Must-Read Books on Leadership

man reading book near lake during the day

Game Plans for Success

SO MANY PEOPLE are given the title of a leader when they don’t have experience or education with what it means to be a leader. This ‘sink or swim’ approach can work, but it often takes a long time for a leader to understand what their role is and how best to lead people and help their team be useful and productive.

I am often asked for the books I recommend for the new or seasoned leader. Here are a few to consider:

The Wisdom of Team, by Joh Katchenbach. The author says there is a difference between teamwork behavior and team structure, and the ladder should be identified based on the type of work product.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni. This easy to read fable reveals simple but timeless principles about five behaviors that make the team useful.

Drive, by Daniel Pink. Inspired by his highly successful TED talk, Pink described what science knows, but business doesn’t do when it comes to motivating and incentivizing their employees.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey. This timeless classic about personal effectiveness is even more relevant in today’s chaotic, burn-out-prone world as it was when it was first published 31 years ago.

The First 90 Days, by Michael Watkins. On-boarding a leader takes a lot of time and money. This excellent book provides many strategies for shortening what is typically a 180-day process to 90.

Good to Great, by Jim Collins. The research and examples make this a valuable read for teams and companies wanting to achieve their highest potential and value.

Authentic Leader, by Bill George. Today’s leader can’t just be a good manager with the right experience. They have to connect with others. Authenticity is the currency of great leaders.

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“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.”
– Jim Collins