The Best 10 Books About Leadership
What should not be missing in your library.
Where to get food for thought? At work, in school, and of course, in books!
Even if you are not a bookworm, you can benefit from the ideas authors and researchers have discovered about leadership and communication. You can listen to audiobooks or read short summaries. Either way, books are your friends on your leadership journey.
Today, I did the effort instead of you. I read and collated the best books to help you understand what leadership is about.
Pick one and enjoy it later.
These books will feed your leadership appetite.
1."The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey (1989)
The classic of the classics. Yet, you can come back to it again and again and enjoy it as much as you read it for the first time.
Covey’s book presents a framework for personal growth and effective leadership. It talks about seven habits that are essential for success in your personal and professional life. Don’t think of leadership as a position. It is about developing your own vision and taking responsibility for your own life.
The seven habits are:
Begin with the end in mind
Put first things first
Seek first to understand, then to be understood
Sharpen the saw
Covey argues that developing these habits can lead to improved communication, better relationships, and increased effectiveness in achieving personal and professional goals. The book has sold over 25 million copies worldwide. Wow!
2. "Primal Leadership" by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee (2001)
Emotional intelligence is a huge topic. This book helps you explore its role in effective leadership. The authors argue that a leader's emotional intelligence is the ability to motivate and inspire others and that it is a key factor in creating and sustaining high-performing teams.
The book presents a model of six leadership styles, ranging from visionary to coaching to affiliative, and explores the strengths and weaknesses of each style in different situations.
The authors also discuss the importance of emotional self-awareness, empathy, and social skills in effective leadership, and offer practical strategies for developing these skills.
So, if you feel you could improve your listening skills and empathy, it is worth exploring this book.
3. "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink (2009)
This book will end the idea of motivating people with money for good. It is about human motivation and what drives people to excel in their work and personal lives.
Pink argues that traditional motivators such as rewards and punishments are not as effective as intrinsic motivators, such as autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
Explore the science behind human motivation and see why extrinsic motivators can sometimes have the opposite effect of what is intended.
People are more motivated when they have control over their work. This is because they are able to develop and improve their skills. In addition, they have a sense of purpose and meaning in what they do.
Everyone who works with other people needs to know this book!
4. "Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek (2014)
If you think about how to create a positive and productive environment at work, don’t take it too far and get inspired by the book by Simon Sinek.
No need to introduce this author. His Ted Talk about How great leaders inspire action is to date one of the most watched videos.
While this book might be a bit slow at the beginning, it introduces a leader's primary responsibility to create a "circle of safety" for their employees, in which people feel safe, valued and supported.
Sinek draws on a range of real-world examples and research to illustrate the importance of building a culture of trust, collaboration, and shared purpose in the workplace.
He discusses the biological and psychological factors that influence human behavior. He argues that effective leaders must understand and leverage these factors in order to create a productive and engaged workforce.
Pretty up-to-date, huh?
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5. "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini (1984)
You will love this book! Learn the factors that influence human decision-making and behavior.
The book presents six principles of persuasion: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking, and social proof. Explore the ways in which people can protect themselves from manipulation and unethical persuasion tactics.
Cialdini offers advice for developing a more critical and informed approach to decision-making.
"Influence" has become a classic in the fields of psychology and marketing, and has been widely praised for its engaging and accessible style, as well as its insights into the workings of human behavior.
6. "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni (2002)
A leadership fable about a dysfunctional team. Patrick Lencioni explores the root causes of team dysfunction and provides a framework for addressing them.
Lencioni identifies the five key dysfunctions of a team as follows:
Absence of Trust
Fear of Conflict
Lack of Commitment
Avoidance of Accountability
Inattention to Results
Overall, the book is a practical guide for leaders to build high-performing teams that are productive, collaborative, and focused on achieving common goals.
7. "Atomic Habits" by James Clear (2018)
A book about habits on the leadership list? That is right. Leadership is a muscle you need to train.
This book provides a practical guide to developing good habits and breaking bad ones. The book draws on research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics.
It explains how small, incremental changes can have a profound impact on achieving personal goals and improving one's life.
Clear presents a framework for building good habits by focusing on four key steps: making habits obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying. He also discusses how to identify and overcome obstacles that prevent people from building good habits, such as procrastination, self-doubt, and lack of motivation.
Leadership is about practice. Atomic habits can help you with that.
8. "10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management" by Hyrum W. Smith (1992)
Another oldie that you will enjoy reading. Leadership can’t work well without proper time management. So, this one provides a practical framework for managing time and achieving personal and professional success.
The book is based on the idea that time management is not just about getting more done in less time, but also about setting priorities and aligning actions with values.
Smith presents 10 natural laws of time and life management, which include:
The Law of Purpose
The Law of Priorities
The Law of Self-Awareness
The Law of Visualization
The Law of Focus
The Law of Balance
The Law of Flexibility
The Law of Persistence
The Law of Integrity
The Law of Contribution
Don’t waste time!
9. "The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself" by Michael A. Singer (2007)
Leadership means getting to know yourself. If you can lead yourself, you can lead others. That is why this etheric and self-awareness book made it to this list.
It might not be for everyone, but why not take a look at it?
Michael Singer explores the nature of consciousness and the human experience. The book offers insights and practices designed to help you connect with your inner selves, overcome negative thoughts and emotions, and experience greater peace and fulfillment in your lives.
10. "The Fearless Organization" by Amy C. Edmondson (2018)
Amy C. Edmondson, a professor at Harvard Business School wrote a book about creating psychologically safe work environments. This is where employees feel free to speak up, take risks, and share their ideas without fear of ridicule, rejection, or retaliation.
Safety in the workplace has been a topic of concern for years.
She draws on extensive research and case studies to illustrate the benefits of psychological safety, including improved performance, increased innovation, and better decision-making.
She also explores the role of leadership in creating a psychologically safe workplace and highlights the importance of leaders modeling the behaviors they want to see in their teams.
How do you behave? Toxic or caring?
Which books would you add to the list?
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