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Unlocking Leadership Excellence: 5 Must-Read Books

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

Leadership is an ever-evolving journey, and the wisdom distilled in books can serve as invaluable guides on the path of professional and personal growth. Whether you're a seasoned executive or an emerging leader, the following five books are some of my favorites that offer profound insights into leadership and leadership development.

  1. "The Servant” and “The Culture” by James C. Hunter: This is a two-book series written by Hunter that introduces the principles of Servant Leadership, as well as, how to implement the principles as a leader. Both books are parable stories of a group that attended a week-long conference on leadership. In the first book, “The Servant” Hunter does an excellent job of detailing the principles while also explaining how Servant Leadership differs from more traditional leadership styles. In “The Culture” Hunter continues the story focusing on the steps involved in implementing a Servant Leadership based culture. Both are excellent books.

  2. "Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek: Simon Sinek's "Leaders Eat Last" takes a deep dive into the dynamics of trust and collaboration within teams. Sinek argues that great leaders prioritize the well-being of their team members, creating an environment where individuals feel valued and supported. By examining real-world examples, the book offers actionable insights into building a culture of trust and shared success.

  3. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey: This was one of the first personal development books I ever read, and it is still one of the most impactful. It is a timeless classic that transcends its original purpose to become a cornerstone for effective leadership. Covey's habits, from being proactive to seeking first to understand, provide a solid foundation for anyone aspiring to lead with purpose and effectiveness. This is a book that should be studied over a lifetime, it is that good!

  4. "Lead … For God’s Sake” by Todd Gongwer: This is another one of my favorite leadership books. It is another parable story about the journey of a high school basketball coach and his team go through. It is a surprising story that shares many simple, yet powerful, concepts about leadership. It is especially good at showing proven strategies for developing an effective team, while also showing some common leadership tactics do not work very well. Great read.

  5. "Dare to Lead" by Brené Brown: Brené Brown, known for her research on vulnerability and courage, brings her insights to the world of leadership in "Dare to Lead." Brown challenges traditional notions of leadership by emphasizing the power of vulnerability, empathy, and connection. The book encourages leaders to create environments that foster openness and innovation.

There is no doubt that books have changed my life for the better. Whether you actually read them, or listen to them using an app like Audible, the key is to take advantage of the many great books that have been written over the past many years. The five books listed above, and so many more, offer a comprehensive guide to leadership, professional, and personal development. Whether you're navigating the complexities of team dynamics, seeking personal growth, or aiming to inspire others, each book brings a unique perspective to the multifaceted world of leadership. As you embark on your leadership journey, let these books be your trusted companions, providing wisdom and inspiration along the way.

If you would like to explore other books beyond the ones listed here, let me know. I would be happy to share my 4-page Recommended Reading List with you. All you have to do is email me at and request the list.

Happy reading to you.

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