Books that Most Changed my Leadership
Leadership Freaks who contribute to the Leadership Freak Coffee Shop on Facebook answered, “The leadership book that most changed my leadership is _________.
- Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
- *Failing Forward by Maxwell
- Servant Leadership
- Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders
- First, Break all the Rules
- Situational Leadership II by Ken Blanchard
- Strength Based Leadership
- The Spiritual Leader by Paul Chappell
- Leading with a Limp
- Necessary Endings
- Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands
- Lead Like Jesus by Blanchard and Hodges
- *The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner
- Developing the Leader within You by Maxell
- A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin Friedman
- It’s Your Ship by Abrashoff and Abrashoff
- It’s Our Ship by Abrashoff and Abrashoff
- See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar
- *21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by Maxwell
- Crucial Conversations
- Tribal Leadership
When emerging leaders ask for the top leadership book I recommend, I always say the same thing, “The Leadership Challenge,” by Kouzes and Posner. It provides a clear, broad, framework for the core functions of leadership.
Note: Books are listed in the order they were posted on Facebook, an asterisk indicates a book was mentioned more than once.
What books most changed your leadership?
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Great post. I will have to update my reading list. I was happy to see the two by Capt. Abrashoff. I absolutely loved each of them and recommend them to everyone.
Thanks for sharing your passion for Capt. Abrashoff.
“Leadership Made Simple” by Doug Krug and Ed Oakley goes hand in hand with Abrashoff’s books. Krug and Oakley mention Capt. Abrashoff’s books in Leadership Made Simple.
Krug and Oakley’s framework for success has fundamentally changes how I look at leadership. It is the only book I have read three times and will read again soon. This book has refocused and re-energized my team.
Link to “Leadership Made Simple”: http://amzn.to/Ic7gk6
Hi Dan. Very impressive list. One of my favorites is “All Hands on Deck” by Joe Tye. I carry it around and use as a workbook. I like the metaphors and appreciate Joe’s approach to leadership. I am also waiting on yours 🙂 have a great weekend.
I love Joe Tye’s book, “All Hands on Deck” thanks for adding it to the list.
I’m working on my book. Thanks for waiting 🙂
I think of you often and wish you a great weekend.
Ok, so how many of these have I read…. 1, 2, 3(some of), 11, 15, 20, 21, 22.. I will now go get 14 and be more enlightened 🙂
When the time comes, let us know what you think of The Leadershp Challenge.
Great seeing you here my friend.
Good list. To this list I would add:
Leadership on the Line by Heifitz and Linsky
Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott
The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni (brand new)
Thanks for sharing the books that most changed your leadership.
They sent me Lencioni’s book. It’s in my tall stack of books to read.
I end my speaking presentations with Charlie Tremendous Jones’ quote, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” and recommend two books:
– The Leadership Challenge. The Five Practices were easy to remember, stuck with me and served me well as I was growing as a leader. As you noted, it serves as a great blueprint for aspiring leaders.
– How to Win Friends and Influence Others by Dale Carnegie. Leadership is first about building relationships. Personally, I feel that How to Win Friends is the best business book ever written to build emotional connections, not only with clients, but with staff, as well.
I appreciate you taking the time to share books that changed your leadership.
I love both the simplicity and challenge of “The Leadership Challenge”
Thanks for adding Carnegie to the list. His thoughts and writing continue to impact the business world. Longevity indicates value.
🙂 Combine 1 and 3 (and 6, 11 & 13?) today, to get “The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe” tomorrow? I didn’t just watch TV as a child! 😉 Leadership lessons of the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve – and of Reepicheep the mouse!? 😉 Oh, and leadership lessons of Plato! Plato’s good by C. S. Lewis (Plato gets a “name-check” at least twice in the seven chronicles of Narnia!). Kings & Queens! How many corporates are led by their own Royal Families’ (metaphorical or otherwise) great examples? How do they compare to the UK’s Royal Family when it comes to “shareholder” value? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8114523.stm
P.S. Maybe 17 and 18 get you the “Dawn Treader”. Anyways, core leadership principles – C.S. Lewis is great on them! And I shall try a few more from your list. Thus far, I’ve consulted number 3 the most; I’ve read number 1 in summary; and quite fancy the idea of reading ZZ; more so since you’ve now recommended him!
P.P.S. You’ll know the British monarchy subscribe heavily to book number 3 in your list! And you’ll know why!
Although not written as leadership books, the biblical books of Nehemiah and Danielprovide superb frameworks for leaders to emulate. Nehemiah’s willingness to lay aside personal comfort and lead a worthy cause led to quasi-superhuman effort and results in the face of adversity, working with a group of people who were discouraged, divided, and without means.
Daniel survived nearly 70 years, through 2 empires and 3 kings, as the kings’ 2nd in command, helping both Babylon and the Persian empire to flourish,without participating in palace intrigues, and without compromising on his principles.
I like the book Soup by Jon Gordon. His books are about passion in what you do. Without passion you will never have good leadership.
My first book was “One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard. I attended one of his presentations and I was hooked. Hooked on his style of writing, the message behind the book and it motivated to become a keynote note speaker and author. .
I love anything from John Maxwell. Between me and my wife, we have almost his whole collection. I just recently got his 5 Levels of Leadership. I haven’t read it yet, because there is a leadership assessment in the beginning. And I am insanely adamant about become a better leader so i am actually going around to my team asking them the “How am i doing” question an “could you fill this how and be honest as possible” request along with it.
I need to check out some of the other books on your list. I just finished that EntreLeadership book with Dave Ramsey and that book was awesome! It was so awesome that it is now on the required reading list among my team.
“If Harry Potter run General Electric”. Almost amazing book which chenged my life. The explanation in my blog http://ivannovello.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/a-book-that-changed-my-life-part-2/
Awesome list; clearly I have some reading to do! Although not specifically a “leadership” book, I’d have to add “Let My People Go Surfing,” Yvon Choinard’s personal story and of Patagonia–super inspirational for managers and business owners.
LEADERS ARE READERS…my top 10 (plus) that I share with my leadership development classes
10-10-10 Suzy Welch
LEADERSHIP Rudolph Giuliani
OUTLIERS Malcolm Gladwell
EMPIRES OF THE MIND Denis Waitely
PSYCHOLOGY OF WINNING Denis Waitely
DEVELOPING THE LEADER WITHIN YOU John Maxwell
DEVELOPING THE LEADERS AROUND YOU John Maxwell
IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL YOU WIN Les Brown
WINNING Jack Welch
SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE Steven Covey
Good To Great-Jim Collins
How To Win Friends and Influence People-Dale Carnegie
I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow…Cause I Get Better Looking Everyday-Joe Namath
I would add Not for Bread Alone by Konosuke Matsushita – it made such an impact on the way I view the reasons people work as hard as they do – or fail to work hard.
Having just finished The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, that is still fresh in my mind and a great grounding tale.
Max Depree’s Leadership Jazz and Leadership Art are periodic go-tos as well.
Kotter’s books provide reframes and expanding perspectives.
Now Doc, just now you’ve got to the goal! Naughty you, I always think foot as an Ops sorta story, but yes it is leadership. I think we all visit Dans blog hoping to eliminate our rate limiting step! The only catch is – take that one away and another one awaits. Mind you that is leadership. Love your work, Richard
A great list, thanks for the post. For me it is my all time favourite management book. The Speed of Trust by Stephen M R Covey. It brought together a lot of what I had always felt and enabled me to turn principles into action.
1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 20, 21 are all on my list as well. I have to check out the others! Thanks for posting!
Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an era of scarcity, by Mario Morino.
Time for funders, philanthropists to support schools and service organizations that can show results. As Peter Drucker said” In God we trust, all others bring data”
I’m a big fan of “The Shipbuilder: a Modern Parable.”
It’s a quick and easy read with some great principles!
Thanks Dan for a delightful read. Your no.3 woud be my no.1, particularly the book of psalms, My no.2 would be Art of War by Partha Bose.
What a great list and stimulating dialogue! My “to read” list has expanded – thanks Dan and all participants. I was surprised that 2 of my old favorites didn’t make any lists. i keep coming back to the lessons in In Search of Excellence (Peters/Waterman) & Leaders – Strategies for Taking Charge (Bennis/Nanus). Peters & Bennis got my juices flowing in the mid 80’s. I still find the messages clear and true. Maybe it just means I am officially a geezer…come to think of it, Bennis’ Geeks & Geezers was pretty interesting. too…
I agree Tom, “In Search of Excellence” is another “Must Read” book.
The Servant by James Hunter is another great book. Takes a look at the Leadership style of Jesus. Great fiction story used to illustrate the power of leadership. I believe it should be a “must read”.
Jim Collins’ and Hansens’ recent book, “Great by Choice” and “Humilitas” by John Dickson, as well as a textbook, ” Leadership: Enhancing the Lessons of Experience” by Hughes, Ginnett, and Curphy are all good.
A very good book re: ethical leadership is “Just Business” by Hill. He has a very simple, powerful, and practical approach with just 3 questions – but I won’t spoil it for you by revealing them…
I go 100% with kouses and postner, somewhat surprised not to see good to great there, and a year or two more what got you here won’t get you there. Still it displays the erudite group of followers you have done. Congrats and thanks for sharing to all. Richard
Thank you bunches for this information!
Reblogged this on will2ventures.
Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey is a must read. Practical, effective and proven to work.
Primal Leadership by Goleman and 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni are two must reads in my opinion.
A favorite of mine is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Definitely gives the reader a different perspective on life. Great post – thanks for sharing!