Books Worth Reading For Leaders
If you’re going to be a leader, then you have to be a reader. If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or a leader in the community then there are people constantly looking to you for advice, coaching, vision, direction, and more. Every day you are constantly being needed to pour yourself out to the people around you, which leaves little to no time for you to be developed and replenished.
One of the best ways to help you grow as a leader and a better person is by reading! But what you read, where you read, how you read it, and how you long it takes you to extract value from what you read is a serious skill that one must learn to develop throughout your life. Everyone can agree that it is easier to understand the importance of reading than it is to follow through with it. In an effort to help you jump back into reading, here are some of our favorite books for leaders, entrepreneurs, and creatives looking to dive back into reading:
Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley is a powerful and compelling book on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance is a deeply moving memoir of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek shares a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
Good to Great by Jim Collins explores why some companies and entrepreneurs make the leap and others don’t by sharing the key determinants of greatness.
Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.
The Gift by Lewis Hyde gives a defense of the value of creativity and of its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi makes you reexamine what’s important in life and make you appreciate each day you’re here.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger explains why certain products and ideas become popular and how to make your product or idea catch on.
The Innovation Blind Spot by Ross Baird demonstrates how and where to find better ideas by lifting up people, places, and industries that are often overlooked.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg is a revelatory, inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth that will empower women around the world to achieve their full potential.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie provides timeless advice to build relationships, build success, and grow your business by managing people well.
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard is the story of how he brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence.
The Third Wave by Steve Case explains the ways in which newly emerging technology companies will have to rethink their relationships with customers, with competitors, and with governments; and offers advice on how entrepreneurs can make winning business decisions and strategies—and how all of us can make sense of this ever-changing digital age.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas by three partners at Google Ventures, a unique five-day process for solving tough problems, proven at more than a hundred companies. A practical guide to answering critical business questions.
Moonglow by Michael Chabon is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact—and the creative power—of keeping secrets and telling lies.
There are so many great books and so little time it seems to read them all. However, the key to growing as a reader is finding a rhythm and space that works for you. By building time into your day to read will help grow you as a leader and will add value both in your personal life and career.
What books would you recommend adding to our list? Let us know and we would love to add the book to our reading list.
Written by Ben Terry @benterry