This article showcases our top picks for the Leadership Books For Beginners. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below).
We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.
This product was recommended by Luka Juretic from BuzzLogic
I believe I enjoyed it so thoroughly because of the fact it was targeted at myself, or at least people like myself who have come from other fields and were due to one factor or another given leadership positions in their respective fields. The book also starts from scratch and has a nice tempo and message to it.
This product was recommended by Gail Rudolph from GailRudolph
Whether we are in a face-to-face meeting, on a video call, or at a conference with 5,000 people, one thing remains consistent: Power is at play in every situation. Power is the key to having the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others, or the course of events. Our ability to harness this ever-present and limitless influence leads and governs everything leaders do. In business, every interaction matters. It can mean the success of a deal, the cooperation of our team, or the determining factor of success or failure. Therefore, leaders, now more than ever, need to focus on not relinquishing this mysterious energy but claiming the personal power/influence at hand, not through the old manners but through harnessing Power properly, which leads to empowering others. It is a choice and skill that we can learn and teach.
This product was recommended by Anne Beiler from AnneBeiler
Overcome and Lead recounts the powerful stories and essential lessons learned from Anne Beiler’s time as the founder of Auntie Anne’s®, the world’s largest pretzel franchise. As a former Amish girl with an eighth-grade education, Anne had many obstacles to overcome as she transformed into one of the first female founders of an international franchise-the greatest obstacle, however, was herself.With no capital, no formal education, and no business plan, Anne launched Auntie Anne’s after a series of tragic life events left her broken, traumatized, and in a deep depression. As Anne and her team grew the company, she also grew herself personally and professionally. If you want to make a difference in your area of influence, this story is for you. It is for those of you currently leading people-whether at work, home, or in your community and for those aspiring to lead someday. Building Auntie Anne’s was a journey that required Anne to bring her whole self-both the gifts and the broken bits-to build something bigger than she ever imagined. Overcome and Lead will help you to do the same.
This product was recommended by Jennifer L. Horspool from EngagementPR
Negotiation is a part of everyday life and is a crucial skill for all leaders. Most of think one of two ways, 1) My negotiation skills are good enough or 2) I’m not a good negotiator. With either of these, it’s guaranteed we’re leaving value on the table, not understanding the complete value we bring to the table, and not understanding the game of negotiation. In this book McKay educates us about how the various personality types in negotiations are used to get more of what we want – not beat up our counterparts – but rather how to ensure each of us walks away with more of what we want. This is true negotiation in business and personal affairs, when all parties are happy with the deal. She show us what to look for, listen for, and how to do the research so we’re prepared for the negotiation. It’s a quick and easy read and a must for every budding leader, let alone established leaders in the c-suite.
This product was recommended by Linda Shaffer from Checkr
As a new leader, it’s critical that you hit the ground running and make a good impression in your first 90 days on the job. This book by leadership expert Michael D. Watkins will teach you how to do just that. You’ll learn what to do in those first three months to set yourself up for success, avoid common pitfalls, and make a lasting impact. In the book, Watkins provides a step-by-step plan to help you hit the ground running and make a successful transition into your new role. He also includes case studies of leaders who have successfully navigated the first 90 days, as well as those who have struggled. Whether you’re a new CEO, manager, or team leader, this book will give you the tools you need to be successful. It also comes with an accompanying workbook to help you put the concepts into practice.
This product was recommended by Deepanshu Bedi from Exhalewell
This book is an all-time classic in the leadership books category. It explores why some companies succeed, and others fail, and it does so by identifying a set of characteristics that make successful companies different from those that don’t succeed. The first characteristic is disciplined people—those who are committed to building discipline into their lives and who then use this discipline to help them achieve their goals. The second characteristic is a set of values that guide everything in the organization. These values don’t change, even as circumstances change around them. The third characteristic is a culture that ensures employees are constantly moving toward these goals.
Becoming the Best: Build a World-Class Organization Through Values-Based Leadership is one of the best leadership books for beginners because it provides an overview of the key principles of values-based leadership and explains how to apply them practically. It also includes real-world case studies from some of the world’s most successful organizations. The book is written by two experienced business consultants, Jerry White and Rob Jolles, who have worked with leaders across various industries and organizations. They share their expertise and insights on creating a culture based on shared values, building a high performance team, inspiring others to achieve results, managing change effectively, and much more. Becoming the Best is worth reading if you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to values-based leadership that will help you create an outstanding organization.
If you are a teacher and you want to improve your leadership roles, then this is the perfect book for you. It features all aspects of leadership that concerns teachers. The book also contains federal and state laws that is needed for every leadership position that you will partake. Aside from that, the book also offers leadership perspectives and the process on how to implement them. Overall, this is a good leadership book for teachers.
This product was recommended by Luke Lee from PalaLeather
I would highly recommend The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. This book is a great starting point for entrepreneurs who want to learn how to start and grow their businesses. It covers topics such as how to validate your business idea, how to create a minimum viable product, and how to get customers.
This product was recommended by Caitlyn Parish from Cicinia UK
I suggest The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen. This book is about how companies can grow by creating new markets and disruptive technologies. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how innovation works.
This product was recommended by Prav Solanki from THE FRESH UK
This is a novel about the journey of a young rookie manager and her experiences on her way top. It also talks about the strategies and tactics she employs, as she navigates the leadership role she was entrusted with. This book will give the reader a profound understanding of the different underlying factors that can affect how you deal with co-managers, work friends, and other employees.
This product was recommended by Sean O’Neal from Onclusive
It is an innovative guidebook that has psychology as its basis, more specifically, that of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is practical as it explains how human needs shape the journey and positioning of a business. The most vital aspect when you are starting a business or your business journey is that you understand the relationship dynamics around the people involved in your business endeavors. The principles of Peak that the author employed in his entrepreneurial experience is a very tangible strategy that can be employed as long as there exists a relationship between employer and employee and between customers and business entities.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is useful for entrepreneurs, executives, and managers because Maxwell’s advice is practical and easy to follow. Furthermore, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership helps high performers figure out what they’ve been doing right and play into their strengths. Additionally, the book is beneficial because it offers plenty of ideas on how to fine-tune weaker leadership qualities.
Despite the fact that Aurelius wrote it for himself, the material that has survived is a how-to for living a better life. By eliminating waste, Aurelius shows us how to overcome distractions and keep our ideals alive. Meditations may help you manage your thoughts, feelings, and actions to reduce stress in your life.
Drawing on his own experiences climbing out of the poverty of segregated Chicago to become a top healthcare executive, Williams shares the leadership lessons he learned with his readers. This isn’t a book for established leaders; instead, Williams focuses on the skills that he needed to initially develop in order to get his leadership career off the ground. Not only does the book teach important leadership lessons, but it is also engaging, with Williams weaving compelling stories from his own life experiences into each of his practical leadership tips and strategies.
This book introduced the term emotional intelligence into the business world and made it a prerequisite for leaders. Aside from that, the book and its principles are now regularly employed at universities, business and medical schools, professional training programs, and by a growing number of professional coaches, demonstrating the book’s influence’s breadth beyond the commercial world.
According to successful people all throughout the world, Stephen R. Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is the most significant work on leadership ever published. The author has devoted his whole life to learning what makes a successful leader. He lists seven behaviors that, if correctly instilled in a person, might make anyone successful. The first three habits focus on self-mastery – be proactive, begin with the end in mind, and put first things first. The next three focus on interpersonal relationships – think win-win, seek first to understand, then to be understood, and synergize. The last habit focuses on continuous improvement – sharpening the saw. A generation of CEOs, presidents, teachers, young professionals, and parents have shown to have been inspired by this book.
This product was recommended by Richard J. Brandenstein from FBR Law
Aurealius was the leader of the Roman empire during one of its most lucrative and successful periods. While it may seem daunting reading the meditations of a Roman emperor, Aurelius’ words are clear and concise and can be easy to understand, especially thanks to this new translation. This remains great for beginners as it is pretty theory light and mainly provides leadership-focussed meditations which can be a good place to start for many, elucidating leadership as a concept and creating a foundation for beginners to build on.
One of the most difficult things for me to learn as an employee was how to talk and make people listen to me, despite a lifetime of shrinking myself and trying to take up as little space as possible. However, after reading books like How to Own the Room, I could feel something in my mind shift and I genuinely felt changed inside. These are really powerful books for anyone who knows that they can lead, but worry about public speaking or drawing attention to themselves.
The A.R.E model of leadership is used in this book to simplify leadership into three categories. The most important message of this book is that leaders are formed by their actions. We will thrive as leaders if we follow these behaviors. This book is simple to read, comprehend, and apply in your daily life! This one is definitely biased because it is a book about the three core elements that all leaders must possess. I’d appreciate it if you could take a look. It’s for sale on Amazon!
This product was recommended by Ishtiaq Ahmed from Coursetakers
Though The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a book that is on the older side, I think that its lessons still hold true two decades on from publication, and it is a true, unerring classic when it comes to HR and Management. By mixing palpable style stories with factual theory, suggestions and analysis, author Patrick Lencioni teaches the reader how to overcome many of the human behaviors that tend to stunt or totally halt progress as a team. Managing to achieve both brevity, and in depth discussion, without making it too complex or technical, this is a great book for managers just beginning their career, or well seasoned leaders who want a refresher, or to change up their leadership style.
This product was recommended by Christian Dawson from Everwallpaper
If you are a new leader. This is the best beginner guide for you in your leadership adventure. It is extremely easy to understand and easy to put into practice. It was written with individuals just entering the field of leadership in mind. The strategy is straightforward, new, and young.
This book trains readers to have a more strategic mindset – and it is not a surprise that it is required reading at some of the best business schools in the world. Authors Dixit and Nalebuff teach strategic principles by blending theory with real world case studies, so that readers know the ins and outs of good strategy, and as well as having the capability to apply them to any situation. The logic is easy to follow, and though there is complex discussion (including concepts like game theory), the writing is conversational and easy to follow, making it perfect for both the interested layman, and the expert. For me, the magic of this book is that it gives you more than just an academic understanding of the principles of business strategy, but can also teach you how to apply them practically – meaning it is an utterly unrivalled guide.
I recommend ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ by Robert Cialdini. For young leaders, this is a great book as it dives into one of the core aspects of leadership which is persuasion. Leaders who have a deep understanding of persuasion can reach clients, customers, and employees in a more impactful way. This book features a brilliant commentary on the same through examples of the author’s personal experiences and other valuable references. It’s riveting and will help you become a good leader right from the start.
Start with Why is one of the best leadership books for beginners because it’s both engaging and easy to understand. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular books regarding being a business leader. What I loved most about the book is the positive attitude it encourages leaders to provide. This makes a significant difference in business, and it allows leaders to take a step back and appreciate the successes they’ve brought about.