Favorite Books on Leadership

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.

Nathan Magnuson is an executive leadership consultant, speaker and author of the books Stand Out! and Ignite Your Leadership Expertise. Click to see the exciting ways Nathan is helping organizations and teams become more effective with Leadership-in-a-Box.

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15 thoughts on “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.

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