I am often asked “what’s a good leadership book?” I originally created this list for a keynote entitled Leadership Books that Student Leaders Should Read and have kept it updated since based on new discoveries and suggestions from others. If you have searched the web for leadership books or browse your local bookstore for books about leadership, you know that there are lots and lots of leadership books. But most of them are not worth your time. The books below are ones that have inspired me with new ideas, practical methods, and contain important elements of leadership like inclusion, ethics, team-work, service, creativity and social justice. This is not a comprehensive list but rather and guide for getting started. The second section is called Leadership Light. These titles are intended to re-energize you or be focus on one specific topic.
- Bennis, Warren G. (2009). 4th Edition. On Becoming A Leader. New York: Basic Books.
- Burns, James MacGregor. (1978). Leadership. New York: HarperCollins.
- Burns, James MacGregor. (2003). Transforming Leadership: A New Pursuit of Happiness. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.
- Collins, James C. (2001). Good to Great. New York: HarperCollins.
- Covey, Stephen R. (1992). Principle-centered Leadership. New York: Fireside.
- Covey, Stephen R. (1989). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Fireside.
- Gardner, Howard (1995). Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership. New York: Basic Books.
- Gardner, John W. (1990). On Leadership. New York: The Free Press.
- Greenleaf, Robert K. (2002). Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness - 25th Anniversary Edition. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.
- Harari, Oren. (2002). The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Hersey, P., & Blanchard, K. (1977) 6th Edition. Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Komives, Susan R., Lucas, Nance, & McMahon, Timothy R. (2007). 2nd Edition. Exploring Leadership for College Students Who Want to Make a Difference. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
- Kotter, John P. (1996) Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.
- Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. (2011). Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
- Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. (2008). 4th Edition. The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
- Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. (2008). The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Exemplary Leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
- Lencioni, Patrick. (1998). The Five Temptations of a CEO. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
- White, B. Joseph (2006). The Nature of Leadership: Reptiles, Mammals, and the Challenge of Becoming a Great Leader. New York: American Management Association.
- Wooden, John, Jamison, Steve (2005). Wooden on Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Byham, William (1988). Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment. New York: Fawcett Columbine.
- DePree, Max (1989). Leadership is an Art. New York: Dell Publishing.
- DePree, Max (1992). Leadership Jazz. New York: Dell Publishing.
- Farber, Steve, Kelly, Matthew (2009). Greater Than Yourself: the Ultimate Lesson of True Leadership. New York: Crown Publishing.
- Hoff, Benjamin. (1982). The Tao of Pooh. New York: Dutton.
- Johnson, Spencer & Blanchard, Kenneth H. (1993). The One Minute Manager. New York: Berkley.
- Johnson, Spencer & Blanchard, Kenneth H. (1998). Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life. New York: Putnam.
- Lundin, Stephen C. (2000). Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. New York: Hyperion.
- Ruiz, Don Miguel. (1997). The Four Agreements. San Rafael, California: Amber-Allen Publishing.
I hope this list gets you motivated to learn more about leadership, be a leader in your community, and become a role model for other aspiring and emerging leaders.