Leadership is both a research area, and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual, group, or organization to “lead”, influence, or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. U.S. academic environments define leadership as “a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Whatever the term may be defined as it is an important skill. A skill that makes us stand out from the rest of the crowd. With the ever-increasing world population and therefore competition, this is one skill that will help us survive in the race of “survival of the fittest”. This is a skill for which a YouTube video is not enough. To master this skill, we need a coach, and what is a better coach than a book written by experts.
Therefore, we are providing you the ten best leadership books of all times.
This book has been established as a management classic, is about the ‘hows’ of leadership: how people become leaders, how they lead, and how organizations encourage or stifle potential leaders. Leaders are made, not born. They are people who know what they want, why they want it and how to communicate what they want to others in order to gain their co-operation and support. Based on a series of interviews with a mix of dynamic leaders from many different fields including law, medicine, and the cinema, On Becoming a Leader offers practical advice for those ready to make the transition from management to leadership. Warren Bennis is a pioneer in leadership studies. On Becoming a Leader is his seminal work, exemplifying Bennis’s core belief that leaders are not born they are made. In a world increasingly defined by turbulence and uncertainty, the call to leadership is more urgent than ever. Providing essential and timeless insights for generations of readers.
Wooden on Leadership is a book that explains step-by-step how the author and coach John Wooden pursued and accomplished this goal. This book is written focusing on Wooden’s 12 Lessons in Leadership and his acclaimed Pyramid of Success, it outlines the mental, emotional, and physical qualities essential to building a winning organization, and shows you how to develop the skill, confidence, and competitive fire to “be at your best when your best is needed” –and teach your organization to do the same.
This book is a management book by Jim C. Collins that describes how companies transition from being good companies to great companies, and how most companies fail to make the transition. The book was a bestseller, selling four million copies and going far beyond the traditional audience of business books. The book was published on October 16, 2001. The book offers leaders a complete framework for success, by providing the time-tested business ideas of Level 5 Leaders, The Hedgehog Concept, and A Culture of Discipline.
4. Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee
This refreshed edition, with a new preface by the authors, vividly illustrates the power—and the necessity—of leadership that is self-aware, empathic, motivating, and collaborative in a world that is ever more economically volatile and technologically complex. It is even timelier now than when it was originally published. Managers and professionals across the globe have embraced Primal Leadership, affirming the importance of emotionally intelligent leadership. Its influence has also reached well beyond the business world: the book and its ideas are now used routinely in universities, business and medical schools, and professional training programs, and by a growing legion of professional coaches. From bestselling authors Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee, this groundbreaking book remains a must-read for anyone who leads or aspires to lead.
Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a business and self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles based on a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless. In this book, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centred approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity — principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
6. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James Kouzes & Barry Posner
The Leadership Challenge is the gold-standard manual for effective leadership, grounded in research and written by the premier authorities in the field. With deep insight into the complex interpersonal dynamics of the workplace, this book positions leadership both as a skill to be learned, and as a relationship that must be nurtured to reach its full potential. Business is evolving at an increasingly rapid rate, and leaders must keep pace with the changes or risk stagnation. People work differently, are motivated differently, and have different expectations today―business as usual is quickly losing its effectiveness. The Leadership Challenge helps you stay current, relevant, and effective in the modern workplace.
The book starts with comparing the two main ways to influence human behaviour: manipulation and inspiration. Sinek argues that inspiration is the more powerful and sustainable of the two. The book primarily discusses the significance of leadership and purpose to succeed in life and business. Sinek highlights the importance of taking the risk and going against the status quo to find solutions to global problems. He believes leadership holds the key to inspiring a nation to come together and advance a common interest to make a nation, or the planet, a more civilized place. He turns to Dr. Martin Luther Jr, John F Kennedy, Steve Jobs, and the entire Apple culture as examples of how a purpose can be created to inspire a culture together, away from the manipulative society we live in today.
8. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham
First, Break All the Rules, subtitled What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, is a book authored by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, who offer solutions to better employee satisfaction with the help of examples of how the best managers handle employees. This book is a discussion on the fallacies of standard management thinking and how good managers create and sustain employee satisfaction. The book is a result of observations based on 80,000 interviews with managers as conducted by the Gallup Organization in the last 25 years. The core of the matter lies in how these managers have debunked old myths about management and how they created new truths on obtaining and keeping talented people in their organization. Some key ideas of the book include what the best managers do and don’t do: they treat every employee as an individual; they don’t try to fix weaknesses, but instead, focus on strengths and talent; and they find ways to measure, count, and reward outcomes.
The execution shows how to link together people, strategy, and operations, the three core processes of every business. Leading these processes is the real job of running a business, not formulating a “vision” and leaving the work of carrying it out to others. Bossidy and Charan show the importance of being deeply and passionately engaged in an organization and why robust dialogues about people, strategy, and operations result in a business based on intellectual honesty and realism. With paradigmatic case histories from the real world—including examples like the diverging paths taken by Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase and Charles Prince at Citigroup—Execution provides the realistic and hard-nosed approach to business success that could come only from authors as accomplished and insightful as Bossidy and Charan.
Daniel Goleman’s brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny. Drawing on the groundbreaking brain and behavioural research, Goleman shows the factors at work when people of high IQ flounder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well. These factors, which include self-awareness, self-discipline, and empathy, add up to a different way of being smart—and they aren’t fixed at birth. Although shaped by childhood experiences, emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened throughout our adulthood—with immediate benefits to our health, our relationships, and our work. With a new introduction from the author, the twenty-fifth-anniversary edition prepares readers, now more than ever, to reach their fullest potential and stand out from the pack with the help of EI.