top of page

Five Must-Read Leadership Books for Professional and Business Growth

Great leaders embrace the power of reading to elevate their leadership and their business. Reading is a fantastic way to gain insight and knowledge from successful leaders who have paved the way before you. Reading can help one avoid common mistakes and pitfalls, giving you an edge in your own leadership journey.

If you're looking to grow as a leader, here are five leadership books that will challenge you to reflect on your motivation to lead, to enhance your skills, and develop a winning team. These books will teach you how to transition from merely good to great, sharpen your leadership acumen, and emerge as a leader guided by emotional intelligence.

Open book, hardback books on wooden table

1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins

This book is a groundbreaking business book that explores the transformation of good companies into exceptional ones (good to great). Drawing upon extensive research, Collins identifies key principles and strategies that enable organizations to achieve sustained greatness over time. Through compelling case studies and in-depth analysis, the book offers valuable insights into the leadership, culture, and strategic decisions that set great companies apart from their competitors. Collins introduces readers to the proven business concepts of Level 5 Leaders, The Hedgehog Concept, and A Culture of Discipline, providing a blueprint for aspiring leaders and executives looking to propel their organizations to higher levels of success and long-term excellence.

2. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organization by James Kouzes & Barry Posner

The Leadership Challenge book discusses how leaders inspire their teams to achieve exceptional results within their organizations. The authors outline five practices of exemplary leadership that enable leaders to surpass basic task completion and accomplish remarkable feats. Staying up-to-date on this methodology is fundamental to remain pertinent and productive in the ever-changing work environment.

3. The Motive, by Patrick Lencioni

Lencioni delves into the heart of leadership by exploring the reasons why we want to lead. The book begins with a fable that is both well-written and engaging, with enough plot twists to keep the reader interested until the end. The lessons learned from the fable are what is truly valuable about this book.

Lencioni identifies two types of leaders: those who serve themselves and those who serve others. He characterizes the selfish leader as reward-centered, and the selfless leader as responsibility-centered. The main difference between these two types of leaders is that the selfless leader is willing to do the tough, unpleasant tasks, while the selfish leader will abdicate their most important responsibilities.

Lencioni proposes that the five most neglected duties of a leader are: developing the leadership team, managing subordinates, having difficult conversations, running great meetings, and communicating constantly and repetitively. Neglecting any of these duties may indicate a self-serving leader.

Overall, "The Motive" is an essential read for every leader. Lencioni believes that there is only one standard of leadership, which is based on the maxim, Leadership can never be about the leader more than the led.

4. Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee

The term "emotional intelligence" was introduced by this book, making it a staple in the business world. Exceptional leaders have the ability to move us, to inspire us, and to bring out our best. Strategy, vision, and powerful ideas are often cited as their key strengths, but the truth is that great leadership operates on a much more fundamental level - through the emotions. "Primal Leadership" offers insight into the steps that managers and executives must take to become emotionally intelligent leaders. Highly recommended for anyone in a leadership role or aiming to be one.

5. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni: Understanding the Common Pitfalls That Hinder Team Performance

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni is a must-read for anyone interested in optimizing team dynamics and performance. In this book, business fable master Lencioni delves into the common obstacles that impede teamwork, offering a compelling narrative that illustrates the five key dysfunctions and provides practical solutions for overcoming them. This insightful book equips leaders, managers, and team members with valuable tools to foster stronger collaboration, trust, and productivity within their teams, making it an essential resource for those striving to enhance their organization's overall effectiveness.

These five must-read books will help you improve your leadership skills, build a successful team, and elevate your business. Most of these books are available in digital and audio formats; check them out and share your takeaways with your teams.


bottom of page