Books for Leadership Freaks
Leaders are learners.
When I’m asked for book recommendations, I always ask, “Have you read, “The Leadership Challenge,” by Kouzes and Posner.
New and recommended:
- The Secret of Teams
- Culture Secret
- To Sell is Human
- Leadership and the Art of the Struggle
- The Outstanding Organization
- Boundaries for Leaders
On the shelf and recommended:
- Full Steam Ahead
- The Go Giver
- Leadership is Dead
- Yes to the Mess
- StrengthsFinder 2.0
- All Hands on Deck
- What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There
- The Radical Leap
- The War of Art
- The Question Behind the Question
I’m not in my office so these books are “top of mind” books. When I actually look on the shelf, I’ll kick myself for not remembering more.
What leadership books do you recommend?
I like the list. Thanks.
I had a book published in 2011 – Camelot, Inc.: Leadership and Management Insights from King Arthur and the Round Table – and would love your feedback.
Best wishes with your book, Paul.
The MOST EVER MOST RECOMMENDED from me, here is the challenge, right now reading what I read, doing what I read I have increased sales 3600%. You know what that is? A good start! How bout if you are not getting those results try what I am sharing and see how it works for you? If it does not help you go back to what you were reading. Fair?
The AA Big Book just put people in anywhere you see alcohol and see how it realtes to you.(Just first 164 pages should do)
The Greatest Salesman in the World.
The Greatest Miracle in the World(MUST READ THE GOD MEMORANDUM according to instructions)
Watch all the Frank Kern videos you can find on YouTube and get in touch with your Core Influence.
Then Flourish, then pass this stuff along.
Working for me, not saying it will work for you but if you are not getting results like me what you got to lose opening your mind to some new information?
Have a good one Dan!
Somehow I knew you would mention the AA Big Book. 🙂
29 years on May 22!!! Somehow I think I will make it!!!!
Also shooting for 4000% growth by the end if the month!! Think I will make it? Should shoot for 5000%!
AA Big Book. Chapter 5 Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path those who do cannot or will not give themselves to this simple program.
I am living proof it works!
Congratulations Scott. I am working on 15 years. Yes, it works.
A few more of my favorite books for leaders;
Leadership Rules – Chris Widener
The Psychology of Winning – Denis Waitley
Leadership & the One min. Manager – Ken Blanchard
The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor
and of course, my favorites “How To Win Friends & Influence People” and “The Power of Positive Thinking”
I love the big book. Some of the greatest insights into the human condition. A decade for me! I believe that’s why “The Go Giver” resonated with me so strongly. Was taught to give to others freely to save my own butt. Still working on the 5th principle of receptivity. Another block and also another opportunity! Thanks for breaking your anonymity Scott! I hate anonymity.
Why do you hate anonymity?
I struggle with what a person has to do to get ahead. A freelancer can’t get ahead with out self promotion – but sheesh! ain’t talking about your self boring.
My favorite concept is Tribal Leadership.
The concept is actually obvious but I need to be told again and again.
Tribal leadership fits with AA – Level 5 would be
*Higher Purpose Guided by Higher Power.
The trouble with reading this is that I actually go and buy the books!
I will get these two first
1. The Secret of Teams
2. Culture Secret
and then Boundaries for Leaders.
Thanks for posting this — I’m definitely going to be sure to check some of these out!
Okay this is just too funny. I wrote on the same topic today. Here’s the collection I received from my LinkedIn, Lead Change, Facebook, and Twitter…. plus suggestion from organization at work. My focus was frontline, so the list is a little different.
Thanks for extending the conversation. You added several books I should have on my list.
Not the least of which:
Bud to Boss
Speed of Trust… By the Way, I’m hosting an open conference call with Stephen MR Covey in June!
On Becoming a Leader
While I was looking at your list, I remembered “Lead Like Jesus.” Whether you believe or not, it’s great.
I found a lot of value in Dov Seidman’s book “How”. The true value of values based leadership is still too often overlooked in some organizations.
It is also good to get different perspectives as well, so books like Sun Tzu The Art of War, Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat gave me some good insights. F|or companies exploring new markets, sometimes even a good novel can shed some helpful insight on culture. An example I learned a lot from was “White Tiger” by Aravind Adigathat I read on a flight to India and I’ve even learned lots by watching subtitled Chinese comedies on my flights to China.
Rather than follow someone else’s recipe for previous success, I like to the broadest possible pool of sources i order to get a picture with enough dimensions of an issues that ultimately I can make my own mind up, and take full responsibilities for the leadership decisions I make.
Great add, Paul. I particularly like, The World is Flat. Love your approach.
I found the 3rd Alternative by Stephen Covey to be very thought provoking. It has given me a new way to look at finding better solutions to difficult issues. The book also taught me how important it is for me to control my own life story and not put it in the hands of others.
Good call! Covey’s work is awesome. The Third Alternative
The Art of Possibility by Rosalind and Benjamin Zander….possibly the most exceptional book I’ve ever read on leadership…”If you don’t see shining eyes looking back at you”, what is it about what you are or are not going?
Thanks Michele… Zander totally rocks.
Hi Dan, thanks for mentioning All Hands on Deck!
Joe Tye Values Coach Inc. http://www.joetye.com Sent from my iPhone
Always a pleasure to recommend great work.
Here is my top 6 not in any particular order:
12 Steps To Power Presence, John Baldoni
Beyond Talent, John Maxwell
a Sense of Urgency, John Kotter
Tribes, Seth Godin
The Invisible Employee, Adrian Gostick
The Leader Who Had No Title, Robin Sharma
I haven’t read the Baldoni book you mention but I’ve read several of his books. Worth the read, for sure.
How could I have neglected these books. Thanks for adding them… thanks Larry
I am currently reading “The Leadership Challenge” thank you so much for the suggestion, it is very substantial.
Yes, I remember you asked for a recommendation. The Leadership Challenge gave me a framework for leadership. Enjoy!
Our company’s employee development department actually trains with the Leadership Challenge as its basis. I have participated in two study groups on this book. I’m the same as you, Dan; it’s the first question I always ask about leadership books: “Have you read Kouzes & Posner?” The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership that they lay out in The Leadership Challenge pretty much encapsulate the whole concept of leadership for me.
And similar to Shifterp(Scott), some of the old classics are still the best and still meaningful today. I don’t think you can go wrong with How to Win Friends and Influence People. I first read it 35 years ago, and its message still forms the basis of my approach to leadership relationships.
You just can’t beat the Leadership Challenge as a foundational leadership book. An added benefit is Barry and Jim are awesome individuals.
I still haven’t full read How to Win Friends and Influence People…I better get on the ball.
Here’s what I’m recommending right now: “The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Creativity and Engagement at Work” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. Practical, real-life tips to help leaders lead teams better. (Dan, I really enjoy your blog.)
The publisher sent me that book. I just haven’t got to it yet. I’ll have to put it on the top of one of my book piles. Thanks
I recently read Patrick Lencioni’s “The Advantage” – a wonderful book on organizational health.
Great add! Love “the Advantage”
Dan: No need to reply, just know that “Progress” is a very accessible, quick read. It made a long plane to Asia go very quickly for me last year.
Dan may I recomend, ‘The Character Based Leader’-by various authors “one of which I believe you may know”, ‘How to win freinds and influence people’- by Dale Carnegie, and ‘Even Eagles need a push’- by David McNally. I just recently received my free copy of ‘The Art of the Struggle’, EXCELLANT!For those who are determined to be thier absolute best while living life to it’s fullest, my #1 recomendation is The King James Bible… Have a great day my freind.
Hi Steve, Thanks for the shout out and for the other recommendations. 🙂
My current favorite book is ‘Developing the Leader Within You’ by John C. Maxwell.
– Good reading with useful learning.
Love the expression, “current favorite.” Maxwell is always enjoyable and actionable. Cheers
I don’t chime in often, but would add to the list: Good to Great by Jim Collins. We use this book in training incoming Volunteer leaders on the West Coast for Rotary International District Governors. I appreciate your posts and forward them on to many of our Rotary volunteers. Thanks for all that you do to forward the thinking of leaders.
Dan, thanks for the list and triggering this enjoyable ensuing discussion. The one thing that made me smile as I quickly read your list was #12: I believe you meant, ‘The Art of War’, by Sun Tzu? I smiled because it could imply a twist in meaning, rather than just an honest mistake. Keep up the good work!
Hi George…actually, “The War of Art” is one of my favorite…not-leadership books. Check it out…very interesting read. Thanks for jumping in…
BTW…misspellings and other errors don’t bother me much…they are easily fixed. 🙂 It drives some of my English Majors crazy…
Thanks for a great list! I’ve got a number of those you mention, in particular, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”, and “Touchpoints”, excellent books both, because they really shifted my perspective. I discovered “Touchpoints” through Leadership Freak, and I have reframed what I previously thought of as interruptions and distractions as “touchpoints” to see the opportunity in them.
I like books with a punchy title – something that stays with you as a call to action. Two of my favourites are “Your Best Just Got Better” (Jason Womack, with foreword by Marshall Goldman) and “Do It or Ditch It” by Bev James.
Glad you enjoyed Doug’s book. It effected you like it effected me. Powerful shift! Plus, knowing Doug is a guy who practices what he preaches makes it all the more enjoyable.
I hadn’t heard of the two books you mentioned. Thanks
Thank you for the reading list. There are several I have not read and I have a pretty good size library. Off to Amazon I go!
Happy Friday 🙂
Enjoy and please feel free to share your feedback after reading. Cheers!
Thank you for the reading list. Suprising how many great leadership books there are. I’ll make sure to share with others.
Delighted that you included Full Steam Ahead!
A wonderful topic. You can’t go wrong with Kouzes and Posner 🙂
Here are others that are always at the top of my list. Note that I am a student of complex adaptive systems, as well as the teachings of Edwards Deming:
A Leader’s Framework for Decision-Making by Dave Snowden and Mary Boone. Award-winning 2007 HBR article explains the fundamentals of responding to different kinds of challenges. Critical to understanding the differences between simple, complicated, complex, and chaotic.
The Leadership Dance by Richard Knowles. A powerful nine-step framework, that generates collaboration and adaptive, innovative options.
A Simpler Way by Margaret Wheatley. Among the most profound books I know for change leadership. Its explanations of how we organize our endeavors, and how we might do so with better results, is an excellent lesson for all.
Complexity and the Nexus of Leadership, by Jeff Goldstein, Jim Hazy, and Benyamin Lichtenstein. Despite the daunting title, this book stands at the horizon of an emerging view of leadership. Drawing on a deep understanding of the true dynamics in organizations, this book offers a model for generative leadership.
Leadership on the Line, by Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky. Along with their most recent work, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership, Heifetz and Linsky also provide a way for leaders to face the fundamental difference between technical (simple and complicated) and adaptive (complex and chaotic) problems. For a deeper dive on this, see Sharon Parks book Leadership CAN Be Taught- a remarkable exploration of how Heifetz teaches leadership.
The Deming Management Method by Mary Walton. Deming’s teaching and lessons for leaders were ahead of their time. Far more than just being about “that TQM stuff,” Deming’s process improvement focus is bakanced by clear values and vision about leading people.
The Army’s leadership manual. It used to be the LM-22, though I believe the current edition has a new publication number. Straightforward and practical, with an understanding of context.
Changing Conversations in Organizations, by Patricia Shaw. A way of thinking about and doing the work of leading change. I know no better description of facilitating and leading change, from the perspective of the midst and moment of change.
As I clicked on the link I was sure that I would have read at least half the books. I actually scored 0/15. I haven’t got the energy to be embarrassed right now so I will just view it as a roadmap for the next few months.
I can’t wait for the open conference call w/ Stephen M.R. Covey! Speed of Trust is one of my favorite and MOST RECOMMENDED books — we use it in our executive leadership development training.
I like “It’s Okay to Be the Boss” by Bruce Tulgan. This books works by helping you develop others. It’s a very accessible and hands-on book. I wish it would have been around before my first foray into leadership!
I’d add these to the list:
Thanks for the topic! Lots of great responses.
“The Stress Effect: Why Smart Leaders Make Dumb Decisions –
And What to Do About It” by Henry L. Thompson. Not just a book
about stress: leadership levels, emotional intelligence, decisions
& stress. And, “Your Brain at Work” by David Rock.
You’ve made my day. I’m so excited for this list! I’ve been looking for more leadership books. I’m sure you’ve also read, “Tribes,” by Seth Godin?
Four Disciplines of Execution 🙂