Best Books On Leadership: 11 Must-Have Books On Your List

One of the best ways to become a leader is to read about the exploits of those in leadership positions, and gain access to the best books on leadership.

There’s nothing better than reading a book on a topic you enjoy and getting excited whenever the author’s worldview matches with your own. Especially when they give you actionable advice and tips for becoming a better leader. That actionable advice is why leadership is important!

There’s a ton of leadership books out there, and you can use several different categories to organize them all. You can take a look at the bestsellers, ones specific to your niche, ones written by authors you admire, ones with actionable steps, and more.

However, even narrowing them down still leaves you with a ton of options to choose from.

That’s where this article comes in. Hopefully, the overwhelm will be removed as you look at this list of the 11 best books on leadership.

There’s something for everyone here, and once you put down this article, you should be able to pick up one of these books!


11 Best Books On Leadership


1. The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership

Best Books On LeadershipThis book is the gold standard, and the roadmap, for what a good leadership book should be. It not only tells you how to be a good leader, but also connects leadership as an action 

to every other law in the book. The first law even talks about ‘the lid’ which is a limit on potential defined by your ability to lead!

Each of the laws are presented in an easy and common sense format, allowing for you to absorb their message easily. It’s a simple book where you don’t have to reread the pages for a deeper meaning.

You’ll learn about how your character, your actions, and your thoughts influence your leadership, and how you can use them to grow as a person.


2. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

7 Habits Of Highly Effective PeopleLeadership is not an act, and it’s not something that you do every single day. Instead, it’s something you are, an amalgamation of habits that make you a highly effective person.

There’s no better book on habits, then the Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People. Each habit focuses on a different area of you as a person, and together they can make you great.

The book presents actionable steps that can help improve your life with each habit. This isn’t one of those books that simply gives you the habits and no direction on how to use them.

Each of the seven habits is something that you can do every day. Over time, they can make you into a very effective person.

It might take a while to fully understand and implement the habits into your daily routine. Once you start performing each of the seven habits, you’ll see results. You’ll also have a much better idea of where your time and energy are going each day.


3. How To Win Friends & Influence People

Best Books On LeadershipBeing a leader isn’t just about being the boss, but it’s also about being charismatic and charming when the time calls for it.

How To Win Friends & Influence People focuses on that aspect because every great leader is often highly respected.

In it, author Dale Carnegie focuses on what seems to be the hardest task of all: making people like you.

It might not seem like you can do anything to make someone like you, aside from the 5-second first impression you always get.

How To Win Friends says that you have more chances than you think, we just don’t realize it. It isn’t one of the best books on leadership for nothing after all!

Dale introduces actionable steps that can sway anyone to your side. He also shares ways to change people without them resenting you for it, and how to make any situation work for you.

If you are in a leadership position then you need to read this book and start applying its lessons.

After all, part of the reason why leadership is important is because of the influence that you have on others. The more you can influence people, the more successful you will be.


4. Leading Change

Leading ChangeAs a leader, no matter where you are, you will often be at the epicenter of some pretty substantial change. Maybe your company is expanding, your job takes on some new staff, or perhaps bad times require you to evolve.

Whenever change hits, you need to grab Leading Change.

The book focuses on how to not only survive change, but also how to make the changes work for you. It provides clear and actionable tips on how to turn change into something positive, and how to grab opportunities that a change gives you.

The book talks about fixing your entire mindset about what change is, and how to project confidence in a time of crisis. It helps leaders and followers navigate through the upheavals that both business and life present you with.

Give it a read during the tough times, and you might be able to use its lessons to smooth the transition over. Who knows, you might even look forward to the change once you see all the opportunities it brings you!


5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Rich Dad Poor DadMost people think being rich is something you are born with. You need to know the right people, have connections, and be in the right place at the right time to make the big bucks.

Rich Dad Poor Dad is the story that turns all of that on its head.

The book demystifies money and investing, and shows that being rich is something anyone can do by following a few simple steps.

Mostly, this relates to saving and investing as Robert Kiyosaki talks about the lessons he learned from his two dads.

It’s a book that everyone in the business of making money should read, especially if you are in a leadership position. You might find that being rich isn’t very complex after all. The actionable steps are what make this book one of the best books on leadership.


6. Dare To Lead

Dare To LeadLet’s be honest here, leadership is scary. Being a leader is all about standing up in the face of fear and leading other people through it. You have to dare to lead in order to be a leader, but how on earth do you do that?

Dare to Lead breaks down how to lead people, by seeing potential in others and  molding it into something greater.

One of the biggest challenges that any leader can take on is the challenge of mentoring others. Dare to Lead shows why that leadership is important.

It’s a book about developing yourself and the people who you are leading. At the end of the day, that just makes everyone around you better.

The book is all about connecting with others and using your leadership abilities to make your followers benefit. Isn’t that what leadership is all about?


7. The New One Minute Manager

Best Books On LeadershipIt’s not easy to be a leader in this crazy world of ours. Constant interruptions, meetings, distractions, and more all make life very hectic. Sometimes it seems like leaders can’t even get five minutes to themselves without someone calling on them to fix something.

The New One Minute Manager seeks to change all that, by giving leaders three easy ways to improve their jobs.

The best part is that each way takes only one minute to pull off, so in three minutes you’ll have done them all!

The book also takes some of the events with employees, such as reviewing goals and condenses them down to one minute. That way, you can spend less time correcting your employees and more time connecting with them and helping them do their work.


8. Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last Whenever it comes to being a leader, it can be very easy to simply focus on you. After all, everyone is depending on you.

You’re the one who needs to get things done, and your job is on the line if your team falls. But being a leader means being part of a team, and Leaders Eat Last shows what makes some teams strong.

It focuses on the idea that leaders can sacrifice their own comfort to keep their employees happy. If you are a leader, you should go to the back of the line and let your employees reap the benefits first. This creates trust, because the employees will know that you care about them, and they will care for you.

It’s not easy, especially in a world where leaders are told to eat first and take advantage of their position. But if you want to build a strong team, applying the lessons in Leaders Eat Last is a must.


9. Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn

Learning To LeadOne of the biggest misconceptions about being a leader is the fact that leaders are supposed to know everything. Leaders are supposed to have all the answers, be able to solve any problem, and make sure that everything goes right.

Not only is that impossible, because no one is perfect, but it also puts pressure on leaders and encourages stagnation.

But the book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn discusses the importance of learning. It also focuses on how learning shaped one of the greatest car companies in the world: Toyota.

It gives you actionable tips about reflection, self-improvement, and being a student when everyone else sees you as a master.


This book knows that being a leader isn’t the end of a journey, but rather the beginning of something new for you and the people you lead. Give it a read with an open mind and a desire to learn in your heart. You will certainly start to grow.


10. Developing the Leader Within You 2.0

Best Books On LeadershipHow do you become a leader? It’s not something you are, but rather something that you do, and everyone knows that.

The problem is that not a lot of places in the world teach you how to be a leader. Plus, it can be hard to develop the skills needed to lead on your own.

Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 is all about the leadership skills you haven’t been taught before.

The book shows you how to care about your employees and manage your time and energy. It also talks about how to delegate tasks that are taking too long, and build up other leaders through your example.

It shares the five levels of leadership, and why influence is so important when it comes to building a leader. There’s a lot of lessons here, and that’s what makes this one of the best books on leadership.

You probably will find yourself lost at some stages of your leadership journey. Whenever you are stuck, picking up this book can make sure that you have a few ideas to work with.


11. Excellence Wins

Excellence WinsExcellence Wins is a book that doesn’t tell you how to be a leader. Instead, it shows you how to get inside your customer’s head and become the type of leader that they need.

In the business of being a leader, you are serving people, and you need to understand those people. The book says that you need to see what your customer wants to feel, and then give it to them.

It also talks about analyzing every step in your business to not only find flaws, but to make your business better. Sometimes problems aren’t from the source that you think they are, and you need to be aware of every possibility.

Excellence Wins has a very unique philosophy and writing style. Once you read it and take action on it, you will be able to get inside your customer’s head. Then you’ll see exactly how you can serve them. It will have you thinking about your business in several different ways, and you’ll only become better because of it.


Reading the Best Books On Leadership


Any one of these books can help you grow as a leader. If you find the time to read them all, then your personal growth will skyrocket. However, just reading them isn’t going to be good enough if you truly want to become a better leader. You need to use the knowledge of the best books on leadership to become the best leader you can be.

You need to be able to take action with these books. So when you read them, take notes, jot important ideas or quotes down, highlight them, and do any included exercises as you get to them.

Passively reading is not enough to absorb the knowledge, and it won’t do you any good. Instead, you need to put the knowledge into practice and use the skills to become a better leader.

No book is going to make you a great leader overnight. If you decide to take action on what you read and absorb all the lesions inside of the book, it will help you. Find the book that speaks to you and your situation, and then use its lessons in your life and business.

You’ll grow as a person and a business owner, just with one of the best books on leadership. Who doesn’t want that?


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