7 Leadership Books to Create Winning Teams

By Lori Jones

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Leaders are successful because they read the best business books. If for no other reason than to want that success, you must figure out how to inspire your team members to achieve your organization’s goals.

You have probably undergone lots of leadership and management training, either in school or through professional development. And you are probably tired of reading literature about leadership.

But here’s a list of seven leadership books that are a bit “off the beaten path” that will have you engaged, are practical, and will motivate you to perhaps try some new methods for inspiring your people:

1. The New One-Minute Manager

This is a modern classic, now revised. A small book full of “jewels of wisdom” that shows how getting people to do what you want is really not all that difficult.

You’ll learn three “secrets” about leadership. It’s written in parable form for easy, enjoyable reading.

Best leadership books The New One Minute Manager

2. Fish!

A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

Here’s another parable. But it’s one based upon an actual fish market in Seattle, WA.

If a leader of employees in one of the messiest of industries (they get up before dawn, gut and clean fish, and then move into the front to serve customers) can inspire enthusiasm, motivation, and productivity, then you can also by taking these lessons to heart.

Fish, The Best Leadership Book

3. Start With Why

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Remember, as a child, you always asked “why” when your parents told you to do something? This book hones in on making certain your team understands why they are being asked what to do. Learn the principle of “The Golden Circle.”

Access Sinek’s Ted Talk and your leadership style will never be the same again.

This is one of the best Business Books to Read

4. Good to Great

Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t

This is a book of case studies on great leadership – the kind that makes organizations successful. What Collins does is isolate those common leadership qualities that inspire employees to do great things.

This is an easy read. And the case studies show how mediocre companies become hugely successful through these common leadership behaviors.

Good to Great

5. Leadership and Self-Deception:

Getting Out of the Box

Do you suffer from “confirmation bias?” Everything is confirmed by an unconscious devotion to pre-conceived notions.

Once a leader is able to “get outside of that box, they can understand their real motivations and how they are sabotaging both team and personal performance.

6. The No-Asshole Rule

Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t

Here’s a primer and guide for dealing with bullying and other bad behaviors by team members. Leaders often tolerate such behavior if the team member is high-performing.

But they always impact the morale of others, and a lack of motivation and inspiration eventually impacts productivity.

This great little book offers two options – dump the person or change their behaviors – and provides perfect guidelines for doing either one.

7. Crazy Bosses

This book is for pure entertainment, and you will love it. It is comprised of scenarios of the worst bosses ever, told through the eyes of Bing, who has experienced them all – the wimp, the paranoid, the bully, and the “disaster hunter.”

You will be grateful that you are not as bad as these horrific leaders, but you may find a bit of yourself in some of them.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of great books on leadership.

But it provides a good variety of those that will be the most enjoyable reads while imparting a great deal of wisdom, the kind that is not always learned in formal training.

Which Leadership Books Would You Recommend?

If you have ideas about the best leadership books that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Lori Jones
Lori Jones
Lori Jones is a writer and consultant. In addition to assisting with client speech writing needs at WowGrade, she is a frequent contributor to Studyton's blog and a presenter at workshops on leadership and communication.
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