Essential Reads to Develop Your Leadership Skills in Business


Ronit Agarwal

. 3 min read


Leadership is the most evergreen of business topics, yet it remains fiendishly difficult to master. Year after year, an array of authors do their part to keep the subject fresh, bring their varied perspectives to the task. Their treatments range from the musings of theorists, to painstakingly researched volumes from students of Churchill and Lincoln, to memoirs from captains of industry who recount their own journeys and the lessons learned along the way. This dynamic exchange of perspectives through online chat platforms adds a new dimension to the exploration and understanding of effective leadership, fostering a continuous learning process that complements the wisdom shared by authors and industry leaders.

Some Essential Reads You Need In Your Library

1. Learning to Lead

The Journey to Leading Yourself, Leading Others, and Leading an Organization by Ron Williams with Karl Weber. This master class on leadership, written by one of America's most prominent and successful executives, will help you develop the professional leadership qualities that deliver personal, interpersonal, and organizational success. Developed from Williams's own personal and professional journey, as well as the experiences of America's leading CEOs, these strategies emerge boldly from engaging stories, outlined with practical steps for you to accomplish goals such as, Launching your career quest - Avoiding professional pitfalls.

2. Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 and Leadership, both by John C. Maxwell

In this thoroughly revised and updated edition, Maxwell includes two new chapters to include the leadership insights and practices he has learned in the decades since the first edition so that you’ll receive everything you need to take a significant step in your leadership journey.

In Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, you will successfully learn and understand:

a. Influence – using the 5 Levels of Leadership as a roadmap to influence others

b. Service – asking eight questions to develop into a leader who serves others daily

c. Character – embracing good ethics, practicing self-leadership, and valuing people

d. Vision – including eight components when painting a vision for your people so they can experience it

3. Humble Leadership - The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust by Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein

3. Bestselling author and father of organizational culture studies

Edgar Schein and Peter Schein trail-blaze with a creative perspective on leadership that encourages vulnerability and empathy as a form of strength.

a. The more traditional forms of leadership that are based on static hierarchies and professional distance between leaders and followers are growing increasingly outdated and ineffective.

b. Without open and trusting communications throughout organizations, they will continue to face the productivity and quality problems that result from reward systems that emphasize individual competition and "climbing the corporate ladder".

c. Authors Edgar Schein and Peter Schein recognize this reality and call for a reimagined form of leadership that coincides with emerging trends of relationship building, complex group work, diverse workforces.

4. Disrupt-It-Yourself: Ways to Hack a Better Business

Based on her experience working with Fortune 500 companies and extensive research, Ahuja identifies the intrapreneurial archetype and presents eight new principles to foster a DIY mindset and action plan. In a clear, concise style with expert advice and real-world examples, this book

a. It provides a new lens to help companies become faster and more fluid.

b. It offers easy options to tailor the system to each company’s unique circumstances.

c. Using the DIY approach, organizations can build their ability to innovate and create an approach for growth that harnesses the creativity and knowledge of employees at every level.

5. Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise

In Excellence Wins, Schulze shares his approach to everything from providing the best customer service to creating a culture of excellence within your organization.

a. With his tried-and-true methods and inspiring, hard-earned wisdom, Schulze teaches you everything you need to know about: Why leading well is an acquired skill Serving your customers Engaging your employees Creating a culture of customer service.

b. He'll remind you that you don't need a powerful title or dozens of direct reports to benefit from the advice he shares in Excellence Wins. Let Schulze's incredible story help you unleash the disruptive power of your true potential and experience the game-changing power of what happens when Excellence Wins.

c. Whether you’re a new leader or a veteran entrepreneur, a commitment to learning will help you become as effective as you can be and there’s certainly no shortage of great leadership and management books to help you do just that.


In conclusion, leadership is a timeless and essential topic in business that continues to challenge and inspire professionals across industries. Fortunately, there are many excellent books available to help aspiring and seasoned leaders develop the skills and perspectives necessary to succeed. From personal memoirs to academic treatises to practical guides, these books offer a range of insights and strategies to help readers become more effective leaders. By engaging with these and other valuable resources, leaders can continue to grow and evolve throughout their careers, unlocking their true potential and achieving their goals.

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