50 Best Leadership Books of All Time

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Leadership Books

Reading augments your knowledge about the world and life in general but it also forms the best foundation for developing your thoughts and finding your own unique perspective on diverse aspects of life. A human being’s best friend and the mind’s wonderful recluse, books not only offer us a respite from boredom but provide us with new ideas and information to sharpen our knowledge. So, when it comes to becoming a good leader, the first thing you need to begin with is to learn from the great leaders of the world and take their wisdom and lessons to trod this challenging path. And what can be better than a good book on leadership to learn these lessons? Well, here is an exclusive reading list on must-read leadership books which you must add to your shelves to imbibe the qualities of a leader and become the best one you can be!

“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.”

10 Best Leadership Books for New Leaders

  1. On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis
  2. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  3. Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden & Steve Jamison
  4. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
  5. Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee
  6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  7. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James Kouzes & Barry Posner
  8. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
  9. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham
  10. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan

10 Best Leadership Books for Entrepreneurs

  1. How to Win Friends & Influence People Leadership Books by Dale Carnegie
  2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: 30th Anniversary Edition Leadership Books by Stephen R. Covey
  3. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Leadership Books by Daniel Pink
  4. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 Leadership Books by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves, Patrick Lencioni
  5. Stewardship: Choosing Service over Self-Interest Leadership Books by Peter Block
  6. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action Leadership Books by Simon Sinek
  7. The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future Leadership Books by John Gerzema, Michael D’Antonio
  8. Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence Leadership Books by Daniel Goldman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee
  9. Radical Candor Leadership Books by Kim Scott
  10. The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life Leadership Books by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan

10 Best Leadership Books on Blinkist

  1. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
  2. The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength by Jennifer Kahnweiler
  3. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
  4. Change the Culture, Change the Game: The Breakthrough Strategy for Energizing Your Organization and Creating Accountability for Results by Roger Connors and Tom Smith
  5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  7. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
  8. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
  9. How to Be a Positive Leader: Small Actions, Big Impact by Jane E. Dutton and Gretchen M. Spreitzer
  10. The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

10 Best Leadership Books for Beginners

  1. The Emperor’s Handbook
  2.  Man’s Search for Meaning
  3.  A Man in Full 
  4. Liar’s Poker
  5.  Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t
  6.  Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  7. Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built
  8.  The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
  9.  The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
  10. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Best Leadership Books on Audible

  1. The 100 Best Business Books of All Time
  2. The Best Team Wins
  3. The Leader You Want to Be
  4. Unstoppable
  5. Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition
  6. The Motivation Code
  7. Leadership Wisdom from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
  8. The Harvard Business Review Leader’s Handbook: Make an Impact, Inspire Your Organization, and Get to the Next Level
  9. Leaders Eat Last
  10. Extraordinary Leadership

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

“When the reward is the activity itself–deepening learning, delighting customers, doing one’s best–there are no shortcuts.”

Do you know what motivates you? Is there a common thing between all the human beings that motivates us? Based on decades of scientific research, the author attempts to answer this particular question in this brilliant leadership book. Daniel H. Pink terms the conventional Carrot and Stick Approach for motivation as erroneous and suggests that purpose, mastery and autonomy are the three main elements that contribute towards people’s drive to increase their achievements and productivity. You can get a copy of this book here.

Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee

“Experience has taught me that the most efficient leaders agree on one fundamental aspect: they all possess a high level of what has come to be called emotional intelligence”

A must-read for anyone aspiring to lead, Primal Leadership brings forward the argument of how the primal characteristic that makes a great leader is his emotional intelligence. The three authors discuss six different identifiable leadership styles and indicate that the best leaders possess the ability to change their leadership styles based on the situation. It is one of the top-recommended leadership books and its main takeaway from the book is to use your emotional intelligence to connect with people and encourage them for positive results.

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan

“But if you have to choose between someone with a staggering IQ and an elite education who’s gliding along, and someone with a lower IQ but who is absolutely determined to succeed, you’ll always do better with the second person.”

This best-selling book by former CEO Larry Bossidy and well-known business consultant Ram Charan discusses the processes that set successful companies apart from unsuccessful ones. Amongst the best leadership books with an essential emphasis on entrepreneurial and business success, the authors have explored the main purposes of the leader which include getting things done while achieving the objectives of their organisations and delivering expected results. The book is divided into three main parts, discussing execution and why it is needed, what constitutes it, and its core processes. A must-read book for anyone looking forward to venturing into business! Get your copy here!

On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis

“If knowing yourself and being yourself were as easy to do as to talk about, there wouldn’t be nearly so many people walking around in borrowed postures, spouting secondhand ideas, trying desperately to fit in rather than to stand out.”

Written by bestselling author Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader is one of the most popular leadership books of all time. The author discusses the qualities needed to become a successful leader and the strategies that can help you achieve it, along with putting forward various examples of such people. This book aims to shatter the very popular myth that leaders are born, not made.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

An amazing book by Simon Sinek, Start With Why draws upon a wide range of real-life stories to explain that the “Why” behind any idea, business, product etc. which is its most important selling point. The author goes on to discuss that great leadership comes from knowing and using this ‘why’ in an advantageous way. This book is sure to provide you with a different understanding of human behaviour, impact, communication and leadership.

Leading Change by John Kotter 

“A useful rule of thumb: Whenever you cannot describe the vision driving a change initiative in five minutes or less and get a reaction that signifies both understanding and interest, you are in for trouble. Error”

A very popular leadership book, Leading Change by John Kotter puts forward a legendary 8-Step process of change, which is of significant importance for organisations and leaders around the world. Change being an essential component of success in business in the present times, this book talks about the ways and methods to lead during times of change.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

“If you don’t have peace, it isn’t because someone took it from you; you gave it away. You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in you.”

Authored by world-renowned leadership expert John C. Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is one of the best leadership books you will ever read. He discusses 21 laws or principles that need to be learnt and mastered in order to become a successful leader. The ultimate goal of the book is to help in the creation of a leader admired by people.

Here are some more brilliant leadership books you must read:

Book Link
The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes & Barry Posner Buy Here
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick M. Lencioni Buy Here
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by R. Stephen Covey Buy Here
The Leader in You by Dale Carnegie Buy Here
The 5 Levels Of Leadership by John C. Maxwell Buy Here
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg Buy Here

We hope that this blog on some of the best leadership books was beneficial to you. If you are struggling with your choices relating to your higher education, worry no more! Sign up for a free career counselling session with our highly qualified experts at Leverage Edu and let us be your guide in actualising your dream career!

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