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12 Must-Read Leadership Books for Young Students

Everyone will be required to practice leadership at one point or another, only that the spectrum differs. There is a direct correlation between leadership skills and personal productivity. Many people are in leadership but are not good leaders, and many are good leaders without positions.

While students are encouraged to get good academic credentials, success in the job market or business is dictated by much more. By reading leadership books, you have the opportunity to delve into other people’s experiences and take lessons from them.

A research paper written by Peachy Essay indicated that while there are millions of books written about leadership, a few are relevant across all generations. Here are some of the must-read leadership books for college students.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Written by Stephen R. Covey, many scholars have recommended this book. The message is centered on the power of habits, how the practices influence personal decisions, and how our choices boil over to how we treat others.

You cannot be a good leader before you learn to manage yourself first. You should also have the skills to influence people and work effectively in a team. The seven habits that are highlighted in this book are categorized into 3, namely:

  • Independence – involves mastery of self.
  • Interdependence – involves working in a team (collaboration skills)
  • Continual Improvement of the first two since growth is a process, not an event.

Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a necessary skill for leaders. This book, written by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee, introduces the subject of emotional intelligence in the leadership space as well personal lives. Professional coaches have adopted information from the book to help their clients attain high levels of emotional intelligence.

This book is a must-read for students because they need to understand the subject of emotional intelligence from a young age and carry the skills learned to the rest of their lives. They will be able to navigate life in a better way and thrive in their respective professions.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Start with why a bestselling book is written by Simon Sinek in 2009. He got the motivation to write the book after studying the lives of the world’s most remarkable men and women. He realized they each had a goal they were pursuing, intending to make a difference.

This book is a must-read for students because they need to have a motivating factor behind their decisions, the units they enroll in, the social groups they engage in, and eventually, the career path they will follow. Decisions should be preceded by the critical question ‘why I’m doing this?’ Great leaders do not follow the move with the wave. The ‘Why’ factor drives them.

The One Minute Manager

This book, written by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, is all about managing people in the workplace. A good manager will motivate, praise, and correct his subjects in equal measures without leaving them feeling demoralized.

Students intending to start businesses after graduating should read this book. Being a good leader can be learned by association and reading books such as The One Minute Manager.

Execution: The discipline of getting things done

Larry Bossidy, the author of this book, expounds on the importance of execution. People have great ideas, but they fail when it comes to the discipline of executing. In the business sense, execution means combining the three key business processes to achieve the intended goal. These include people, strategy, and operations.

Students intending to get into the business world must read this book and start practicing the disciplines early. It will help them understand that there is a big difference between formulating policies and the actual implementation.

Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ

This book is another classic by Daniel Goleman that everybody should read. He debunks the myth that people with high IQs end up successful. He puts Emotional intelligence at the forefront because it determines how successful we will be in relationships, physical and mental health, and work.

A high IQ is necessary for workplace success, which is also not possible if you are not mentally and physically fit and do not know how to manage your emotions around people.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Being a good leader will require you to have the skills to influence and draw people in your direction. People will only follow you if they can connect with your energy and ideas. Otherwise, running your organization will be a daily struggle.

In the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie highlights strategies that leaders and students aspiring to be leaders in the future can practice. He gives us tips on appeasing people’s emotions and getting them to do what we need them to do. Having a cooperative team is the desire of every leader.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow them and People will follow you

Any book on leadership written by John C. Maxwell is a must-read for students and everyone else. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is not different since it takes us through 21 well-researched and illustrated laws that will make you an effective leader. The points are practical and applicable in all spheres of life, not just organizational leadership.

The One Minute Manager

This book, written by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, is all about managing people in the workplace. A good manager will motivate, praise, and correct his subjects in equal measures without leaving them feeling demoralized.

Students intending to start businesses after graduating should read this book. Being a good leader can be learned by association and reading books such as The One Minute Manager.

True North: Discover your Authentic Leadership

To be an effective leader, you need to have authentic values that you can transfer to your subjects. True North, written by Bill George and Peter Sims, takes us to the place of introspection where you need to identify your True North and then transfer the values to the team.

The book will push you to discover your unique style of leadership that sets you apart from other people in similar positions. You will not be prompted to go with the norms but to forge your direction.

This is a must-read for all students, whether they are in a leadership position. Everyone needs to identify their True North.

The 11 Laws of Likeability

While it is impossible to please everyone, likeability is essential for a good leader. People have to like something about you for them to follow you and relate to your ideas.

The 11 Laws of Likeability by Michelle Tillis Lederman is all about relationships and networking in the business world. She encourages people to create solid relationships and not just network for short-term benefits.

This book will push you to be authentic, whether you are a leader or a student aspiring to be a leader in the future.

The Untethered Soul: The Journey beyond Yourself

In this book, the author, Michael A. Singer, takes us on a journey to freedom from self-limiting thoughts. Most people are not attaining their goals because of habitual self-sabotage thoughts. With such a trend, you can never be an effective leader.

This is a must-read for all students because the information will help them navigate life with more self-awareness and intentionality. These habits will also help them be more effective in any leadership position they may find themselves in.

The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary results

Workplaces are becoming toxic environments because of poor leadership. This fantastic book by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter uses real-life illustrations to explain the attributes of an effective leader. The book talks about leadership styles that put the workforce at the center. It encourages leaders to be selfless and to lead from the front.

This book is a must-read for students because the author speaks about personal development first. It will help you develop the three essential qualities of a good leader, which are

  • Mindfulness
  • Selflessness
  • Compassion
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