The Best Leadership Books

Leadership Books

“Leadership is influence.” — John Maxwell

This is a list of my favorite and noteworthy best leadership books.

When I think of leadership, I think of influence, change, connection, conviction, inspired action, empowerment, decisive action, forward-thinking, and vision.

The leadership books below help provide leadership skills, including mindsets, methodologies, and methods.  I test many of the leadership books below while leading large scale programs, projects, and initiatives and distributed teams around the world.

I put the bulk of the list in categories so you can explore relevant leadership books and you can easily compare against your existing leadership books library.

The Top 10 Leadership Books

  1. Emotional Capitalists: The New Leaders, by Martyn Newman
  2. Flawless Execution
  3. Leadership Gold , by John C. Maxwell
  4. Leadership on the Line, by Ronald A. Heifetz
  5. Principle-Centered Leadership , by Stephen R. Covey
  6. The 5 Levels of Leadership, by John Maxwell
  7. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell
  8. The Essential Wooden, by John Wooden
  9. The Leadership Challenge, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
  10. The Leadership Test, by Timothy Clark

The Best Leadership Books By Category

Here are the best leadership books by category to help you master your leadership skills:

Getting Started


Authenticity, Authentic Leadership





Development, Leadership Development


Emotional Intelligence, Compassion, Heart, Empathy




Executive Presence

Failure, Setbacks

Influence, Rapport

Interpersonal Skills

Leadership, Lessons in Leadership

Learning, Growth

Principles, Practices, Strategies, Tactics

Purpose, Passion, Motivation

Reflection, Inner-Engineering

Servant Leadership

Situational Leadership





Vision, Mission, Values

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