Workshops, short training courses, university education, and seminars; there are plenty of ways for us to enhance our skills, knowledge, and expertise through continued professional development (CPD).
But did you know that reading books is also a form of CPD?
Reading leadership books enables us to learn from leading industry experts, expand our insight, learn new ways of doing, seek guidance, and see things from other perspectives.
If you’re hoping to complete CPD in the upcoming weeks or months, we share our top 7 leadership books for leaders at all stages of their careers in this blog.
The Benefits Of Reading Leadership Books
Before we share our top 7 leadership books for leaders, taking a minute to reflect on the benefits of reading is handy.
Everyday life is busy. We spend most of our time caring for others, working, doing housework, and participating in leisurely activities such as going to the gym. So sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it can feel like there’s hardly any time to pick up a book, let alone read it from cover to cover.
However, as a form of CPD, reading has many benefits – even if you can only manage a few pages at a time. So, what are the benefits of reading leadership books?
Reading offers insight and knowledge. When you read leadership books, you’ll gain insight and understanding into the lives and careers of authors. If you’re a new leader, this can offer inspiration and guidance. If you’re a seasoned leader, turning to experts can support you in making changes in the workplace or bettering your skills.
Leadership books can help you develop your leadership skills. As a leader, you’ll never truly stop learning. The workplace and world change almost daily, meaning your leadership skills do too. Depending on the topic of the book you read, leadership books can support you in developing skills, including communication, teamwork, empathy, emotional intelligence, and enhancing well-being in the workplace.
Leadership books support you in becoming a more effective leader. In addition to helping you develop your leadership skills and offering insight and knowledge, reading leadership books can help you grow your effectiveness as a leader. Learning more about different topics also provides a well-rounded view of various subjects, practices, and leadership models.
Our Top 7 Leadership Books For Leaders
Now we’ve reviewed some of the benefits of reading, let’s dive into our top 7 leadership books for leaders.
Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee
Based on the key principles of Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence model, this leadership book is a must-read for any leader.
Throughout the book, real-life case studies, tips, and insights share everything a new leader needs to know about leading with Emotional Intelligence and the difference this makes to the bottom line.
The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner
A fabulous how-to for leaders, The Leadership Challenge breaks down the five practices of exemplary leadership, which are:
1) Model the way
2) Inspire a shared vision
3) Challenge the process
4) Enable others to act
5) Encourage the heart
The Leadership Challenge additionally focuses on the importance and value of engaging the team you lead and appreciating the importance of broader stakeholder networks.
The Tao of Coaching by Max Landsberg
A personal favourite of our Director of Coaching due to being a very short story, this book brilliantly illustrates how to coach using an example of a new manager and direct report.
During the book, Alex is learning how to manage, and he’s constantly practising his new skill of coaching whilst learning what works and what doesn’t.
Legacy by James Kerr
A beautiful read about the culture and legacy of the ‘All Blacks’ and their goal to “leave the jersey in a better place”, Legacy is an inspirational read.
This book shares ideas and steps that leaders can deploy to bring together a team in which each person shines and collectively are brighter than anyone alone.
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
For many leaders, their biggest challenge is the imposter in their own heads.
In Dare to Lead, Brené looks through several lenses to help leaders lean into vulnerability and uncertainty and take control of those inner thoughts. Addressing self-leadership first and then leading others, she has some great tips for new leaders to be their best.
Future – Engage – Deliver: The Essential Guide to Your Leadership by Steve Radcliffe
'Future, Engage, Deliver: The Essential Guide to Your Leadership' by Steve Radcliffe is a helpful short guide to developing your leadership.
Throughout this book, Radcliffe encourages readers to focus on the importance of ambition and securing the interest, ideas, and commitment of others before delivering on organisational plans and goals that have been identified.
Jump!: Deliver Astonishing Results by Unleashing Your Leadership Team by Chris Henderson
Throughout his book, Henderson shares his belief that in many leadership teams, there is often untapped potential.
To help enhance collective performance and contribution that can have a tremendous impact on organisation change, Henderson encourages readers to focus on what he calls game-changing conversations.
If you’re leading a team, this book is highly recommended. Sharing case studies, exercises, models, and tools, you’ll have the chance to refocus your attention on the importance of full team conversations.
With so many fantastic leadership books by industry experts out there, whittling down our top 7 was by no means an easy task. However, we hope that you'll find these recommendations helpful regardless of where you are in your leadership journey.
At The Leadership Coaches, we’d love to know whether you’ve read any of our top 7 leadership books for leaders. If you have, share your thoughts with us over on LinkedIn.
As a side note, most books are available as Audiobooks. So, if you prefer listening to books over reading them, there’s no need to worry about missing out.