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16 Books Team Leaders Should Read To Develop Their Leadership Skills

As recommended by industry experts

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Leadership is one of the most important traits in today’s fast-moving business climate. The methods of the 1980’s don’t work anymore, the times are-a-changing. Business leaders today need to be charismatic, charming, strong and honest.

You might think you don’t have enough time to develop your leadership skills, but honing your skills can be as easy as simply reading a book. To get you started here are 16 books you should read to develop your leadership skills recommended by business leaders.

#1 Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

This is a fantastic book that emphasizes that a leader needs to be generous and sacrifice to build an organization by making everyone around feel safe and comfortable. Sinek incorporates the biological basis to our feelings, so this book goes much deeper than your typical motivational leadership book.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Crystal McFerran from velomethod.com

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#2 The Soulful Experience by Diane P. Ferraro

[This book] provides basic business principals for leaders at every level of an organization. It was published earlier this year and includes tips from successful CEOs and examples as reminders that employees need to be treated with the same level of respect as customers.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Diane P. Ferraro from thesoulfulexperience.com

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#3 Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell

This book is all about common sense and teaches you the Leadership Strategies you SHOULD know but often go overlooked because they are so simple. Don't confuse simple with ineffective though. After devouring the book in one sitting it became an everyday training tool for me and the people I trained.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Meaghan Hurn from hurneventsmanagement.com

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#4 Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

I'm sure it seems strange to recommend an Autobiography as a learning tool, but you haven't experienced pain, determination or triumph until you've read this book. Learning about Elon is, of course, entertaining and educational, but what I want my leaders to take from the book is the passion, sheer determination, and the drive to pursue their aspirations no matter the obstacle. Often times success happens because you didn't give up when everyone else did.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Meaghan Hurn from hurneventsmanagement.com

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#5 The Residence by Kate Anderson Brower

This book is all about the level of service everyone should aspire to. Being in the luxury culinary world, training people on the level of service is always a huge priority. What's great about this is it applies to everyone, from CEO's to the dishwashers. Having a consistent and high level of service is what keeps customers happy and creates loyalty.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Meaghan Hurn from hurneventsmanagement.com

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#6 The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

All team leaders should read this classic story by Douglas Adams. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an important read for any type of leader because the book’s themes apply perfectly for everyday life in both a personal and professional setting. The book points out the absurdity in life that leaders can leverage to help ground their teams in reality.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide also brings up a discussion on how different everyone is and this can help leaders improve empathy personal connections that will ultimately lead to positive results.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Christian Shauf from unchartedsupplyco.com

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#7 Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

This international bestseller has a wealth of great advice for business leaders on how to advance in the workplace, no matter the reader's gender.

Lean In combines hard data, research, and witty anecdotes to create a relatable and inspiring blueprint for leaders to follow as they push their work to the next level. This book is also unique in how it addresses the relationship between success at work and happiness in home life, and its call to blend professional advancement with personal fulfillment is incredibly refreshing.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ryne Higgins from peacockalley.com

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#8 Great Leads by Michael Masterson / John Forde

Great leads is much more than your typical how to. It provides some of the best swipe lead-ins and simplifies the strategies with clear, concise examples. I discovered how just a few words and technique changes could make the difference between a flat line response and high-converting pitch. It taught me the power of words in sales, on an entirely new level. I use the techniques learned in this book daily when communicating, not just in sales.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ian McClarty from phoenixnap.com

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#9 Do Big Things by Craig Ross / Angela V. Paccione / Victoria L. Roberts

I've seen first-hand the tools in this book equip good teams to become great teams - creating the conditions for them to quickly come together, tell the truth about their barriers, focus and move forward in an energized way together to accelerate performance and achieve epic results.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Alicia Aldrich from verusglobal.com

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#10 Creative Confidence by David and Tom Kelly

This book is fantastic for leaders in noncreative industries because it shatters the myth that you have to be an artist to be innovative. David and Tom Kelly are the founders of IDEO, a world-renowned design firm that practices Human-Centered Design techniques to better connect clients with their target audiences.

Creative Confidence is packed with actionable strategies on how to unlock new perspectives, embrace unusual challenges, and think creatively in a world that often encourages conformity.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ryne Higgins from peacockalley.com

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#11 From Impossible to Inevitable by Jason Lemkin

I see Jason Lemkin as one of the greatest business thought leaders of our decade, particularly with respect to small businesses and start-ups. I found this book to be absolutely jam-packed with great strategies to handle the thousands of business situations that will come up for the leaders of a small company.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Steven Benson from badgermapping.com

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#12 Reach & Exceed Your Sales Goals by Ron Stickler

In the over 30 years that Ron applied the principles of personality recognition, he earned numerous sales awards, recognitions and prizes.

Any team leader can improve the productivity of their team by reading this book. This book will help their team better understand each other and communicate more effectively, as well as be able to apply Ron's knowledge to help understand their customers.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Liz Mrofka from whatifideation.com

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#13 Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson / Joseph Grenny / Ron McMillan / Al Switzler

This book was required reading from my supervisor when I was a department chair in Fulton County Schools.  It effectively covers ways to have conversations with co-workers and those working under you that support mutual goals without stirring up ill-will and resentment.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Adam Cole from acole.net

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#14 The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

This book will completely change your perspective of what it takes to get a new project, initiative, product or company off the ground.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Chase Sagum from sagum.org

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#15 Mindset by Carol S. Dweck

Some people are just born with certain talents. Some people have certain skills because of their background or where they came from. Heard these statements before? Both are lies! This book will teach you how to have the mindset of someone who constantly improves.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Chase Sagum from sagum.org

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#16 The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

This was a required reading at my last company, a tech startup where I worked as a Sales leader. I found this book to be enlightening and definitely altered my leadership approach and style.

It simply outlines the key elements to building a successful team as well as, conversely, the key pitfalls not to fall into when building a team. As a bonus, this book is a very easy and quick read as it is written as a story with actual characters and real-world situations.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ally Compeau from woofsigns.com

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