The leaders I work with are continuous learners with hearty appetites for great leadership books. Last summer’s posting with my reading recommendations drew lots of positive responses, so here are seven of the best books about leadership that you may have missed that offer everything from a quick snack to a hearty banquet. If you want to get your hands on these and others just like it but are unable to pick up a physical copy, you may want to look into downloading the books online through some of the best torrenting sites, for example, so you can reap the benefits of these wise words.
Leonardo Da Vinci
by Walter Isaacson
On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, learn how Da Vinci’s passion for facts, figures and logic separated him from his contemporaries to
become the world’s first Renaissance Man. His fresco, The Last Supper, is the world’s single-most reproduced religious image, and his Mona Lisa is the world’s most recognizable painting, valued at more than $800 million.
A Message to Garcia
by Elbert Hubbard
Elbert Hubbard was a self-described “anarchist” who died aboard the Lusitania en route to interview Germany’s Kaiser when his ship was torpedoed by German U-Boat U-20. Hubbard’s 1899 essay was widely reprinted following its initial publication, telling a tale of accountability in a bite-sized read that still rings true today.
Nine Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life
by Dr. Henry Cloud
The best-selling author of Boundaries outlines the simple yet profound principles of successful people. In a chapter entitled “Pull the Tooth,” we’re encouraged to do immediately what must be done eventually: “Successful people do not hang on to bad stuff for long.”
by John Carreyrou
This cautionary tale follows a founder who sought to emulate Steve Jobs and who fooled some of the smartest people in the world into thinking her company had revolutionized blood testing. “There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.”
The Art of Being Unreasonable
by Eli Broad
Eli Broad founded two Fortune 500 companies, donated millions and spearheaded campaigns in Los Angeles to establish some of the city’s greatest art institutions. “When I interview more experienced employees for a position,” he writes, “I always ask them: ‘What did you learn in the past year that you didn’t know before?’ Too often they have a hard time answering. That makes my decision an easy one.”
Man’s Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl
We hear and read a lot today about purpose. This book is considered one of the 10 most influential books ever written, and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl reminds us that “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Edited by Elizabeth Samet
This book-recommended by my daughter, Jordan, whose professor at Chicago Booth recommended it to his graduate class-is a banquet. There are enough essays from “our greatest thinkers” to last a lifetime.
I hope you enjoy these books about leadership!
For more on leadership, read my book, How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices.
To dive even deeper into the topic of accountability, I invite you to purchase a copy of my bestselling book, “Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture.”
Business schools teach case studies. Hollywood blockbusters are inspired by true events.
Exceptional leaders are students of history. Decision-making comes with the territory.