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Leadership books - Top ten (Part One)

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

With so many leadership books on the market and an average of 4 new titles being released per day, according to Cairnway, finding those that will resonate with both yourself and your delegates is an onerous task, after all you cannot read all of them.

To help you we asked our networks through Linked In, clients, read Forbes, CEO magazine, People managing people and best leadership book lists and even read our favourites ourselves and these are the ones we have decided are the Top Ten, they combine some classics with newer releases that have really hit the spot.

Scroll down to read full reviews and buy

There is a reason why this has been a best seller for 30 years, the simplicity of the lessons make them easy to digest and implement. I honestly believe every leader or prospective leader should read this as they move up the ladder. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People asks readers undertake some self reflection assess their current leadership style. This book explains 7 principles that make a person more effective personally and professionally. This classic is well worth reading for its perspective and practical advice.

Work relationships can be hard. In Getting Along, workplace expert and Harvard Business Review podcast host Amy Gallo identifies eight familiar types of difficult co-workers - the insecure boss, the passive-aggressive peer, the know-it-all, the biased co-worker, and others and provides strategies tailored to dealing constructively with each one. She also shares principles that will help you turn things around, no matter who you're at odds with. She answers questions such as: What's behind my problem colleague's behaviour? How can I fix things if they won't cooperate? I've tried everything—what now?

Full of relatable, and practical advice you can use immediately.

This one of the best leadership books for building team culture. Brown, an accomplished researcher with a Ph.D. in social work, and one of the most successful Ted talks, argues the long-standing belief that vulnerability correlates to “weakness” is false. In fact, she writes an entire book to prove that being vulnerable is both courageous and brave. Specifically, this trait is one of the best leadership qualities found in business owners and executives. For this reason, it is perfect for anyone interested in creating a constructive, supportive workplace. It teaches people how to connect, be more empathetic, and show up with authenticity. It gives lots of examples and plenty of ideas to transform your leadership

Good to great, is an easy read with lessons than can help leaders at any level. It summarises the findings from the research into what makes certain high performing companies outperform their peers. These findings are fascinating and capable of being replicated by any company that wishes to improve their performance. Focus on getting the right people, then hone your product.

This is by far the best book ever written on how to have a tough conversation. Practical, relevant, easy to understand and translate into a brilliant tough conversations training course. Every leader and anyone who has to have a tough conversation at work should read this.

What really makes leaders successful? This team sought to find out through their extensive research. Having interviewed more than 2,000 leaders, over 13,000 hours with decades of leadership consultancy to answer the question “What really makes leaders successful?” Is being focused on leadership from a young ages, or attending a top university? There are some myths busted this book!

Companies can think of Diversity as having a range of employees who come from, look and sound different. However this book will make you think of Diversity differently, by having people from different backgrounds, countries, agendas, mindsets you can build a truly creative business that can think outside the box. Matthew illustrates this though stories and really makes you ask yourself who you surround yourself with and are getting ideas from. "You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it" so why not read this book and then take a look at your team and ask yourself am I guilty of hiring the "same" people.

Why do we make the decisions we do? Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, 'the world's most influential living psychologist' (Steven Pinker) revolutionised our understanding of human behaviour with Thinking, Fast and Slow. Distilling his life's work, Kahneman shows how there are two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. He reveals how our minds are tripped up by error, bias and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical) and gives practical techniques that enable us all to improve our decision-making. This profound exploration of the marvels and limitations of the human mind has had a lasting impact on how we see ourselves.

World-famous motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, talks about how important it is for leaders to set the tone for the organization by putting their people first. In Leaders Eat Last, you’ll learn about more than just making people feel happy about their jobs and fulfilled in their role. You’ll learn the science behind human behaviour and proven ways to successfully achieve lasting change. Leaders Eat Last is a good read for leaders at all levels, working in any type of organization.

Why are some people and organisations more inventive, pioneering and successful than others? And why are they able to repeat their success again and again?

Because in business it doesn't matter what you do, it matters why you do it.

Steve Jobs, the Wright brothers and Martin Luther King have one thing in common: they started with why.

This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or to be inspired.

Based on the most-watched TED Talk of all time.



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