These are the top selection of the best leadership books from experts to help you discover how to achieve success in life and in business.
Even if you already mastered the art of good leadership, you’ll pick up one or two lessons that will help you hone your leadership skills in these books.
Top 29 Best Leadership Books for Success in Life
Here’s our pick of the best books on leadership for success in business and life.
1. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is practical advice to living a better life by rising above distractions to maintain our principles.
You will learn to control your thoughts, emotions, and actions which help to remove stress from your life.
2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankel
Victor Frankel shares his experience of pain and suffering in Auschwitz, the Nazi prison camp, during the Holocaust.
In one of the best leadership books of all time, Frankel was able to conclude that there must be meaning in suffering. And we must define this meaning for ourselves through action.
3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Paul Coelho tells the story of a shepherd boy who pursued his own legend and how we can aspire to follow our own personal legend. That is, that thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish.
This is a must-read in the best leadership books series.
4. The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life by Jeff Olson
As one of the best leadership books, the author shares that your philosophy creates your attitude, actions, and your results, which will create your life.
In this powerful book, Olson shows that the keys to your success are your habits and daily activities compounded over time.
5. The Next Generation of Women Leaders: What You Need to Lead but Won’t Learn in Business School by Selena Rezvani
The Next Generation of Women Leaders is a valuable resource filled with tools and information to help young women shape their careers.
Rezvani shares many stories about finding mentors and interviews with women executives in various industries with different roles and functions. This book will resonate with both men and women.
6. The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spenser Johnson
The New One Minute Man is one of the best leadership books for aspiring leaders. The authors help leaders identify their current leadership style and how to get even better results from people and situations.
7. The Truth About Leadership by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
Trust, credibility, and ethics are some of the things that will play a role in effective leadership.
The Truth About Leadership is based on 30 years of research that support these and other core leadership principles.
8. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
After evaluating thousands of transcripts and articles, Jim Collins shares why some companies succeed and why most fail.
In Good to Great, which is one of the best leadership books in the world today, you will learn the traits you’ll need to build a great company.
9. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
This book is a timeless lesson on leadership and success. Stephen walks you through the self-mastery Paradigm Shift that will change your mindset to embrace an alternative perspective. The result of this is meaningful and consistent growth in life and in business.
10. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Duhigg combines the latest research in effectiveness and productivity to explain how we learn and how to become better at work. He does this with engaging stories that are fun to read for everyone.
11. Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams
Mastering leadership is very comprehensive and yet presented in a way that is easy to understand with stories and concrete examples.
This book is a must-read for every new, aspiring, and long-tenured leader.
12. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Adma Grant, who is also a professor at the Wharton School of Business, answers several leadership questions in his book.
Originals, a top leadership book, is a research-backed idea on how we can be more original.
13. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Tony Hsieh builds a successful business by putting the customer first and hiring the right people.
As the CEO of Zappos, serving customers and company culture was the main focus. As a result, Zappos customers and employees were happy and satisfied – a rare combination in today’s business.
By dismantling traditional corporate leadership, Hsieh was able to deliver happiness and profits.
14. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton Christensen
You will learn about the path to disruptive innovation in The Innovator’s Dilemma.
As described by Clayton Christensen, a Harvard professor, and businessman, disruptive innovation means rejecting the needs of the customer right now in favour of new methods and technology that will meet their future needs.
15. Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin
Seth Godin shares a winning formula to step outside of the status quo and do meaningful work that will inspire others to follow you.
Read Tribes, one of the best leadership books and then continue by reading the contents on his blog. You will understand that his methods will help you get noticed with a lasting legacy.
16. Drive by Daniel H. Pink
Drive is packed with the secrets of motivation, which is central to effective leadership. Daniel H. Pink suggests that we opt for meaningful work, mastery, and autonomy instead of rewards and punishment.
17. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie writes about how to communicate and interact with people in a meaningful way. If you want to win friends, this book will teach you how to make people feel important in a genuine way.
If you pull this off successfully, people will naturally like you. You will win new friends.
18. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
One admirable leadership skill is the ability to form a successful group or team of people with divergent ideologies.
Team of Rivals is based on the story of how Abe Lincoln reunited his cabinet of conflicting personalities to abolish slavery in a time of war.
Kearns Goodwin recounts how Abe was humble and unafraid to be challenged. This book is a must-read for every leader building a company.
19. Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results by Judith Glaser
Judith Glaser is a master of training great leaders to build trust. And she has led several successful leadership initiatives that have helped companies come out top in business.
If you want your team to produce great results, you must have their trust. Judith’s book gives practical tools to develop your leadership skills and that of others.
20. Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee
A favourite leadership development book among experts, Primal Leadership will transform your thinking.
Richard starts with a discussion of brain science to help you understand the physical connection to emotional responses and leadership skills.
21. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
Alfred Lansing tells the story of Edward Shackleton, an explorer who undertook an expedition to the South Pole. Although the mission failed, the resulting story of survival in the book.
Endurance is a guide for leaders confronted with adversity.
22. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
Dare to do big things. Vulnerability doesn’t have to be a weakness. In Daring Greatly, you will learn how to show up, to try and to fail. Brown tells us that coming short is better than never trying at all.
23. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
Your creations will require one heck of a battle. Everyone who has made any work of art started a business, published an article or written a book has been scared out of their mind. This is the War of Art.
The only way to beat procrastination, fear, and self-doubt is to make stuff and share them with the world.
24. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
In this business fable, Lencioni blends a number of important leadership concepts into a readable book. The concept of effective teamwork is especially important for anyone in leadership to master in other to get the desired outcomes.
Trust, productive conflict, commitment, accountability, and results, in this order, are some of the concepts in this book. A brief quiz at the end of the book will help you assess your current teams.
25. Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader by Herminia Ibarra
A top leadership book with practical and bold advice for managers to take risks. Ibarra advocates the idea that leaders need to experiment more and learn from experience.
Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader is a truly practical and original guide for leaders in business or any other sphere of life.
26. On Becoming a Leader by Warren G. Bennis
Bennis attempts to redefine leadership and what actually goes into making a true leader in On Becoming a Leader.
This book attempts to separate management from leadership and some of the core qualities of leadership.
27. Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute
This is one of the best leadership books that offers an interesting view of self-deception.
The fundamental idea in the book is that we tend to regard others merely as objects which can help or hinder our success instead of treating them as real people.
28. Turn the Ship Around: The True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by L. David Marquet
This book on leadership by Marquet, a former commander of a US Navy submarine, is based on a true-life story of how he realized his potential.
Turn the Ship Around focuses on the philosophy of leaders who are not afraid to challenge authority when needed. The author explores how a leader can inspire others to lead for themselves resulting in a better team effort.
29. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John C. Maxwell
A powerful leadership book that lays down the specific principles to consistently excel as a leader. You can learn how to lead in this elegant work of leadership by John Maxwell.
Regarded as one of the best leadership books of all time, John shares the accumulated wisdom of nearly thirty years of experience in the field of leadership in an unconventional way.
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