13 Books to Help You Grow as a Leader

I love this quote by Margaret Fuller: “Today a reader. Tomorrow a leader.” One of the common habits I’ve observed in the best leaders is that they are avid readers. Even leaders at the top of their game are curious about new perspectives and possibilities, and reading is a way to satisfy that hunger for knowledge. Here are nine books to help you in your leadership journey.

  1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho [For Inspiration] One of the things I’ve noticed while interviewing leaders for my podcast is that many of them read fiction books, not just business books. This one is a personal favorite about the power of pursuing your biggest dreams.
  2. Atomic Habits by James Clear [For Transformation] If you’re serious about creating lasting change, James Clear’s Atomic Habits gives you the framework. He explains how our habits- small changes in human behavior- have a profound impact on our work and our lives.
  3. Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson [For Tough Conversations] Every leader has to have tough conversations. This book will teach you how to do it with empathy and clarity.
  4. Essentialism by Greg McKeown [For Clarity] Leaders have to distinguish between what’s important and what’s not. In a world full of more is better, McKeown makes the emphatic case for the disciplined pursuit of less.
  5. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni [For Team Culture] One of the biggest leadership challenges is building a high-performing team. This leadership fable will help you avoid five common mistakes that plague most teams.
  6. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown [For Leading With Authenticity] Brené Brown shatters the myth of the perfectly strong leader in this game-changing bestseller. The message will inspire you to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.
  7. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl [For Discovering Your Purpose] This powerful memoir will change your life. It’s about finding meaning in the most unimaginable circumstances, and moving forward with purpose.
  8. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant [For Building Resilience] Every leader faces adversity. Written after the sudden death of Sheryl’s husband, this book offers practical advice about how to build resilience and move forward in the face of setbacks.
  9. The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon [For Positive Reinforcement] Be the leader your people deserve. In this fable, Gordon reminds us that leadership is less about what you can do, and more about what you can empower others to do.
  10. The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler [For Human Performance] Every leader can learn how to accelerate performance from this book featuring the narratives of adventure athletes. Through the lens of their feats, Kotler explores the idea of “flow” and the potential of human performance.
  11. The Road Back To You by Ian Morgan Cron [For Self-Awareness] One of the most important but least talked about leadership skills is self-awareness. This book explores the Enneagram personality typing system so you learn about your own gifts and blind spots, and also understand how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do.
  12. Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath [For Change Management] The only constant is change and this is my favorite book on change management. To spark change and make it last, you must appeal to people’s rational thinking and emotions.
  13. Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden [For the Pillars of Success] A compelling look inside the powerful leadership philosophy of legendary basketball coach John Wooden. This is the book for building champions, inside and out.

 

The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company’s Game Changer Negotiation Training workshops teach business people the framework for successful negotiating, so that you can close more deals while building stronger relationships. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.