No matter where you lead—in your home, at your school, in a business—we all want to be the best leaders possible. If you’re looking to dive into building your leadership skills, you’ve most likely thought to start by picking up a book. On this list, you’ll find recommendations for great leadership reads categorized for new leaders, team managers, and seasoned executives. Wherever you are on your leadership journey, these books will motivate you, encourage you, and prepare you for what comes next.
For new leaders - Learning to lead yourself and others
Beginner’s Pluck by Liz Forkin Bohannon
“Liz Forkin Bohannon wants you to rethink everything you've been told about finding your passion and following your dreams. Why? Hate to break it to you, but you're likely never going to "find your passion." Because your passion and purpose are something you build--actively--day by day.” Go on a journey with Liz as she shares the truth about “finding your passion” and why it may be a new goal to be labeled “plucky.”
StandOut: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment from the Leader of the Strengths Revolution by Marcus Buckingham
“From the coauthor of Now, Discover Your Strengths and the recognized leader of the strengths movement, StandOut unveils your top two Strength Roles and offers sharp, practical ideas that professionals and managers in any organization can use to find their edge and win at work.” Learn more about yourself, your strengths, and the way you lead with this innovative and introspective look into who you are and what you bring to the table.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
“START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it's the opposite of what everyone else does.” Discover the steps to success that come from where you start, and why.
For Team Managers - Leading a team and building a culture
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
“Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams—even the best ones—often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team.” Don’t miss this story that highlights how to handle the struggles of managing others and how to create a team that will benefit from your leadership.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Golden Smith
“Whether you are near the top of the ladder or still have a ways to climb, this book serves as an essential guide to help you eliminate your dysfunctions and move to where you want to go.” Learn directly from coach Marshall Golden Smith as he shows you how to overcome our unconscious habits and be the best leader we can be.
The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni
“Lencioni presents a practical framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring, and developing ideal team players. Whether you’re a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork, a staffing professional looking to hire real team players, or a team player wanting to improve yourself, this book will prove to be as useful as it is compelling.”
For Seasoned Executives - Leading and shaping the workplace
No Ego by Cy Wakeman
“For years now, leaders in almost every industry have accepted two completely false assumptions—that change is hard, and that engagement drives results.” Join Cy Wakeman as he lays out some big truths about reinventing leadership thinking and promoting self-awareness in your whole team.
Teaming by Amy Edmonson
“The pace of change and the fluidity of most work structures means that it's not really about creating effective teams anymore, but instead about leading effective teaming.” Teaming highlights the importance of flexibility and fluidity at high-level leadership as Amy Edmonson explains that an organization only thrives as well as its teams.
The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
“Lencioni's focus is on a leader's crucial role in building a healthy organization—an often overlooked but essential element of business life that is the linchpin of sustained success.” Patrick Lencioni is one of the great leadership authors of our time (hence why we have a few of his books on our list!), and with this book he tackles the overpowering simplicity of organizational health and how it can lead to a successful company.