The 16 Best Leadership Books of All-Time

Top books that will unleash your inner potential and develop self-confidence

Imagine a person you can confidently call a leader. How do they look and speak, what habits make them stand out from the rest? Indeed, your successful acquaintances, the coaches that you follow on social networks, come to mind. It can be anyone, but the crowd wants to follow these foregoers. People desire to listen to them, share the company with them, and work under their leadership. The methods for improving habits, behavior, and attitudes described in the leadership books will help you be a charismatic leader for your friends and colleagues.

Maybe people around already consider you a leader, but you are at a dead-end: how to develop further? What to do next? Burnout also overtakes even those who are used to inspiring others and controlling all processes. Sound familiar? This collection of best books on leadership is a selection of titles that have already helped millions of people improve their quality of life, understand their strengths, and make their dreams come true. John F. Kennedy once said that leadership and learning are impossible without each other. And what can be better for learning than the Headway app? There you can find the summaries of the books from this top, and each book will take an average of 15 minutes to read. Take the first step towards the best version of yourself today!

Best Books on Leadership and Management

Time to check out the list of world-famous titles which can help you grow and develop your leadership skills!

1. Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The lives of Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson are stories of struggle, change, ambition, and human trust. These famous politicians were different, just as their power methods, but they had something in common: authority. And the one to dig even deeper into the biographies of famous people was the writer Doris Kearns Goodwin. She decided to explore their leadership through the lens of history. What shaped the people who changed the past? Who is stronger: leaders or the times in which they live? Find out the answers in the foundational title Leadership: In Turbulent Times, consistently featured in top leadership books.

2. Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace by John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell is an American leadership speaker and trainer recognized worldwide. Business Insider and Inc. Magazine admitted him as one of the world’s leading experts. His book Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace helps find hidden qualities that positively affect personal growth and team position. The title is divided into the eleven shifts, which changed Maxwell’s life and brought him new lessons and successes. Read this work, included in the best books on leadership and management, and become a confident leader who is not afraid of the rapid changes in the world and is in control of life.

3. Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow by Scott Miller

Do not think that authority is only about success, admiration, and queues of partners who want to work with you. Achievements imply that there were failures, mistakes, and breakdowns before them. But a true leader knows how to get up, even if the fall was painful. If you are confused on the way to great success, join author Scott Miller’s challenge! Start reading Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow at the beginning of the month and explore leadership issues in 30 days. Then, with the help of one of the best books on leadership, develop strategies for winning, and become the top manager in personal life and at work.

4. Run to Win: Lessons in Leadership for Women Changing the World by Stephanie Schriock and Christina Reynolds

What about women leaders? Stephanie Schriocks activity is a vivid example of strength and steadfastness in a world where men are used to fighting for success. She has built a successful career in politics and is a longtime Democratic activist. Run to Win is for all aspiring female leaders. This book contains many valuable lessons for women that develop in male-dominated areas. Although Schriock is mainly involved in politics, Run to Win: Lessons in Leadership for Women Changing the World will be educational for everyone. Injustice still exists, but the world can be changed — just do not be afraid to speak aloud.

5. How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority by Clay Scroggins

This title debunks one of the biggest myths about success. You don’t need to have literal power to become a natural leader. It is enough to be charismatic, self-confident, and purposeful. How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority teaches how to charge the team with positive energy and helps develop critical and creative thinking. Clay Scroggins created one of the great leadership books to help beginning leaders express themselves, even if they are not in senior positions yet.

6. Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change by Stacey Abrams

It is easy for a person to speak of authority when they are born with privileges. In our reality, being a white person is already a privilege. LGBTQ+ community, people of color, or women face double standards on their way to success. Politician Stacey Abrams shares her own experiences in business, political career, and personal life. Lead from the Outside is designed for those just finding themselves in leadership and contains practical exercises to realize ambitions. In addition, this example of top leadership books is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn about the career barriers so-called minorities face.

7. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

People have been looking for the opportunity to unite into tribes since ancient times. There are always foregoers and followers. They have not disappeared; we just call them differently: influencers and subscribers. In this respect, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us explores the phenomenon of online leadership. Who might catch the interest of the masses? What qualities should a person possess to gather fans around them? Seth Godin details the steps to gain online influence: you should be willing to change, connect with like-minded people, and be ready to lead. This illustration of a good leadership book will help those who long wanted to create their blog but do not know where to start.

8. Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

When we think of books written by business leaders, one of the first names that come to mind is Richard Branson. He is a successful entrepreneur and the author of the rules of success that really work. His opus Losing My Virginity is an honest, slightly funny story about power and the desire to develop and change the world. With a team of like-minded friends, young Branson created their first business without an office or management. He now runs many well-known enterprises. Read profit lessons from the author of best books on leadership and management. And, of course, find out the origin of the unusual name of his business — Virgin.

9. Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin P. Hardy

No matter how strong your leadership skills are, they are only truly valuable when you have a loyal team. Dan Sullivan and Benjamin P. Hardy named these people ‘Whos.’ These are the people who will work hard and develop for the sake of common success because they enjoy it. Who Not How joins best books on leadership and helps those who already know how to start their business but still have problems with the team. The authors of this best-selling work will teach you how to perform productively with like-minded people and manage time efficiently.

10. The Vision Driven Leader: 10 Questions to Focus Your Efforts, Energize Your Team, and Scale Your Business by Michael Hyatt

Those who have seen the peak can reach the top of the mountain. Therefore, you need to see your goals to create a path. Michael Hyatt describes the good tools required to develop a business vision and overcome obstacles. Hyatt is the author of several bestselling books; he also built and led successful businesses with over 700 people to manage. The Vision Driven Leader is a book for those who have long wanted to start their own business but have problems with its clear vision. With this part of the best leadership books of all time, you will change your why to confident how.

11. Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall

Job is necessary for survival and self-development. From childhood, we know that there will be no prosperity and happiness without it. Work seems to be creepy and challenging; people gain a negative attitude towards employment and sometimes consider it torture. Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall think most of our beliefs are false. Work-life balance is possible, and Nine Lies About Work proves it. If you’re feeling overworked, irritable, or uncomfortable even on your way to the office, this brilliant example of a book on leadership development can help change that.

12. High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove

Proper management is the key to success. True leaders know how to control time, so they should start with themselves if they want to lead people. Start exploring the art of discipline with an opus by Andrew S. Grove (you can also read about similar books available on the Headway app here). There is a possibility to improve leadership skills via reading High Output Management. Grove shares his extensive leadership experience and recommends ways to deal with obstacles effectively. So why not learn the rules of success from the former chairman of the board and CEO of Intel?

13. The Motive: Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Most Important Responsibilities by Patrick Lencioni

Leadership isn’t always joyful. Mostly, it is hard work and responsibility. Even leaders sometimes get stumped and lost in the face of overwhelming challenges. So if you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t worry: you are not a bad leader. Life loves to throw trials, but it is possible to overcome them all. Patrick Lencioni has interacted with many leaders and knows the downside of success. He has written a work that can rightly be included in the top 10 leadership books. The Motive clearly explains the concept of leadership and its core principles. Lencioni encourages readers to evaluate themselves honestly and describes methods to change their approach.

14. The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo

Francesco Cirillo is the real king of time management, and The Pomodoro Technique is the top management book and a must-read for anyone who wants to keep things under control. Good time management makes life easier and brings other benefits. It teaches how to work efficiently, avoid overload and stress, and even improve relationships with other people. After all, leadership begins where a person controls their own life. The Pomodoro Technique has already helped millions of people complete their to-do lists and achieve high levels of productivity. Why not join them then?

15. The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhuo

Imagine a person who has spent part of their life aspiring to take a managerial position and lead tasks. After years of hard work, a person gets a long-awaited job. But as soon as the phone stops receiving notifications of congratulations, the harsh reality sets in: what to do next? Where to begin? It turns out that a manager’s job cannot be clearly defined; at the same time, this person is responsible for everything. If such a situation seems relatable, explore a practical guide in one of the best business leadership books by Julie Zhuo. Find out what makes a good manager the best, how to build trust from your subordinates, and what to point out when hiring new employees.

16. That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea by Marc Randolph

Let’s close our top best-selling leadership books with a success story witnessed by people worldwide. You become a part of this story every day, when you want to relax in the evening or when the sequel to your favorite TV series comes out. We’re talking about Netflix, a triumphant streaming service with over 150 million subscribers. It is a phenomenal success and development story told by Netflix’s co-founder and first CEO, Mark Randolph. Find out how a small new idea grew into one of the most important companies in the world. That Will Never Work encourages to believe in your dreams and strength — what if your idea can change the world, too?

So that was the list of the best leadership books of all time for you!. Although people have similar definitions of leadership, each of us has an individual image of a leader. For some, this is a person who is able to manage a large number of people. Others will find someone successful if they can organize their work and achieve success on their own. Both definitions are correct. Instead, think about what will make you the best. What are you missing to reach even greater heights? What qualities can be improved?

If you find it difficult to answer these questions, or if the answers are already on the surface, but you do not know where to start, join the friendly community of the Headway app. Explore the possibilities with the help of dozens of best books on leadership, self-development, success, and time management. Take part in motivational challenges, save insights and quotes from authors, and watch for changes. Don’t be afraid to climb to the top — your time is waiting!

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