Books

The best leadership books

Want to be a great leader? Hear from top business leaders like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Nike founder Phil Knight and venture capitalist John Doerr. Take lessons from the biographies of tech founders, a Navy SEAL and US Presidents. This selection of top books about leadership was carefully chosen from bestseller lists, Forbes, and even from the recommendations of Bill Gates and Barack Obama.

18 essential books about leadership

By Daniel H. Pink
In this provocative and persuasive new book, Pink asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home - is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

By Sheryl Sandberg
Chief operating officer of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg gave an electrifying TED talk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which has been viewed more than six million times, encouraged women to "sit at the table," seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto. Lean In continues that conversation, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to change the conversation from what women can't do to what they can.

By Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of outliers - the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
By Timothy Ferriss
Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, shares the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure book - a compilation of tools, tactics, and habits from 130+ of the world's top performers. From iconic entrepreneurs to elite athletes, from artists to billionaire investors, their short profiles can help you answer life's most challenging questions, achieve extraordinary results, and transform your life.
By Stephen R. Covey
One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of presidents and CEOs, educators and parents - in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations across the world.

By Doris Kearns Goodwin
In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the origin, uncertain growth, and finally, the exercise of fully developed leadership.
By Brené Brown
A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential. Whether you've read Daring Greatly and Rising Strong or you're new to Brené Brown's work, this book is for anyone who wants to step up and into brave leadership.

By Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio, one of the world's most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he's developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business - and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.

By Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life.

By Walter Isaacson
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years - as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues - Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries.

By Daniel Kahneman
Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives - and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.

By Marcus Buckingham an Curt Coffman
Great managers share one common trait: They do not hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. They do not believe that, with enough training, a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They do not try to help people overcome their weaknesses. They consistently disregard the golden rule. And, yes, they even play favorites. This amazing book explains why.

By John Brooks
Stories about Wall Street are infused with drama and adventure and reveal the machinations and volatile nature of the world of finance. Longtime New Yorker contributor John Brooks' insightful reportage is so full of personality and critical detail that whether he is looking at the astounding market crash of 1962, the collapse of a well-known brokerage firm, or the bold attempt by American bankers to save the British pound, one gets the sense that history repeats itself.

By Greg McKeown
The Way of the Essentialist isn't about getting more done in less time. It's about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

By Phil Knight
Bill Gates named Shoe Dog one of his five favorite books of 2016 and called it "an amazing tale, a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It's a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey, riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice. Phil Knight opens up in ways few CEOs are willing to do."

By Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle
The team behind How Google Works returns with management lessons from legendary coach and business executive, Bill Campbell, whose mentoring of some of our most successful modern entrepreneurs has helped create well over a trillion dollars in market value.

By John Doerr
Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth - and how it can help any organization thrive.

By Simon Sinek
Start With Why shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with why.

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