Books Leaders Should Read

Are you looking for books leaders should read? There’s no perfect way or circumstance to become a leader, but it’s definite that a good leader will need a mentor. A little mentoring from veteran leaders can help you reach your full leadership potential.

Mentors come in all shapes and sizes—or for this instance, in hardbound or paperback form.

These leadership books aren’t meant to be treated as a bible for leaders, but they are written by people who surely know what they’re talking about.

1. Bring Work to Life by Bringing Life to Work: A Guide for Leaders and Organizations

By Tracy Bower

For go-getters, mixing life and work happens pretty often, when it shouldn’t. Though achieving perfect balance is near impossible, there’s still a way to balance your personal life and work responsibilities.

To write this book, Bower conducted research, did interviews, and fused her experience to deliver a final product that’s both uplifting and illuminating.

She uses real-life examples of how executive bosses lead their employees to a more well-rounded lifestyle.

2. Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life

By Patti Johnson

Make Waves takes a personal approach to leadership. Johnson, a management consulting veteran from Accenture, takes readers on an approachable journey in finding the leader in every individual.

It motivates readers to move towards making their own “waves” by the stories about real leaders. It tries to answer the question “What is leadership?” through providing examples of leadership in the workplace.

3. Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

By L. David Marquet

Everyone can be a follower, and Marquet shows that even Followers can become leaders. But for them to take on leadership roles, someone has to entrust them to take on the wheel.

Turn the Ship Around! talks about leaders who don’t just lead, but helps others learn how to lead.

A workplace full of leaders who know how to take responsibility for their actions and how to initiate action and solution is a lot better than a workplace with only one leader and a bunch of followers.

4. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

By Ed Catmull

The co-founder of Pixar, Ed Catmull, shares an insight into the successfully creative world of the animation studio. A lot of people like talking about Pixar’s success and Creativity, Inc. provides a first-hand account of what drives the organization into a force to reckon with in the industry.

For anyone working in a creative organization and even those who don’t, this book can provide an enlightening way to find success without having to lose your soul and passion.

5. Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

By Geoff Colvin

Fortune magazine’s senior editor-at-large pens an enthralling book on how to be at the top of your game. Colvin has years of experience in writing what makes a great leader, and Talent is Overrated gives an insightful interpretation on how hard work isn’t enough.

It talks about secrets on how to perform extraordinarily that doesn’t just depend on hard work and talent alone.

The author provides practical examples of extraordinary individuals and their habits that helped them achieve success. Though more of a personality book than a leadership one, every leader still needs to find something extraordinary within themselves.

These books aren’t meant to be heralded as the golden rule in leadership.

However, it doesn’t hurt to learn from the most innovative and successful leaders in their respective fields.

I’d Love to Hear from You

Can you recommend other leadership books that have helped you hone your skills as a leader?

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Nicolette Morrison
Nicolette Morrison is a freelance writer and social media manager at Best Essays. She's currently finishing her dissertation on open education importance in third world countries.