Dr. Stephen M Covey, the legendary motivational speaker and author said, “Leadership is a choice, not a position.”

When observing students, few will emerge as a leader and play roles such as classroom monitor.

They will easily lead sports, study groups, or cultural teams sans any hesitation, while other students will hesitate before assuming the responsibility.

In today’s competitive corporate world, leadership skills are highly desired by employers. They look for leadership qualities in a resume and hire job seekers who display an ability to lead a team of employees.

Success in any chosen career generally depends upon leadership skills. Invariably, these abilities are often difficult to acquire.

However, reading some great leadership books can help you learn what other successful people did to attain their top position.

Leadership books serve as a great motivator for employees – for example, you can give them as gifts for employees who have performed well.

1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen M Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a global bestseller, having sold millions of copies worldwide. This book speaks about the evolution of every human from the stage of dependence as child to interdependence as teenager.

It also takes you through various phases of development of life and subtly teaches skills required for success, and eventually, achieving interdependence to independence.

Its sequel The 8th Habit deals with a totally new dimension of the human personality. It talks about how individuals can effectively utilize their seven habits to become leaders.

2. Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet

L. David Marquet is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and commanded nuclear fast strike submarine USS Santa Fe from 1999 to 2001.

He now works as leadership consultant with topmost companies of the US. In his book Turn the Ship Aroundhe discusses how successful motivation helps build leaders from otherwise ordinary employees.

The former commander proves how motivation can help such employees overcome extraordinary hurdles and steer a company to success. He likens his experiences as a submarine commander to those faced by a business.

3. 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

In this groundbreaking book, author John C. Maxwell deftly blends his over three decades of experience as a top company executive. He discusses various experiences and describes vital lessons learned from each as well.

Maxwell is also open about his failures as a leader, and how he converted these experiences into vital lessons that helped him lead a company to success.

In this book, Maxwell highlights what he learned from fields as diverse as politics and sports, military strategy, and economics, among others. The 21 ‘laws’ he speaks of are relevant for every aspiring leader and existing ones too.

4. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek speaks of leaders like Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King Jr., who focused on why they needed to do what they were doing.

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action is all about teaching you how to ask this vital question: ‘Why?” This book is part of a series called 100 leadership and success books to read in a lifetime.

5. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Charles Duhigg delves into the success of various top personalities and organizations in America. It is a book that deals with human nature and how its potential can be tapped into to achieve desired results. It informs readers about the right habits required by everyone to attain leadership and success.

The book is based on real life examples. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do and How To Change is a great book for anyone who wishes to acquire some leadership skills by changing a few daily habits.

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6. If You Must Succeed by Michael Wendell

Not everyone has innate leadership qualities. Hence, a person needs to take some vital steps to alter their thought patterns and way of living to become successful and emerge as leader.

If You Must Succeed is a free guidebook of sorts for everyone to recognize, develop and unleash the hidden potential they hold to attain leadership positions at work and in life.

7. The Six Sigma Handbook by Thomas Pyzdek & Paul Keller

Authored by Thomas Pyzdek and Paul Keller, this book is a real-life guide to using the time-tested and proven Six Sigma technique in daily management.

It contains excellent information about how you can employ right job seekers and train them, build or help develop excellent teams and promote leadership within oneself and others in any organization.

The Six Sigma Handbook trains you definitely on improving various parameters of management to achieve effective leadership and enhanced customer satisfaction.

8. Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

Also part of the 100 leadership and success books to read in lifetime series, Awaken The Giant Within is a guide of sorts that helps people become successful within a short span of time.

Motivational speaker and author Anthony Robbins speaks of how ordinary people can take simple steps to take immediate control of their emotions, finances, career and physical well being, among other elements, to reach the desired level of success in life.

It shows common people the way to leadership in different spheres of life.

9. Zero to One by Peter Theil

PayPal founder Peter Theil believes that copying any business model will never help any entrepreneur or leader. He espouses that every innovation starts from zero and moves to one- the stage from whence it gets imitated and copied.

He aptly states that copycats have no future. Instead, it is best to innovate and design something new.

This book primarily targets startup founders, who falsely believe that starting a venture based on some successful model will help achieve success.

Instead, he amply highlights that leaders need to start at zero by developing something new and move to the one stage, where they become great.

10. The Future is Now by Elon Musk

The founder of SpaceX, Tesla and other very innovative projects of the world speaks about how leaders can actually create the future right now. He speaks about his experiences in setting up these unique ventures.

This book provides great insights into what makes Elon Musk a leader who creates the future rather than awaiting it to occur in the natural course.

Reading and Success

Reading is one of the stepping stones to success, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation will testify.

Other successful people are also avid readers. They include Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Drucker to name a few. These personalities attribute their success to daily reading.

You too can read some of these leadership books and find the required inspiration to rise above others and succeed as leader.

Which Leadership Books Have You Read?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Win Honawar
Win Honawar is a journalist and blogger with extensive experience in various foreign countries and India. He writes articles, commentaries and blogs on various issues of interest to the public and is active in the field of women empowerment on social media.