My favorite leadership books are by John Maxwell. I like his books because his leadership principles are simple and easy to implement. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out my recommended Maxwell reads.
Of course there are numerous other leadership books that have impacted my leadership walk. Here are my favorites:
The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner: This book provides a great indepth look into the essential actions that all leaders must live out. It’s a great book to read and discuss with leadership study group or your team.
The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson: Wow, what a great book when you are going through changes in your life to pursue a dream! I’ve read this book three times. It will prepare you for your dream journey, and take it from me: It is accurate!
Visioneering by Andy Stanley: The importance of vision in your life and in your company is severely underestimated! If you need to understand vision, establish vision or cast vision, this book is insanely motivating.
Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham, StrengthFinders 2.0 by Tom Rath, and Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie: I love these books and act on their strength philosophies with every team I’ve served. I would suggest reading them in this order.
Halftime by Bob Buford: I read this during the first half of my career.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni: I love all of Lencioni’s books, but this one is my all-time favorite! Seriously, it is a great read if you lead or serve on a team. It’s an easy book to execute, too.
Tribes by Seth Godin: This book gives you an amazing look at how building a strong brand earns your not just an audience but something stronger, like a tribe!
Good to Great by Jim Collins: It seems like we have been saying, “Get the right people on the bus, and get them in the right seats,” for forever! This is an excellent read if you lead a company.
How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins: Bam! This books slams in your face. I’ve been in a company that has fallen through Collin’s five stages. For execution, keep these stages posted on your wall so you can see them and constantly be aware of how the mighty (big or small) can fall.
Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander: This humorous book is a great short read for sales teams and small companies. It will give you the courage to be strong and keep moving along.
The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall: This feel-good book is an awesome quick read that is hard to put down. It’s a great gift and a must read for your kids. It has even been made into a movie!
Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell: It’s a great book that helped develop me early in my leadership career. It’s also a short and easy to read.
You Don’t Have to have a Title to be a Leader by Mark Sanborn: I want every person who works for me to read this book. If you are in a large organization, the politics can be frustrating for employees in the middle. This book will help them understand they don’t need the title.
Corporate Lifecycles by Ichak Adizes: This is my favorite nerd book. I didn’t read it straight through but skipped to parts that were very interesting. I am adding it to my list because of how accurate the information was on the lifecycle of organizations.
Managing Up by Rosanne Badwoski: My executive assistant, Diane Brown, and I read this book at the same time. We met weekly and discussed a chapter or two each week. It was a great book to help us become more efficient together, and we implemented a ton of its ideas.