books about leadership

Summer Reading: Best Books About Leadership

May 7th, 2019  | 

Published in Leadership

What are the best books about leadership? Here are my top 7 for this summer:

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 response, 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:

Books About Leadership: Leonardo Da Vinci

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.


Books About Leadership: A Message to Garcia

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.


Books About Leadership: 9 Things You Simply Must Do

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.”


Books About Leadership: Bad Blood

Bad Blood
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.”


Books About Leadership: The Art of Being Unreasonable

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.”


Books About Leadership: Man's Search for Meaning

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.”


Books About Leadership: Leadership

Leadership
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.

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises leaders of some of the world’s most admired companies, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 200 strategic planning sessions, and he’s delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. His fifth leadership book—How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices—examines 52 of history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies and debuted in April as the #1 new historical reference book on Amazon.

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