Favorite Books on Leadership

August 27, 2012

It’s pretty common that my friends or folks in my network will ask me what book they should read.  I love the question, but it always puzzles me just a bit.  Without any context, it feels kind of like they are asking me what outfit they should wear that day!  But after a couple interchanges, it turns out they are usually referring to some kind of leadership book that will help them get to the next level.

Girl Reading

I started keeping track of each book I read in 2004 and I’d like to share my favorite leadership titles with you.  I tried to arrange this list in order with the absolute best – the ones that gave me the most ideas or inspired me – at the top.

Additionally, my next post will give some strategies on how to choose a good leadership book to read.

  1.  How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  3. Good to Great by Jim Collins
  4. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
  5. Full Steam Ahead! by Ken Blanchard & Jesse Stoner
  6. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
  7. The Secret: What Great Leaders Know – and Do by Ken Blanchard & Mark Miller
  8. The Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley
  9. The One Minute Entrepreneur by Ken Blanchard & Don Hutson
  10. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  11. Crucibles of Leadership by Robert Thomas
  12. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
  13. EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey
  14. Becoming a Coaching Leader by Daniel Harkavy
  15. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

Honorable mentions:

What are your favorite leadership titles?

Nathan Magnuson is a leadership consultant, coach, trainer and thought leader.  Receive his ebook Trusted Leadership Advisor by subscribing to his website or   follow him on Twitter.



15 responses to Favorite Books on Leadership

  1. The 360 Degree Leader – John Maxwell I like it because it pertains to everyone, not just positional leaders.

  2. Nathan,

    I agree that these are all good books. I’m not wild about the ‘story’ style that a couple of them use, but I know some people love those.


    • Jo, I thought the same thing! The first one I ever read was Who Moved My Cheese, and initially thought it was… cheesy. But they’ve grown on me since then. I think they are best for people who don’t like to read much or aren’t overly academic.

  3. Great list! I’ve read all but Crucibles of Leadership and Start With Why, I’ll add them to my book list.

  4. Nathan,
    Have you read Lead by Greatness? If not, check out the Amazon reviews and the book’s website.


  5. I decided to add more to the list here. Don’t want to keep these to myself!

  6. Have you read all these books? I read many of the books you’ve listed. This is a superb list! Thanks for sharing.

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Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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