20 of the Best Leadership Books

Updated Over a Week Ago


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Best Leadership Books to Read

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

The best leadership books are great companions, and play a determining role in modifying and improving the skills and abilities of committed leaders.

There are thousands of leadership books out there, but here is a list of the 20 best leadership books that all readers should read.

1. Leadership from the Inside Out

Kevin Cashman

“Effective leaders buffer their teams and organizations from the stress of change by managing, neutralizing, and/or transcending their own stress.”

This book is about personal growth behind leadership and business theory. Based on case studies, strategies, and research, it shares leadership principles for everyone to acquire.

It will become your excellent guide in the world of leaders, and it will inspire you to act.

2. The Truth About Leadership

James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner

“Leadership is an affair of the heart.”

Thirty years of research turned into a book about trust, ethics, and the credibility of effective leadership. To reveal the most significant things for every leader to keep in mind, make sure to read this book.

3.  The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Steven R. Covey

“But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”

Essential for every leader, this book is about personal development focusing on powerful life and business changes. The author shares research-driven advice on becoming a strong personality with effective habits and life principles.

4. On Becoming a Leader

Warren Bennis

“If knowing yourself and being yourself were as easy to do as to talk about, there wouldn’t be nearly so many people walking around in borrowed postures, spouting secondhand ideas, trying desperately to fit in rather than to stand out.”

An expert on leadership, Warren Bennis shares insights on why leaders are rather made than born (remember the intro of this post?). You’ll know research-based qualities and elements that define leaders, learn how to apply them, and become a better leader yourself.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

The classics, this book teaches powerful lessons on leadership and dealing with people. Yes, even if those people are the worst persons you ever met in your life.

6.  Primal Leadership

Daniel Goleman

“Today, as leaders are called on to build their companies by creating the future rather than investing in the past, vision matters more than ever. Vision requires what looks like to others a leap of faith; the ability to go beyond the data and to make a smart guess.”

Learn how to deal with people through understanding and empathy. The book concentrates on emotional intelligence and its power for influencing others, sharing neuroscience insights on how to lead others.

7. The Leader Who Had No Title

Robin Sharma

“What the society thinks is of no interest to me. All that’s important is how I see myself. I know who I am. I know the value of my work.”

Empathy, modesty, consideration. The Leader Who Had No Title reveals significant qualities for every leader to obtain. They are what leads us to success in business and life, and they are what makes you confident with those you lead.

8. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

John C. Maxwell

“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”

Follow these laws for others to follow you. All 21 are easy to understand and apply. They are powerful principles that make us actionable and ready to accept the role of a leader, developing necessary qualities and modern leadership thinking.

9. Leaders Eat Last

Simon Sinek

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”

Read this book to understand why some teams pull together and others don’t. Find out how to inspire your team to trust you, go to work, love their pastime there, and return home happy and fulfilled.

10. Leadership Without Easy Answers

Ronald Heifetz

“To survive and succeed in exercising leadership, you must work as closely with your opponents as you do with your supporters.”

Leadership Without Easy Answers is your choice if you are a leader who has to make hard decisions and needs strategies for doing that effectively.

The author shares the results of his long-term research on leaders in teaching, business, and politics, translating them into clear steps for those wanting to develop leadership.

Which one will you read first? Or, which ones have you read already? Share your thoughts in the comments.

11. Meetings Suck

Cameron Herold

This book is a useful read for all leaders, entrepreneurs, and socialites who want to organize meetings and gatherings in a productive and approachable way.

Organizing short but successful meetings increase the chances of getting popular among your social circle and improves your repertoire.

12. The Art of Seduction

Robert Greene

This book describes the relationship between power and influence. Influencing others is the main characteristic of leadership, and this book is the best choice if you want to master the art of influencing others.

It also describes how power affects the behaviors of people, and how power can be used to lead people in the right direction.

13. The 4 Hour Work Week

Tim Ferriss

This inspirational book is best for enhancing your efficiency and productivity.

It also suggests ways to lead a stress-free and successful life, to take the lead with less tension, and be able to overcome challenges more effectively.

14. The Tanning of Americ

Steve Stoute

The Tanning of America highlights the relationship between marketing and culture and the relationship between culture and people.

15. The Art of the Pitch

Peter Coughter

This book educates people on how to achieve success. You can take ideas about principles and presentation to tell a story in an interesting way.

This book is a great aid for making you more communicative and expressive.

16. The 48 Laws of Power

Robert Greene

In this book, Greene gives us different laws to rule in an efficient way. These laws are proved fruitful for becoming a successful leader.

Knowing how to rule with dignity is something every leader should know.

17. A People’s History of the United States

Howard Zinn

This book gives a detailed account of the lives of people who were not powerful, yet struggled hard to achieve notable status in American society.

This book will be eye-opening and inspiring to many.

18. The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People

Stephen R. Covey

Covey discusses the basics of how to become an efficient and productive person in The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.

This book is quite popular among youngsters who want to become notable leaders.

Various successful personalities and their habits are also discussed in this book, which acts as a foundation for learning to achieve success.

19. The Lean Startup

Eric Ries

Ries emphasizes situations that lead to failure. Business people can take a lot of useful ideas from this book.

This book also emphasizes how we perceive things, and how that can lead to failure.

20. Extreme Ownership

Jocko Willink

This book has been compiled by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.  They have learned different things from experience and put these principles in their life to attain success.

This book highlights some points related to leadership, and how it can be achieved by practicing the mentioned laws and ideas.

These books are inspirational and also develop an interest in readers to strive for perfection. Various laws can be proved useful if implemented in real life to become a successful leader.

What Do You Think Best Leadership Books?

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

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Wendy Houghton
Wendy Houghton
This guest post has been written by Wendy Houghton, a content marketer, blogger and an Inspirational Writer who writes on different topics related to leadership and success. She is currently working with a UK based assignment writing company as a content marketing consultant.
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