How to Choose Which Leadership Book to Read Next

August 29, 2012 — 46 Comments

Huge Stack of BooksIn my previous posts, I explained why reading is crucial to growth and development and listed my favorite leadership books – the ones that inspire me or provided the most insight.  But choosing the right book to read next can be tricky sometimes, especially given there are literally hundreds of thousands just a click away.  With so many choices and so little time to read, how can you be sure you are picking the “right” one?

Here are a few strategies I’ve had a lot of success with:

Start with the Books You Like Most

What books are on your favorite book list?  Which authors give you the most idea?  Have they written any other books?  A simple Amazon search can show you not only what other books they’ve written, but also which books customers also bought.

Follow Your Favorite Authors and Thought Leaders

Nowadays, authors cannot simply write books.  They must have a social media and blog presence.  Look them up on Twitter and follow them.  Subscribe to their blogs.  Most all of them will share frequent updates on new projects they are working on, blogs they’ve posted, or books they are reading.  This is a great way to get the inside scoop.

Determine What You Want to Learn About Next

This is a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s really an important question given the number of titles available.  If you have a leadership gap, start there.  Or if you are curious and really want to learn about something new (like how to improve your team, how have tough conversations, or how to lead meetings), start there.  Or if you simply have a leadership concern, start there.

Phone a Friend

Do you know any leadership experts, junkies, or someone who simply reads a lot?  Ask what they are reading.  When I get to spend time with leaders I look up to, I try to always ask what they are reading and usually get a long list – and I have gotten some of my favorite books this way.

Utilize a Suggested Reading List

When I was a senior in college, one of my classmates and I decided we ought to start reading some business and leadership books to make sure what was selling on the market was in sync with our expensive textbooks.  In our case, we simply looked at the New York Times Bestseller List for Business Books.  It was a start.  By now there are all kinds of leadership book lists like the ones on 800CEORead or clubs like The Executive Book Club.  You might even publish your own list like I did here.

Leave a comment sharing which book you are reading right now and how you chose that title.

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.