last update: August 10, 2018
warren buffett gave us the ultimate trick when he said:
You are reading: Best leadership books 2017
“The best investment you can make is to invest in yourself. the more you learn, the more you earn.”
mr. Buffett’s simple words can teach you a lot about success. in fact, it’s enough to set you on the path to remarkable achievement in your desired profession.
If you wish to one day become a person of influence, know that remarkable and highly effective leaders are, in fact, continuous lifelong learners.
The good news is that you don’t need an expensive college education to take advantage of all the knowledge the world has to offer.
You don’t have to join a seminar or hire a leadership coach. everything can start by choosing a good book and start reading.
business genius and motivational speaker tai lopez made this point when he told his followers to read a book a day.
Although this may seem overwhelming, it is simply a reminder that you need to feed your mind with valuable information on a regular basis.
To help you do this, we’ve put together a list of top-tier leadership books and divided them into the following 5 categories:
- how to lead teams
- leadership qualities so you can inspire others
- entrepreneurship & start-up skills
- professional & personal development
- women in leadership
so let’s get started…
how to lead teams
1. A Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams, by Chris Fussell
everyone is a specialist these days. specialization is the greatest strength of society, but it can also be a great weakness for organizations that seek to develop teamwork. we live in an age of silos and isolation. we often text instead of talk and rarely sit down with colleagues unless we share a direct working relationship.
It turns out that silos affect not only large companies, but also small ones.
Chris Fussell, a former Navy Seal officer, addresses the challenges of teamwork by laying out an effective roadmap to break down silos.
Instilling a sense of teamwork is about getting everyone on board for the “mission,” which depends on agility, adaptability, and a shared purpose. these lifelong lessons will resonate with you as you emerge from the crowd to lead your own team one day.
2. The Power of Positive Leadership: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams and Organizations and Change the World, by Jon Gordon
Staying positive in the way of life’s obstacles isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be the greatest challenge of all. That’s why people who do it tend to be special.
It turns out that leaders with this special trait know that a positive attitude is essential for success. If you’ve faced major obstacles on your journey (hint: we’ve all faced them), Jon Gordon will show you how to deal with them.
Based on a series of interviews with some of the world’s greatest leaders, Gordon provides insight into what he’s learned.
This includes a comprehensive framework on how to develop a positive attitude and, more importantly, how to engage others.
although gordon is providing a “framework”, he certainly isn’t lecturing you. in fact, this book will inspire you to cultivate his leadership qualities from within.
3. the captain class: the hidden force that creates the best teams in the world, by sam walker
Sports fans will enjoy the capital class plus a healthy dose of leadership qualities. Former Wall Street Journal Global Sports Editor Sam Walker draws an effective parallel between sports and leadership in this new take on self-help.
In doing so, he brilliantly defines the greatest sports teams of all time based on 7 core qualities including emotional control, non-verbal communication, and bravery.
The Captain’s Class is no ordinary leadership book. Studying the best teams in history, Walker outlines the secret to winning.
Turns out extraordinarily good teams have more in common than just a star player or an amazing coach.
The “captain class” is made up of people like you and me. This fascinating read will show you how to get the most out of your team, even if you haven’t identified your star player.
leadership qualities so you can inspire others
4. stretch: unleash the power of less and achieve more than you ever imagined, by scott sonenshein
leadership is generally seen as the most that can be done to achieve success. Scott Sonenshein turns that idea on its head by teaching you that less is more.
Backed by solid research in psychology and management, stretch looks at why some companies succeed with so little while others fail with so much.
It turns out that good leaders don’t “pursue” their goals, but rather “stretch” the resources they already have.
Whether you’re managing a team of hundreds or just a couple, stretching helps you find creative and productive ways to solve your most pressing problems.
Sonenshein just so happens to be a professor at the University of Rice, who draws on numerous examples from business, sports, and history to show you why ingenuity is the key to success. leaders looking to get more out of what they have will find this book very empowering.
5. the art of self-training, ed batista
Executive coaching is all the rage these days. Once used to help underperforming leaders correct their behavior, it is now used to catapult effective workers to their full potential.
If you are an aspiring leader, Batista will provide you with a clear framework to manage your professional growth, without the need to hire an expensive coach.
Batista is an instructor and coach at Stanford Graduate School, so he knows a thing or two about coaching people to the top.
In this book, Batista will guide you through the various elements of professional and personal development, helping you identify your strengths while addressing areas for improvement.
Think of this 224-page book as the life coach you’ve always wanted, but probably couldn’t afford!
6. radical frankness, by kim scott
with radical candor, kim scott shows you how to be an amazing boss. literally, that’s what the book is about.
scott illustrates the art of leadership using personal examples throughout his career. From Apple to Google to various startups, Scott’s advice can help you become a better boss and a better colleague.
His advice focuses on the fundamentals of leading others, including how to give and receive feedback, how to make smart decisions, and how to keep moving forward. you know, normal work stuff that a lot of us seem to have trouble with.
Despite only being on shelves for a few months, the radical candor is universally acclaimed. Whether he’s a middle manager or in charge of multiple bosses, Scott will show him how to get things done while retaining his humanity.
entrepreneurship & startup skills
7. All In: 101 Real-Life Business Lessons for Emerging Entrepreneurs, by Bill Green
If you’re an entrepreneur with a great idea, Bill Green’s All-In is essential reading. In it, the author, a serial entrepreneur, uses his impressive business achievements to explain the tools he needs to launch a successful business or expand an existing one.
Whether you run a flea market table (as the author once did) or a silicon valley tech company, entrepreneurial success has some essential truths.
Unique, passionate, and downright funny, all-in provides the inside scoop on entrepreneurship by sharing 101 key insights the author learned during his 40-year entrepreneurial career.
You will learn from the successes and failures of ecology and, along the way, you will discover what great entrepreneurs have in common.
8. mapping innovation: a playbook for navigating a disruptive era, by greg satell
Entrepreneurship has changed a lot in the last 30 years, especially in terms of technology. In Mapping Innovation, Greg Satell draws parallels between entrepreneurship and technology to show you that starting your own business is all about innovation.
Not all of us will create the next microchip or develop new software that saves companies billions of dollars. but all of us in the small business world must be innovative. this is true regardless of the industry or business model chosen.
Mapping innovation provides a simple framework that can help you identify the best strategy for your business.
This easy-to-use framework is based on insights drawn from some of the world’s leading innovators. Rich in examples, Mapping Innovation can help you think more critically and develop an innovation-based approach to problem solving.
9. Unbreakable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook, by Tony Robbins
It’s hard to imagine Tony Robbins being left out of the list of the best leadership books of 2017. Unwavering wastes little time getting to the heart of what drives most entrepreneurs: the dream of financial freedom.
In his unmistakable style, Robbins develops a step-by-step playbook on how to accelerate your path to financial freedom.
Gaining insights from the world’s brightest financial minds, this 256-page read shows you how to manage the financial side of your life both personally and professionally.
Not a lot of fluff here. Regardless of where you are in your career, you can probably brush up on your financial management skills (in fact, we all can).
in Unwavering, you are literally learning the best. After some reading and some notes, you’ll have a clear path to save more money, earn more money, and invest more in your future.
professional and professional personal development
10. The Push: A Climber’s Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Pushing the Limits, by Tommy Caldwell
the push by tommy caldwell is a different kind of personal development book. Instead of providing instructions, it reads like a 300+ page memoir of Calwell’s legendary rock-climbing career.
In fact, the leadership qualities he learns are taken directly from Caldwell’s experience as a climber.
climbing a mountain is equivalent to becoming a leader in the professional world. Caldwell uses his adventures to teach about courage, tenacity, and perseverance.
The book is listed on amazon under rock climbing, which means you’d probably miss it if you decided to look for a great read on leadership. choose this one, you’ll thank us later!
11. the bravest of you: five steps to fight your greatest fears, find your passion, and unlock your extraordinary life, by adam kirk smith
Whether we like it or not, fear is one of the biggest obstacles we face every day. fear of failure, fear of success, fear of trying something new.
But what if there was a way to overcome our greatest fears?
Unlocking your greatest fears is essential to finding your purpose. Deep down, Adam Kirk Smith probably knew that when he wrote The Bravest of You.
In a strongly motivational style, Smith outlines a five-step “courage process” to help leaders get through life’s grind. this plan addresses complacency, inspiration, fear, passion, and courage.
Although the bravest will not solve all your problems, it will help you develop the emotional and mental skills to overcome fear. It turns out that overcoming fear is a skill like any other. it can be developed and perfected using the 5-step process of courage.
12. the code of inspiration: how the best leaders energize people every day, by kristi hedges
Have you noticed how great leaders give the best speeches? or how his wise words inspire you to action?
It’s no coincidence that great leaders say the right things at the right time. Her ability to do so is the central theme behind Kristi Hedges’ latest book, The Inspiration Code.
If you’ve always dreamed of being the kind of person who motivates others but don’t know where to start, read this book.
hedges teaches that inspiring others is a skill you can really learn. In The Inspiration Code, you’ll learn the qualities you need to develop to be the kind of motivational person people want to follow. it’s not a matter of innate talent, but an understanding of human emotion and how to use it in every situation.
women in leadership
13. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
It didn’t take long for option b to become one of the most talked about hits of the year. After the sudden death of her husband, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg entered a deep “void,” as she describes it, filled with “a great emptiness.”
Partnering with wharton psychologist adam grant, he created this excellent resource for anyone seeking to recover from a momentous experience.
While Option B is not just for women, it can help aspiring leaders deal with life’s adversities. As women continue to face unique challenges in the workplace, dealing with adversity is something all successful women do. The book doesn’t just end with Sandberg’s story, it includes stories of people who have recovered from divorce, incarceration, and even sexual assault.
14. Harness It: The Power of Women at Work, by Sallie Krawcheck
Sallie Krawcheck’s own It By Sallie offers a unique spin on women and leadership, based on her successful career at the top of some of America’s largest banks, professional networks, and news publications.
krawcheck offers women a new set of rules for success in the workplace. in particular, she focuses on how women can better engage in the business world as it undergoes profound technology-driven change. own will show you how to harness your innate strengths and rise to the top.
15. madame president: the extraordinary journey of ellen johnson sirleaf, by helene cooper
Very few books in the leadership genre are as harrowing as Madame President: The Story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nobel Prize-winning leader of the Liberian women’s movement.
In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Helene Cooper takes you through the triumphant story of Africa’s first democratically elected female president.
Mrs. President doesn’t read like a self-help book, but it’s packed with amazing examples of perseverance.
Cooper masterfully transforms Sirleaf’s personal story into a larger narrative of Liberian women. In doing so, the author examines Sirleaf’s personal leadership in the Liberian women’s rights movement and how she ultimately came to hold elected office.
There you have it: 15 of the best leadership books 2017 has to offer (so far). you might be thinking: how on earth am I going to read this entire list? the answer is simple: start slowly.
Even if you spend 30 minutes a day nurturing your leadership skills, you can probably finish a book in the span of a month. That’s 12 leadership books a year!
now imagine if you increase your reading to 45 minutes a day or even an hour a day. As world-renowned life coach Brian Tracy says, that’s one book a week!
If becoming a leader is important to you, pick up a good book and start reading. This small investment of time, energy, and money can lead to abundant rewards in life and work.
and to check out the best leadership books that made our list in 2015 and 2016, take a look at these articles: – part 1: 2015: the 20 leadership books you must read I’ll help you win followers who respect you – part 1 – part 2: 2016 – best leadership books – part 2: discover 24 sources of inspiration that will make you an exceptional leader