10 Best Books on Leadership to Become an Exceptional Leader!
With so many resources out there, picking the best books to hone your leadership skills can be as perplexing as deciphering the Da Vinci Code. Fear not, because we have curated the top 10 leadership books that are the absolute crème de la crème. This brilliant lineup offers invaluable tips from some of the most influential figures in the business arena, and no, they're not your typical yawn-inducing, jargon-loaded leadership manuals.
From philosophies of ancient war generals to the nuggets of wisdom from contemporary boardrooms, these books dish out a diverse platter of lessons and insights. They explore a unique fusion of conventional wisdom and quirky leadership hacks to transform you from an average Joe to a top-notch leader. So, grab these books, take a deep dive into the nitty-gritty of effective leadership, and prepare to be blown away by how it irons out your decision-making and strategic skills.
Whether you're at the helm of your ship or climbing the corporate ladder, our top picks cover various facets of leadership. These books are not just to be read; they're to be absorbed and practiced in the real world. So tighten your seatbelts, readers, your journey to becoming an exceptional leader is about to take off!
『The Leadership Challenge』
The most trusted source of leadership wisdom, updated to address today's realities The Leadership Challenge is the gold-standard manual for effective leadership, grounded in research and written by the premier authorities in the field. With deep insight into the complex interpersonal dynamics of the workplace, this book positions leadership both as a skill to be learned, and as a relationship that must be nurtured to reach its full potential. This new seventh edition has been revised to address current challenges, and includes more international examples and a laser focus on business issues; you'll learn how extraordinary leaders accomplish extraordinary things, and how to develop your leadership skills and style to deliver quality results every time. Engaging stories delve into the fundamental roles that great leaders fulfill, and simple frameworks provide a primer for those who seek continuous improvement; by internalizing key insights and putting concepts into action, you'll become a more effective, more impactful leader. A good leader gets things done; a great leader aspires, inspires, and achieves more. This book highlights the differences between good and great, and shows you how to bridge the chasm between getting things done and making things happen. Gain deep insight into leadership's critical role in organizational health Navigate the shift toward team-oriented work relationships Motivate and inspire to break through the pervasive new cynicism Leverage the electronic global village to deliver better results Business is evolving at an increasingly rapid rate, and leaders must keep pace with the changes or risk stagnation. People work differently, are motivated differently, and have different expectations today—business as usual is quickly losing its effectiveness. The Leadership Challenge helps you stay current, relevant, and effective in the modern workplace.
|Author||James M. Kouzes/Barry Z. Posner|
|Publisher||John Wiley & Sons|
|Release Date||Apr 17, 2017|
The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller that redefined what it means to be a leader. Since it was first published almost a decade ago, Seth Godin's visionary book has helped tens of thousands of leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers around an idea, this book will demystify the process. It's human nature to seek out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. Social media gives anyone who wants to make a difference the tools to do so. With his signature wit and storytelling flair, Godin presents the three steps to building a tribe: the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead. If you think leadership is for other people, think again—leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma led a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, ran her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle. Tribes will make you think—really think—about the opportunities to mobilize an audience that are already at your fingertips. It's not easy, but it's easier than you think.
|Release Date||Oct 16, 2008|
True North shows how anyone who follows their internal compass can become an authentic leader. This leadership tour de force is based on research and first-person interviews with 125 of today’s top leaders—with some surprising results. In this important book, acclaimed former Medtronic CEO Bill George and coauthor Peter Sims share the wisdom of these outstanding leaders and describe how you can develop as an authentic leader. True North presents a concrete and comprehensive program for leadership success and shows how to create your own Personal Leadership Development Plan centered on five key areas: Knowing your authentic self Defining your values and leadership principles Understanding your motivations Building your support team Staying grounded by integrating all aspects of your life True North offers an opportunity for anyone to transform their leadership path and become the authentic leader they were born to be. Personal, original, and illuminating stories from Warren Bennis, Sir Adrian Cadbury, George Shultz (former U.S. secretary of state), Charles Schwab, John Whitehead (Cochairman, Goldman Sachs), Anne Mulcahy (CEO, Xerox), Howard Schultz (CEO, Starbucks), Dan Vasella (CEO, Novartis), John Brennan (Chairman, Vanguard), Carol Tome (CFO, Home Depot), Donna Dubinsky (CEO/cofounder, Palm), Alan Horn (President, Warner Brothers), Ann Moore (CEO, Time, Inc.) and many others illustrate the transitions that shape the type of leaders who will thrive in the 21st century. Bill George (Cambridge, MA) has spent over 30 years in executive leadership positions at Litton, Honeywell, and Medtronic. As CEO of Medtronic, he built the company into the world’s leading medical technology company as its market capitalization increased from $1.1 billion to $60 billion. Since 2004, he has been a professor at the Harvard Business School. His 2004 book Authentic Leadership (0-7879-7528-1) was a BusinessWeek bestseller. Peter Sims (San Francisco, CA) established “Leadership Perspectives,” a course on leadership development at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and cofounded the London office of Summit Partners, a leading investment firm. Their Web site is www.truenorthleaders.com.
|Publisher||John Wiley & Sons|
|Release Date||Jun 10, 2010|
『On Becoming a Leader』
Deemed “the dean of leadership gurus” by Forbes magazine, Warren Bennis has for years persuasively argued that leaders are not born—they are made. Delving into the qualities that define leadership, the people who exemplify it, and the strategies that anyone can apply to achieve it, his classic work On Becoming a Leader has served as a source of essential insight for countless readers. In a world increasingly defined by turbulence and uncertainty, the call to leadership is more urgent than ever. Featuring a provocative new introduction, this new edition will inspire a fresh generation of potential leaders to excellence.
|Release Date||Mar 03, 2009|
『Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader』
"Today's breakneck pace of change has an immense impact on leaders-and as a result, on the organizations they run. All too often, people remain stuck in outdated mindsets and modes of operating, even after others recognize the need for change. Leaders need to learn to pivot even when there are no obvious signals guiding their way. Leadership expert Herminia Ibarra (INSEAD) upends traditional, introspective advice and says act first-and then change your way of thinking. In this unconventional book, Ibarra, one of the world's foremost experts on leadership transitions, provides the first practical guide on how to change when you also need to lead. Defying standard leadership development guidance, which encourages deep self-reflection into strengths and weaknesses, this book shows that the most effective way to change is through action, not analysis, and by learning from experience, not introspection. In short, it will teach you to change from the outside in by first acting like a leader and then thinking like one. Based on Ibarra's flagship executive education program at INSEAD, this book is for new and seasoned leaders alike who need to understand the new rules for success in their own organization, and in the global business environment at large. It's the essential guidebook for anyone who wants to upgrade their role or be the leader their organization needs them to be"--
|Publisher||Harvard Business Review Press|
|Release Date||Feb 10, 2015|
From the ill-fated dot-com bubble to unprecedented merger and acquisition activity to scandal, greed, and, ultimately, recession -- we've learned that widespread and difficult change is no longer the exception. By outlining the process organizations have used to achieve transformational goals and by identifying where and how even top performers derail during the change process, Kotter provides a practical resource for leaders and managers charged with making change initiatives work.
|Author||John P. Kotter|
|Publisher||Harvard Business Press|
|Release Date||Jan 01, 2012|
『Wooden on Leadership』
A Wall Street Journal Bestseller A compelling look inside the mind and powerful leadership methods of America’s coaching legend, John Wooden "Team spirit, loyalty, enthusiasm, determination. . . . Acquire and keep these traits and success should follow." --Coach John Wooden John Wooden’s goal in 41 years of coaching never changed; namely, to get maximum effort and peak performance from each of his players in the manner that best served the team. Wooden on Leadership explains step-by-step how he pursued and accomplished this goal. Focusing on Wooden’s 12 Lessons in Leadership and his acclaimed Pyramid of Success, it outlines the mental, emotional, and physical qualities essential to building a winning organization, and shows you how to develop the skill, confidence, and competitive fire to “be at your best when your best is needed”--and teach your organization to do the same. Praise for Wooden on Leadership: “What an all-encompassing Pyramid of Success for leadership! Coach Wooden’s moral authority and brilliant definition of success encompass all of life. How I admire his life’s work and concept of what it really means to win!” --Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness “Wooden On Leadership offers valuable lessons no matter what your endeavor. 'Competitive Greatness' is our goal and that of any successful organization. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is where it all starts.” --Jim Sinegal, president & CEO, Costco
|Publisher||McGraw Hill Professional|
|Release Date||Apr 26, 2005|
An updated edition of the blockbuster bestselling leadership book that took America and the world by storm, two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life. Sent to the most violent battlefield in Iraq, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s SEAL task unit faced a seemingly impossible mission: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories in SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, they learned that leadership—at every level—is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails. Willink and Babin returned home from deployment and instituted SEAL leadership training that helped forge the next generation of SEAL leaders. After departing the SEAL Teams, they launched Echelon Front, a company that teaches these same leadership principles to businesses and organizations. From promising startups to Fortune 500 companies, Babin and Willink have helped scores of clients across a broad range of industries build their own high-performance teams and dominate their battlefields. Now, detailing the mind-set and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult missions in combat, Extreme Ownership shows how to apply them to any team, family or organization. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic such as Cover and Move, Decentralized Command, and Leading Up the Chain, explaining what they are, why they are important, and how to implement them in any leadership environment. A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership revolutionizes business management and challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.
|Author||Jocko Willink/Leif Babin|
|Publisher||St. Martin's Press|
|Release Date||Nov 21, 2017|
『The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership』
An expanded edition of the best-selling leadership guide features updated profiles of Maxwell's Laws of Leadership, two new laws, 17 additional stories, a revised evaluation tool for identifying one's strengths and weaknesses and new application exercises in every chapter.
|Author||John C. Maxwell|
|Release Date||Jan 01, 2007|
『Start with Why』
The inspirational bestseller that ignited a movement and asked us to find our WHY Discover the book that is captivating millions on TikTok and that served as the basis for one of the most popular TED Talks of all time—with more than 56 million views and counting. Over a decade ago, Simon Sinek started a movement that inspired millions to demand purpose at work, to ask what was the WHY of their organization. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, and these ideas remain as relevant and timely as ever. START WITH WHY asks (and answers) the questions: why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it. START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who have 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. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
|Release Date||Dec 27, 2011|
Alrighty then folks, let's wrap this up. I'm sure you're itching to dive into one or ten of these brilliant works on leadership, I don't blame you! Each of these gems is not about turning you into some kind of a corporate puppet, but rather they are inclined to transform you into an exceptional leader who is respected and followed. Some stuffy old guy in a suit doesn’t necessarily make a great leader, right? You do! It's all about creating impact, making a difference, and inspiring others - not to forget, dealing with tricky situations like a boss! So pick up one of these books and embrace the journey of becoming a powerful and empathetic leader, because leadership is not about ruling, it is about guiding. And remember, even the greatest leaders are still learning. So, always keep your mind open, and no flipping ahead, spoiler alert doesn’t work well with books. Happy reading, champs!
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