In case you didn’t know, Soundview looks for, picks, and sums up the best business books that are written each year. There have been a lot of leadership books that have come through our office over the last 42 years. Thousands and… Thousands
Most are good, some are great, and some become business classics that every manager and leader should read. These are the books that give people new ideas and strategies that change how people think and how business is done. That’s why we put pen to paper and came up with a list of the best 25 leadership books ever. Without further ado, here is our list:
On Becoming a Leader
On Becoming a Leaderby Warren Bennis
Warren Bennis has been called “the Dean of Leadership Gurus” by Forbes magazine. He has made a strong case that leaders aren’t born; they are made. The qualities that make someone a leader, as well as how anyone can become one, are covered in his classic book On Becoming a Leader. It has been a source of important information for many people.
The Art of War
The Art of Warby Sun Tzu
More than 2,000 years ago, a Chinese military treatise called the “Art of War” was written. It tells you how to fight. The book, which is said to have been written by the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, has 13 chapters. Each one talks about a different aspect of war and how it affects military strategy and tactics. The Art of War is one of the most important strategy books in East Asian warfare. It has had an impact on military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy, and more.
Wooden on Leadership
Wooden on Leadershipby John Wooden & Steve Jamison
Wooden on Leadership talks about the mental, emotional, and physical qualities that are needed to build a winning team. It focuses on the legendary 12 Lessons in Leadership and the Pyramid of Success, which are both well-known. It also shows you how to become skilled, confident, and competitive so that you can “be at your best when your best is needed.” It also shows you how to teach your company to do the same.
Good to Great
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’tby Jim Collins
Collin, the author of the best-selling book “Built to Last,” and his team of researchers found 11 elite companies that went from “good” to “great.” Good to Great introduces us to business ideas that have worked for a long time, like Level 5 Leaders, The Hedgehog Concept, and A Culture of Discipline. This gives leaders a complete framework for success. In business, this book is a must-read for everyone.
Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligenceby Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee
The book that made “emotional intelligence” a word in business. A good leader makes us want to follow them. They make us excited and bring out the best in us. When we try to figure out why they work so well, we talk about strategy, vision, or powerful ideas when we talk about them. But the truth is that great leadership comes from the heart. Primal Leadership tells managers and executives what they need to do to be good leaders. Everyone who leads or wants to lead should read this.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Changeby Stephen R. Covey
The book that has been the most popular in the United States for a long time. It’s a holistic, integrated, principle-centered way to solve both personal and professional problems. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was first published in 1989. Even though today’s challenges have become more difficult, the book still has a lot to say about how to be more effective. With this business book, you can live a long and meaningful life.
The Leadership Challenge
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizationsby James Kouzes & Barry Posner
The Leadership Challenge talks about how leaders get people to help them do things that aren’t normal in businesses and organizations. Their Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® are shown in this text. When these practices are well-executed, leaders can cross the gap between getting work done and making great things happen. It’s important to read this to stay up to date, relevant, and effective in the modern world.
Start with Why
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Actionby Simon Sinek
When people don’t know why something is good, they won’t be able to believe in it. This is from the best-selling author of “Leaders Eat Last,” Start With Why. Real-life stories help Sinek build a picture of what it takes to be a leader and inspire.
First, Break All the Rules
First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differentlyby Marcus Buckingham
It’s been a long-running management book for a long time. In it, the author talks about the amazing results of Gallup’s long-term study of more than 80,000 managers. The data shows that even though they have different backgrounds and styles, great managers have one thing in common: They don’t hesitate to break business rules. Break all the rules in First, Break All the Rules, and you’ll learn important performance and career lessons for managers at all levels. You’ll also learn how to apply them to your own situation.
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Doneby Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan
Legendary Honeywell International Inc. CEO Larry Bossidy and consultant and author Ram Charan explain why getting things done is the most important job of a business leader. They say that strategy and innovation aren’t very important. There are three important parts to getting things done: people, strategy, and operations. In this business best-seller, the authors go over each one in great detail and show how they all work together. How to get things done by a smart business leader is called “execution.”
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQby Daniel Goleman
A book that changed what it means to be smart. In the past, we could only guess why high IQ didn’t always lead to happiness or success. Emotional Intelligence helped us figure out what was going on. Goleman’s research at the cutting edge of psychology and neuroscience sheds new light on our “two minds,” the rational and the emotional, and how they work together to make us successful in relationships, at work, and even in our bodies.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Usby Daniel H. Pink
Most people think that the best way to get people to do something is to give them money or other things that will make them happy. He says that’s a mistake. “Drive” by Dan Pink talks about how leaders can think outside the box when it comes to tapping into our deep-seated desires. These desires include being able to be in charge of our own work, getting better at what we enjoy doing at work, and having a greater sense of purpose in life.
Leading Changeby John Kotter
A lot of business changes are no longer the exception. They’re the norm. Leading Change is based on Kotter’s famous 8-step process for managing change that has been used by leaders and businesses all over the world for years. A guide for leaders and managers who have to make changes work.
The Innovator’s Dilemma
The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Failby Clayton Christensen
The Innovator’s Dilemma shows how even the best companies in the world can do everything right and still lose market share. It is through this fascinating multi-industry study that Christenson presents his seminal theory of disruptive innovation. This theory has changed how managers and CEOs all over the world think about new ideas.
How to Win Friends & Influence People
How to Win Friends & Influence Peopleby Dale Carnegie
This self-help book was first published in 1936. It has sold more than 15 million copies around the world. Carnegie’s advice about persuasion, career advancement, communication, and influence is just as important and relevant today as it was when the book was first written about the same things. Do everything you can with How to Win Friends & Influence People.
The Lean Startup
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businessesby Eric Ries
This book is a must-read for anyone who is thinking about starting their own business. The Lean Startup method shows you how to quickly find out what customers want and then use scientific experiments to show that you’re making progress. If you want to get into the market quickly and cheaply, Ries says it’s best to start as soon as possible, so you don’t waste time and money.
The Effective Executive
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Doneby Peter Drucker
In 1967, Drucker, known as the “Father of Modern Management,” wrote this well-known, often-quoted classic. The best way to tell if you’re an effective leader is to get the right things done. The Effective Executive talks about the five things that are important for running a business.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow Youby John C. Maxwell
Maxwell, a world-renowned expert on leadership, has written many books about this subject that have sold millions of copies. These books include “Leadershift,” “The 360 Degree Leader,” and “Leadership Gold.” Readers of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership will find that each law has its own chapter in the book. These chapters help readers set direction, align people, motivate and inspire – all with the goal of becoming a leader people want to follow.
The First 90 Days
The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarterby Michael Watkins
In The First 90 Days, a professor at Harvard Business School talks about how to take charge in the first 90 days of a new job. Michael Watkins gives this road map in the book. Avoid common mistakes made by new leaders, get important early victories, and start out on the right foot in your new job. This book has been on Amazon’s “100 Leadership and Success Books to Read in Your Lifetime” list for a long time. It’s the best book on how to be a leader when you change jobs.