10 Great Leadership Books to Help You Succeed

December 7, 2017

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Are you thinking about your New Year’s resolutions yet? If your list includes improving your leadership skills, check out this list of books for sound advice and inspirational stories on leading in today’s business and educational environments. These books are sure to make an impact as you learn practical ways to lead your teams, your business, and yourself.

Happy reading!

Explain Everything Business LeaderAll In: 101 Real Life Business Lessons for Emerging Entrepreneurs

by Bill Green

Green shares his insights and secrets gathered through his own experience as a serial entrepreneur. He shares what he learned as he launched multiple businesses and took them from startups to successful businesses. All In outlines how to turn your passion into a thriving business by quickly identifying and responding to trends and continually differentiating your company from the competition. Green’s practical advice and tools can be used as a roadmap for entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business.

About the author: Bill Green is the CEO at LendingOne and former founder and CEO of Interline Brands which is now owned by The Home Depot.

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Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff

by Chip Gaines

Through hard work and dedication, Gaines recounts his journey on being an entrepreneur and risk taker. His willingness to never give up and positive attitude brought him much success. Capital Gaines, a national bestseller, explains how the author’s unique personality and strategies helped him get through some failures in order to succeed in business and in life. If you are an entrepreneur looking for tips to get started, Gaines has some straightforward advice: take that first step.

About the author: Chip Gaines and his wife, Joanna Gaines, are co-founders and co-owners of Magnolia Homes, Magnolia Market, and Magnolia Realty, and they co-host HGTV’s Fixer Upper television show.

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Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

This is an updated edition of the story of two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who have applied their battlefield leadership skills to the business world. Willink and Babin have taken their skills and launched a successful company that teaches their Navy SEAL leadership principles to companies of all sizes. In this New York Times bestseller, Extreme Ownership, steps you through compelling instructions on how to lead and win, and show that leadership is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails.

About the authors: Jocko Willink is a decorated retired Navy SEAL officer and served as Officer-in-Charge of training for all West Coast SEAL Teams. He is also the author of the children’s book Way of the Warrior Kid and the bestseller Discipline Equals Freedom. Leif Babin is a decorated former Navy SEAL officer and was the primary leadership instructor for all officers graduating from the SEAL training pipeline. Willink and Babin are co-founders of Echelon Front, a leadership consulting company.

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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

by Angela Duckworth

In this New York Times bestseller, Duckworth discusses how grit is the key to success, not innate talent and intelligence. In Grit, Duckworth takes you through research conducted with West Point cadets, national spelling bee students, new teachers in tough neighborhoods, and sales professionals. What did her team discover about predicting success? It was not any measurable factor such as income or standardized test results that gave a clear indication of who would succeed. The one common significant predictor of success was passion and perseverance. In other words, grit.

About the author: Angela Duckworth, PhD, is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Founder and Scientific Director of the Character Lab.

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High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way

by Brendon Burchard

In High Performance Habits, six core habits are revealed to help you succeed. After conducting one of the largest surveys of high performers, Burchard concluded that six proven habits will help you achieve long-term success through clarity, energy, necessity, productivity, influence, and courage. Each habit is accompanied by real-world practices and exercises, along with a way to measure your progress.

About the author: Brendon Burchard is the CEO of the High Performance Institute, a leading high performance coach, and best-selling author whose books include The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, The Millionaire Messenger, and Life’s Golden Ticket.

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The Power of Positive Leadership: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams and Organizations and Change the World                

by Jon Gordon

In The Power of Positive Leadership, Gordon talks about how essential positive leadership is in order to create connected teams and cultures that provide optimal results. Through interviews with current leaders and research on positive leaders throughout history, he outlines a framework with principles and practical ideas that will benefit individuals and teams who are looking at how to navigate through the negativity in order to lead positively.

About the author: Jon runs a training/consulting company and is the author of numerous best-selling books including The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, Training Camp, The Seed, You Win in the Locker Room First, and The No Complaining Rule.

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Principles: Life and Work

by Ray Dalio

Dalio is a successful entrepreneur and investor who shares his learnings on garnering unique results in business and life. In Principles, a New York Times bestselling book, Dalio shares his story on the start of his firm, and outlines the strategies that have led his company to experience exceptional success. His push for radical truth and radical transparency explains how to make strong teams and effective decisions through innovative ideas and unique principles.

About the author: Ray Dalio is the founder and CEO of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world.

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Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity                

by Kim Scott

Radical Candor is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling book filled with information on how to become a more effective leader and colleague. The first step is by asking for feedback. Packed with real-life stories from Scott’s experiences at corporations and start-ups, the book provides candid observations to guide leaders on inspiring and leading teams. Her guidance comes down to two simple rules: Care Personally and Challenge Directly.

About the author: Kim Scott is the co-founder of Candor, Inc. and author of three novels.

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The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks                                     by Joshua Cooper Ramo

How are successful leaders capitalizing on today’s connectivity and intertwined networks? The Seventh Sense, A New York Times and Washington Post bestseller, is a guide to seeing how the world is changing through forces that are invisible to most, but explains how the world operates today. Ramo’s insights make you see the world in a new way as he illustrates how to master leadership skills in our hyper-connected world.

About the author: Joshua Cooper Ramo is co-chief executive officer and vice chairman of Kissinger Associates and a member of the board of directors of FedEx and Starbucks. He is also the author of the international bestseller The Age of the Unthinkable.

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Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less – and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined               

by Scott Sonenshein

In Stretch, Sonenshein discusses the art of stretching resources to do more with what we have in creative and productive ways. He looks at how some people and organizations are able to succeed by stretching the little resources they have, while others fail by constantly chasing in order to gain more. Applying the stretching skill helps people work smarter in order to reach their goals.

About the author: Scott Sonenshein is the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management at Rice University and sits on five distinguished editorial boards.

We hope you have a chance to read through these books and identify best practices to incorporate into your life to improve your leadership skills. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for the next wave of leadership books coming in 2018 because as Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”