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Best Leadership Books: The 30 Best Leadership Books of All Time

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL..
6 MINUTE READ

best leadership books

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Looking for the best leadership books of all time?

You’re in the right place.

Note: What You WON’T Find on This List

I’ve kept this list as focussed on leadership as possible.

Want more general books on e.g., business, communication or mindset?

Want more specific books on e.g., entrepreneurship or sales?

Click one of the links above to go to straight to those reading lists.

Or browse all my book recommendations for even more options.

And in the meantime, enjoy this list of…

The 30 Best Leadership Books of All Time

Why these best leadership books and not others? The best leadership books of all time below are the top picks from my long list of scores of books on entrepreneurship, ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating, number of Goodreads reviews and first publication date. The aim is to surface what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s proven timelessly relevant.

Think something’s missing? Leave a comment or email me and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!

Books 1-10: The Top 10 Leadership Books of All Time

Here are the 10 best leadership books from my database…

Best Leadership Books: Developing the Leader Within You
1. Developing the Leader Within You – John C. Maxwell
Published 1993 // 224 pages // Rated 4.2 over 22,000 reviews on Goodreads
Best Leadership Books: High Output Management
2. High Output Management – Andrew S. Grove (Summary)
A game-changing bible on entrepreneurship and management for anyone seeking practical ways to supercharge their personal and professional productivity – by founder of Intel, Andrew Grove.
Published 1983 // 272 pages // Rated 4.3 over 9,700 reviews on Goodreads
Best Leadership Books: Good to Great
3. Good to Great – James C. Collins
Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
Published 2001 // 300 pages // Rated 4.1 over 148,600 reviews on Goodreads
Best Leadership Books: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
4. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John C. Maxwell
Follow Them and People Will Follow You
Published 1998 // 256 pages // Rated 4.1 over 46,300 reviews on Goodreads
Best Leadership Books: Daring Greatly
5. Daring Greatly – Brené Brown
How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Published 2012 // 287 pages // Rated 4.3 over 157,300 reviews on Goodreads
Best Leadership Books: Leadership and Self-Deception
6. Leadership and Self-Deception – The Arbinger Institute
Getting Out of the Box
Published 2000 // 180 pages // Rated 4.1 over 27,600 reviews on Goodreads
Best Leadership Books: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
7. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
A Leadership Fable
Published 1998 // 227 pages // Rated 4.0 over 65,000 reviews on Goodreads
Best Leadership Books: The One Minute Manager
8. The One Minute Manager – Kenneth H. Blanchard
Published 1981 // 111 pages // Rated 3.9 over 86,900 reviews on Goodreads
Best Leadership Books: Spiritual Leadership
9. Spiritual Leadership – J. Oswald Sanders
Published 1967 // 192 pages // Rated 4.2 over 6,900 reviews on Goodreads
Best Leadership Books: Start with Why
10. Start with Why – Simon Sinek (Summary)
How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Published 2009 // 256 pages // Rated 4.1 over 112,100 reviews on Goodreads

Books 11-30: 20 Good Leadership Books to Read Next

Here are the next 20 best leadership books from my database…

11. Leading Change – John P. Kotter
Published 1988 // 208 pages // Rated 4.0 over 19,700 reviews on Goodreads
12. Peopleware – Tom DeMarco
Productive Projects and Teams
Published 1987 // 245 pages // Rated 4.2 over 8,900 reviews on Goodreads
13. The Leadership Challenge – James M. Kouzes
Published 1987 // 351 pages // Rated 4.0 over 12,700 reviews on Goodreads
14. Launching a Leadership Revolution – Chris Brady
Mastering the Five Levels of Influence
Published 2005 // 288 pages // Rated 4.4 over 2,800 reviews on Goodreads
15. Quiet – Susan Cain (Summary)
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Published 2012 // 333 pages // Rated 4.1 over 312,200 reviews on Goodreads
16. Switch – Chip Heath
How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Published 2010 // 305 pages // Rated 4.0 over 41,100 reviews on Goodreads
17. First, Break All the Rules – Marcus Buckingham
What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
Published 1998 // 272 pages // Rated 3.9 over 37,700 reviews on Goodreads
18. Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink
How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
Published 2015 // 320 pages // Rated 4.3 over 19,300 reviews on Goodreads
19. EntreLeadership – Dave Ramsey
20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches
Published 2011 // 306 pages // Rated 4.2 over 12,400 reviews on Goodreads
20. The Culture Code – Daniel Coyle
The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
Published 2017 // 304 pages // Rated 4.3 over 18,300 reviews on Goodreads
21. Co-Active Coaching – Henry Kimsey-House
Changing Business, Transforming Lives
Published 2007 // 206 pages // Rated 4.2 over 900 reviews on Goodreads
22. Dare to Lead – Brené Brown
Published 2018 // 332 pages // Rated 4.2 over 60,300 reviews on Goodreads
23. The 360 Degree Leader – John C. Maxwell
Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization
Published 2005 // 336 pages // Rated 4.2 over 6,600 reviews on Goodreads
24. Drive – Daniel H. Pink
The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Published 2009 // 242 pages // Rated 3.9 over 76,800 reviews on Goodreads
25. Turn the Ship Around! – L. David Marquet
A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders
Published 2013 // 272 pages // Rated 4.2 over 12,000 reviews on Goodreads
26. Death by Meeting – Meeting: A Leadership Fable… about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business by Patrick Lencioni
A Leadership Fable… about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business by Patrick Lencioni
Published 2004 // 260 pages // Rated 4.0 over 10,700 reviews on Goodreads
27. The First 90 Days – Michael D. Watkins
Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
Published 2003 // 304 pages // Rated 3.9 over 21,200 reviews on Goodreads
28. The Go-Giver Leader – Bob Burg
A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business
Published 2011 // 176 pages // Rated 4.4 over 600 reviews on Goodreads
29. The 5 Levels of Leadership – John C. Maxwell
Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential
Published 2011 // 304 pages // Rated 4.3 over 4,900 reviews on Goodreads
30. The Advantage – Patrick Lencioni
Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business
Published 2012 // 216 pages // Rated 4.2 over 11,600 reviews on Goodreads

Best Business Book FAQs

What are the best leadership books?

The best leadership books on our list are:

  1. Developing the Leader Within You
  2. High Output Management; and
  3. Good to Great.
Want more? Check out our full list of the 30 best leadership books of all time.

Enjoyed this list of the best business books of all time?

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Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.

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