"Leadership is influence." — John Maxwell
Here is my latest list of leadership books. While I don’t know if it’s the ultimate leadership book list, it’s pretty exhaustive.
I have an enormous library of books. For many months, I’ve spent around $300 a month on books. I read fast but I also have a technique for reading faster and turning insight into action, that I’ll share in a future post, if there’s interest.
What makes this list special is that it’s based on accumulated knowledge over time and applying various leadership books at work, to real problems. I find out about many of the most effective books to try based on asking colleagues what books they use to get results. So it’s like distilled wisdom of the crowds. My main measure for the books is what problems they solve, what insights they have, and how actionable they are.
I put the list in A-Z format, so that you can quickly scan and compare the list to your existing leadership books. I stripped out the descriptions of the books because it significantly bulked up the list. I may add some terse descriptions back in, but I’m not sure yet. The main value is having a list of useful leadership books organized A-Z, with what’s new up front, followed by a vital few.
When I think of leadership, I think of vision, forward-thinking, clarity, decision-making, connection and conviction, networking, driving results, empowerment, confidence, influence, impact, etc. With that in mind, it’s an eclectic set including timeless classics as well as some of the latest leadership books.
You’ll most likely recognize many of the books, but hopefully, many you won’t. For example, if you don’t know Emotional Capitalists, it’s one of the best books I know that distills Emotional Intelligence down into pragmatic and actionable insight. If you don’t know Get Them On Your Side, it’s an systematic process for making change happen, from both a people and a system perspective. If you don’t know Flawless Execution, it includes a 12-point approach for creating a sharing a vision, based on military approaches, but that you can apply for your business or team.
Browse my leadership books collection and if you have a favorite leadership-oriented book I should know about, please let me know. I’m always expanding my library and I consider this a living list of leadership books.