Best Leadership Books

Do you want the good news or bad news? 

Well the bad news is there is a lot of crap written about management & leadership that is available today. The good news is I have sifted through a lot of it & can advise that the following list have been personally read by myself, therefore, saving you time and money. Submerge yourself.

I cover all kinds of leadership books. Some obvious….some not so obvious. What I guarantee though there will be a great advice on business ethics, management and leadership and of course strategy.

To be an effective manager or leader you must stay up to date and be prepared to invest in yourself to expand your knowledge and continual learning. I’ve also highlighted my favourite chapters. Here we go:

Liquid Leadership: Damian Hughes

A simplistic no nonsense approach to leadership by some of the best leaders in different verticals. Thats the beauty of this book in that it demonstrates how leadership stretches over football, rugby, theme parks & the mighty Apple with true life experiences that are more realistic in the day to day business environment. If you get the chance to hear Damian Hughes speak at the many conferences he attends……GO!

Recommend Chapter 4 – Sailing By The North Star

Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap: Jim Collins

Life changing. I was little sceptical when I first picked up this book by the legendary Jim Collins. Granted you will have to pick your way through the financials but the business message is as always keep it simple and have a plan. Researched over 5 years and analysing 1,453 US companies, Collins picks apart why companies lift themselves to long term growth with exceptional leaders who on the face of it are not actually “exceptional” in their persona. Don’t settle for average recrutiment. Ensure you get the right people. Focus on the main crucial KPI & more importantly what is the main accelerator of a good to great business. Quite an easy business book read & invaluable as a reference guide.

RecommendChapter 3 – First Who….Then What.

The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme: Dr Steve Peters

Ever spoke up at a meeting and you’ve ended thinking ” why on earth did I say that? The Chimp Paradox explains it in full and offers an ideal way to “press pause like the sky remote”. An ideal reference guide of how to manage yourself and also identify the individuals within your team. The “Snow White Syndrome” is brilliant and you will understand in crystal clear focus that you may have one in your team. See its not you….its them. Good practical exercises that you can work through.

RecommendChapter 7 – The Planet Of Others

Leadership: Plain and Simple: Steve Radcliffe

Future:Engage:Deliver. A simple framework to develop you as a leader and as a manager. Down to earth practical advice which will no doubt accelerate your growth. Stick with it.

RecommendChapter 6 – The Four Energies

Reset: How to restart your life and get F.U Money: David Sawyer

This book will make you stop…..and assess your current employment situation. Whether you are just starting your management career or at the peak of retiring David offers good, sound advice to pause and take a look at the direction you are moving in. A slight detour from managing people, this is about managing you.

Recommend– Part 1 – Chapter 1/6 What Matters To You

How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile… And 18 Mistakes to Avoid: Brenda Bernstein

Thought you knew LinkedIn? This is the business Facebook which can be utilised not only to win new customers but to find new employees, research the competition & promote your companies products. This book highlights the main criteria for not only ranking high within LinkedIn but also understanding how you can maximise the most from the No1 business media platform. Easy to read and implement Brenda walks you through each chapter with an action point to implement.

Recommend Section 1 – Mistake 5 – Fewer than 500 connections

100 Things Successful People Do: Nigel Cumberland

A great easy read which you can complete in under 2 hours or dip in and out. What I like about this book is it offers advice in bite size chunks & is easy to digest without over thinking the subject. It covers a whole host of “wants & needs” in your work or life area. Ensure you read the section on “trust your gut”…..very often ignored or overlooked but vital in decision making as a leader.

Recommend Section 11 – Trust Your Gut 


The Greatest: Matthew Syed 

This excellent book covers the quest for perfection within sport. Be it teams or individuals there is also a link between how we manage these disciplines within business. Why do some people learn from failures and setbacks while others are totally over whelmed by them? Why do teams gel together in a cohesive unit while others just fall apart at the seams? You’ll find it here.

Recommend Section 2The Mental Game 

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Scott Adams

Scott Adams created Dilbert one of the most read business cartoon strips in the past 25 years. His journey from working 16 years for big companies in the US to finally realising his dream of being a full time cartoonist is both inspirational yet humbling. Leadership lessons are abound in this book in that he details failure and how he overcame and acknowledged defeat then moved on. As he says with confidence “failure is where success likes to hide in plain sight.” His take on goals is a breath of fresh air. In short, goals are for losers…….try systems instead.

Recommend Chapter 6 – Goals Versus Systems


If I Could Tell You Just One Thing: Richard Reed 

Leadership & management can be quite lonely especially if you don’t have a mentor or sounding board who understands the world of business. Sometimes those few words of advice can turn the situation, clear the clouds and realign you back to your decision or purpose. This book does exactly that! The beauty of it is that it covers a full spectrum of people, with ideals, beliefs & motivations together with sound advice as they have lived it. His interview with the US President Bill Clinton is simple but enlightening. Clinton has distilled the most important trait that most leaders miss.

Recommended Chapter: In the Bubble with Bill Clinton

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Richard Carlson

There will be times in your leadership role that the walls will feel like they are closing in. It’s too easy to focus on the negatives points & blow things out of proportion. It’s about replacing the old habits of “reaction” with new habits of perspective. Richard Carlson has done this guide perfectly. An easy read where you can dip in or out at any time as each chapter is no more than a five minute read at most. No excuses then have you?

Recommended Chapter 26: Set Aside Quiet time, Every Day

Your First 100 Days.Maximum Impact in Your new Leadership Role: Niamh O’Keeffe

As a headhunter in the City of London Niamh O’Keefe began to analyse leadership and the success v failure of her candidates. The first 100 days of a new role were determined the most crucial as you have the licence to refresh the vision, improve strategy and build the team. Get the first 100 days right and that sets you on the right path for 12 months and beyond. This book is a road map to that endgame. The leaders framework is broken down in easy to read chunks of time with hints, tips and guidance to keep you on track.

Recommended Part 2/Chapter 5: 60 days


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