at some point or another: it’s that sweet spot wherethe challenge meets ones’ skills, where we are so focused on a task that we lose track of time and don’t remember what song was playing in the background anymore. It’s a state where afterwards we feel satisfied with our work and happy and a state of pure productivity. This book by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi shows how to optimize the circumstances to achieve Flow for an ideal experience both in work and in life.
6. Herstories: Leading with the Lessons of the Lives of Black Women Activists by Judy A. Alston, Patrice A. McClellan
This book takes you on a journey to discover the lives and the leadership of black women like Fannie Lou Hamer, Septima clark, Mary McLeod Bethune and others. The wisdom of black women has long been ignored, particularly in the field of leadership and this book aims to take a step towards fixing that. It analyses these women’s leadership models and details the lessons that can be learned from them. Telling the stories of six strong black women, their personal, political and social activism paints a picture of the effects of race, sexuality and class and how they relate to current leadership practice. Truly, one of my absolute favorites when it comes to leadership books!
7. Linchpin by Seth Godin
Seth Godin is known widely known for his inspiring Blog posts. Similarly, his book Linchpin leads to reflection and a flow of new ideas. The book distinguishes between what Godin calls “Factory Workers” that are easily replaceable and mostly follow instructions and “Linchpins”. Those are the employees that don’t need rulebooks, but that invent, lead, connect and CREATE new rules. It’s a great book with principles that are easily applicable across different work environments and it encourages us all to find and develop the leader within ourselves.
8. Crystal Clear Communication by Kris Cole
Leader or not, nowadays it is impossible for anybody to be successful without strong communication skills: communicating clearly and effectively enables you to share your vision, motivate your followers and share information and knowledge. Crystal Clear Communication begins with the internal dialogue – clearing up the conversations that are going on within your head and then moves to giving and collecting information. It will give you a comprehensive insight into the topic and gives you the tools to succeed with oral and written communication.
9. The leadership challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Z.
James Kouzes and Barry Z challenge the widespread opinion that people are either “born leaders” or “born followers” with skills and personality traits that are defined at birth. Rather, they claim that leadership is a skill that anyone and everyone can learn. They demonstrate their point through a combination of real life examples and their own research, asking hundreds of people: “What values, personality traits or characteristics do you look for and admire in a leader?”
10. Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg
“In the future there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders!”
This quote hits so close to home – this is what I want to work towards and this is what the world should be like. Sandberg digs deep into the reasons why women are to this day underrepresented as a valuable part of our global workforce. The book shows how we tend to hold ourselves back and shows how to take the lead and pave the way for other women along the way.
Books are an amazing starting point to learning about leadership and a great way of learning about other people’s leadership journey. They can help us avoid some mistake, while understanding others we might have made. The books above truly are my personal favorites and I hope that they’ll help you like they did me.