10 of the Best Books On Leadership

Being a great leader isn’t easy. And like with most things in life, being a natural at it isn’t necessary. If you are willing to take time and effort to learn how to become a great leader then you will see results.

When looking at the easiest and most cost-effective way of learning, it is to of course to simply read a book about it. Yes, there are plenty of leadership books out there. In this post, we look at the 10 best books on leadership.

Related: 5 Books On Mental Toughness That You Must Read

Best Books on Leadership

1.  21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to easily take a group of people and drive them towards success, and how others can’t? Or why a team may perform completely differently when a different leader is put in place?

By the completion of this book, you will be able to answer questions like these.

The author of this book understands what it takes to be a great leader, as the title suggests he teaches us in the format of 21 different laws. This book isn’t simply about management, the author really understands what real leadership is, and that is ‘influence’.

This book is helpful, easy to read, and full of in-depth explanations and is recommended for anyone who has ambitions of being a successful leader.

2. Leadership and self-deception: Getting out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute

Everyone thinks they’re a people person. But how well do others feel you treat them? Is it possible to improve your interactions with those around you?

This book allows you to see things from a different perspective. A lot of us don’t like the idea that we are self-deceived, however, admitting to this fact may be the thing we need to improve our interactions.

This book shows us that sometimes when we are looking for problems “out there” we need to be open to the possibility that the problem is within ourselves.

You cannot be a good leader without seeing your own faults, therefore this book is definitely recommended and earns a place on this list of best books on leadership.

3. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A leadership Fable by Patrick M. Lencioni

This book is definitely highly recommended and is a great leadership book.

The author Patrick M. Lencioni offers us a fable of how an executive struggled to take hold of a company and create a smoothly functioning team.

The fable is written in a simple style. The lessons learned are clear and are of use to anyone that manages a team in their day to day life.

It is not the longest book, you will finish it in under 2 hours.

However, the author manages to squeeze in a decent amount of wisdom on topics such as team membership leadership, membership, and engagement.

4. Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Linda Kaplan Thaler & Robin Koval

In this book, the authors Linda Kaplan Thaler & Robin Koval give you an insight on how to achieve success in various aspects of your lives.

The insight this book gives you will allow you to take yourself to another level. Something every leader should be striving to do.

What is GRIT? GRIT is guts, resilience, initiative, and tenacity. With GRIT, the authors explain how you are able to easily surpass those with talent. By being persistent and continually striving towards your goals you will eventually achieve whatever it is that you set out to do.

The book gives us examples of great leaders such as Colin Powell and Steve Jobs and explains to us that they are ordinary just like us. The only thing that differentiates them from others who are less successful is the fact that they have GRIT!

Every aspiring leader needs to learn the lessons in this book and apply them to his or her business and daily life.

5. What you really need to lead by Robert S Kaplan

This book is definitely up there as one of the best books on leadership.

Leadership can be a confusing topic for most people. The author of this book explains how everyone has the potential for great leadership, it is not something you need to be born with. It is not something that requires you to sit and wait for permission for.

To be a great leader you need to seize it with both hands. You need to know you are a great leader and your behavior needs to reflect that. The book explains to us how leadership is more a state of mind than anything else.

As long as your thoughts and mindset are in the right mode then everything else will fall into place.

6. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini

This book looks at influence. The reason why someone would say “yes” and how to apply these principles in life and in business.

The author of this book Dr. Robert Cialdini is an expert in the field of influence and persuasion. He has over 35 years’ experience in this rapidly growing field.

Throughout this book, you will learn the 6 different principles you need to internalize in order to become an expert influencer and persuader. This is an essential skill set for many, especially someone in a leadership position.

This is certainly one of the great leadership books out there that need to be on your reading list. The writer puts together the information you need to learn in an accessible and easy to understand tone, which also makes the book engaging.

7. Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader by Herminia Ibarra

As the title suggests, this book explains why in order to be a good leader, you need to think and act like one.

The problem most leaders face is that they are busy with the daily demands of work that they pay less attention to actually building leadership skills. Which is something that is critical?

The author of this book, Herminia Ibarra is an expert on development and professional leadership.

A core concept of this book is outsight. In essence, what we must do is find what works and what doesn’t, and to keep developing ourselves through action and experimentation.

The author also explains to us why those who have outsight are far more likely to be successful and create a greater impact.

8. First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham

This book by Marcus Buckingham is essential for anyone in a leadership position. It challenges the conventional way management is done.

The book talks about how as a manager it is not your job to help all your employees overcome their weaknesses, as not every employee has ‘unlimited potential.’

You should be more focused on identifying talent and placing employees where they are most suited. As a manager you need to transform the talent you identify into performance.

The great thing about this book is that while reading it, it will just seem to make sense.

Definitely an interesting book that you will probably be reading more than once.

9. The One Minute Manager – Increase Productivity, Profits and Your Own Prosperity by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

This book is a short read however it is packed with some great wisdom and is certainly one of the best books on leadership.

The one minute manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson aims to get the point across in the format of a story. Some may not like this format, however personally I think it makes the book more enjoyable to read.

It’s a great management book that useful in your business or personal life.

However, if you want a book that goes into specific details and in-depth explanations then this is not the book for you. It is more aimed at giving simple, easy to implement principles that can be related

10. True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George, Peter Sims, and David Gerden

This book is certainly one of the top leadership books out there.

True North: Discover your authentic leadership, looks at how anyone who follows the voice inside their head or ‘internal compass’ can be an authentic leader.

The wisdom and ideas in this book are backed by research. The book will give any leader a plan for leadership success and how to follow that plan.

The author of this book Bill George was a highly respected CEO in terms of integrity, he is currently a professor at Harvard where he teaches a course on ‘leadership and corporate accountability’ therefore you can be certain that he knows what he is talking about.


I hope you have found the above information useful and will help you on your journey to a better life. If you have any feedback or want more information, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

“Yesterday was the last day of your past. Today is the first day of your future.”

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