Discover the 10 Best Leadership Books of All Time

As an elementary school teacher at Burwood Montessori Academy in Sydney and an author for Parental Daily, My primary motive and job is to enrich young minds with knowledge, experience and skills that will them in their future.

Discover the Best Leadership Books of All Time

I’ve spent my carrer in nurturing young students by teaching them strong leadership skills such as Integrity, Delegation, Communication, Self-Awareness, Gratitude, Learning Agility, Desicion Making, Emotional Intelligence and many more to prepare them for a successful feature. 

In this modern world, everything around you seems to be on an accelerated pace. From technology advancements to marketing strategies to the financial services, leadership has become the most essential skillset. While hiring for excutive positions, Big organisations and Unicorns actively look for leadership qualities.

I recommend that teenagers and college students strive to develop leadership qualities, regardless of their professional or personal circumstances.

The easiest way to develop leadership skills often begins with self-education, and there’s no better way to self-educate yourself than by reading, writing, and communicating your ideas with colleagues and professional minds.

Parents or teachers can also give creative journal prompts to pupils to improve their cognitive skills and foster leadership qualities. You an also follow these tips to teach your kids to write analytically after articulating and covering all aspects of topics, which can improve analytical or problem-solving skills– which is an essential skill for any leadership role.

 In the below comprehensive article, I’ll share my picks for the top 10 leadership books of all time – Out of these ten recomended books I’ve read four of them. These books are not only my personal favorites but they’ve also been highly recommended and endorsed by great leaders across various fields.

Some of these books are also recommended by my colleagues at “Burwood Montessori Academy”, My family, and close friends who are highly successful in their respective careers and are in leadership positions at Apple, Amazon and Chase Bank.

If you have a 12-year-old at home, explore our 10 Best Books for 12-Year-Olds article and 5 Best Books for Teen Girls.

From my personal experince –  Over the years I’ve read these four great leadership books – Dare to Lead, Start With Why, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. 

These books are still in my personal collection. I recently gave Dare to Lead to my Brother, who is 24 Years old currently pursuing Career in Information Technology in Sydney.  I’ll share his personal experience and review about the book once he finishes reading the Book.  

“Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge.” – Simon Sinek

These leadership books have not only shaped my perspective but have also been an invaluable resource in my teaching career. Through them, I aim to instill in my students, and the young adults in my family, the essential qualities of great leaders, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Apart from my personal recommendations – I’ve asked my Work colleagues, friends, and family to also share their favorite leadership books that have profoundly impacted their personal and professional growth. 

Key Workplace Statistics and Insights

Employees dissatisfied due to lack of trust in leadership85%
Employees strongly agree that their opinions count30%
Outperformance of companies with highly engaged employees147%
Top performers with high emotional intelligence90%
Natural ability to be a great leader10% (90% need to learn and develop)
Improvement in business productivity with leadership development programs23%
Companies prioritizing employee development with higher productivity250%
Employees leaving jobs due to issues with their bosses75%
Employees willing to work longer hours for empathetic employers80%
Increase in operating income for organizations with high employee engagement19%
Employees leaving jobs for more money12%
Employees with a best friend at work feeling a sense of belonging70%
Employees aware of their company’s goals, strategies, and tactics40%
Employees feeling their voice is heard being 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered4.6x
Greater profitability with highly engaged business units21%
Companies with engaged employees experiencing lower absenteeism41%
Employees thinking their boss is a good leader20%
Employees feeling their company provides growth and development opportunities25%

It took me about three weeks to finalize the top 10 best leadership books of all time after reading outlines of the books (What’s the main objective of the Book and the Author’s Intention and Experiences) and cross-referencing their popularity and reviews. 

This below list (Which is Impressive – If you ask me) encompasses works from esteemed authors such as Brené BrownPatrick LencioniJocko WillinkStephen R CoveySimon Sinek, and John C Maxwell, among others. 

1. “Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown 

Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

Renowned researcher and author Brené Brown delivers a powerful message about the importance of vulnerability in leadership.

Brown’s work has transformed the way many view leadership, encouraging great leaders to embrace their weaknesses and leverage them as strengths. 

2. “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni


Patrick Lencioni’s classic book provides a compelling narrative about the common dysfunctions that plague teams. His insightful work has become a staple in the field, providing invaluable guidance for anyone seeking to build a cohesive and effective team. 

Overcome Team Dysfunctions with Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

3. “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin 

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin 

Navy Seal officers Jocko Willink and Leif Babin share their experiences and lessons in leadership in this powerful book. Their concept of “Extreme Ownership” has resonated with many, highlighting the importance of taking full responsibility for one’s actions and decisions. 

4. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey 

Stephen R Covey’s seminal work offers a holistic approach to personal and professional effectiveness. Its principles about proactivity, prioritization, and synergy have guided highly effective people in every field. 

Sharpen Your Leadership Skills with Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

5. “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek 

Start With Why by Simon Sinek 

In his groundbreaking book, Simon Sinek argues that people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. This transformative perspective has helped countless leaders inspire action and drive change. 

6. “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C Maxwell 

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell

John C Maxwell, a respected voice in the field, presents 21 irrefutable laws of leadership in this book. These laws serve as a comprehensive guide for anyone aspiring to be a great leader. 

This list is by no means exhaustive, and I encourage you to explore other influential works by authors such as Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and many others. Great leaders are always learning and growing, and these books offer a wealth of knowledge to facilitate that growth.

7. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie


How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

First published in 1936, Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” remains one of the most revered leadership books of all time. Carnegie’s timeless advice on understanding and influencing human nature is a cornerstone of effective leadership.

The book provides practical strategies for how to make people like you, win people to your way of thinking, and change people without arousing resentment. It is an essential read for anyone aspiring to be a great leader. 

8. “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek, renowned author and inspirational speaker, gives us “Leaders Eat Last”. The premise of the book lies in the belief that great leaders create environments in which teams feel safe and people flourish. Sinek dives into how the most successful teams are those where everyone trusts each other so much that they would put their lives on the line for each other.

Drawing from a wide range of real-life stories, from the military to big businesses, Sinek offers profound insights into what it means to be a leader who puts their people first. 

9. “The Dichotomy of Leadership” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

“The Dichotomy of Leadership” is the second book from former Navy Seal officers Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Here, they explore the fine balance that leaders must achieve between opposing forces. This is a follow-up to their first book, “Extreme Ownership“.

While the first book focused on the principles of leadership, this one provides a roadmap for their application in a way that balances the welfare of the team with accomplishing the mission. It’s an essential read for anyone seeking to lead effectively under pressure.

 10. “The First 90 Days” by Michael D. Watkins

Transitioning into a new role or leadership position can be daunting and filled with challenges. “The First 90 Days” by Michael D. Watkins is a playbook for leaders at all levels. It provides strategies and tools to help you take charge in your new role, build a strong team, and establish a clear path forward during your first three months. 

Watkins shares the steps you need to take to align your team, establish credibility, and create momentum. His proven methodology has been shaped by his extensive research in leadership transitions. In this book, he emphasizes the importance of learning and adapting quickly and establishing critical alliances. 

How does Brené Brown’s book ‘Daring Greatly’ relate to leadership?

The books that are recommended in this list, extensively discuss essential leadership skills including – the importance of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and effective communication.

 Brené Brown known for her work on Leadership and vulnerability (has six number-one New York Times bestselling books) highly emphasizes the value of vulnerability and authenticity in leadership.

How can ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ by Patrick Lencioni help improve team leadership?

While, Patrick Lencioni’s (Who in his books and podcats offers solutions to help teams perform better) books focus more on building cohesive teams (for better team-management) and addressing the dysfunctions that can hinder team success. 

He exhaustively talks about important remedies and gives suggestions about business management, team-management and team dynamics that can help leaders to have a complete control/autonomy on their workforce, enabling them to improve performance and eradicate any abnormalities and impairments in their leadership.

How have these books helped great leaders in their personal and professional growth?

The books on this list have helped great leaders in their personal and professional growth by providing them with valuable insights and strategies for effective leadership. From business leadership to social to political leadership,  all the above reommended books in this list offer practical advice and real-world examples that are essential and crucial for personal and professional growth.

Lessons and practical antedotes from these books can be  directly applied to a variety of situations and industries.

I’ll give you a practical emple, such as, Brené Brown’s book ‘Dare to Lead’ (which takes the top spot on this list) highly emphasizes on  the importance of vulnerability and empathy in leadership – which fosters positive work environment and trust between the team members and managers.

A leader in an organization who is more emphathetic and vulnerable often succeeds in creating a good and positive environment for junior members builds trust and rapport with teams and is more likely to establish meaningful connections with their team. 

While Patrick Lencioni’s ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ explores the common pitfalls that can derail team performance and offers strategies for overcoming them.

My Personal Views

Overall, the above recommended books in this list have helped great leaders to develop their skills, build strong teams, and achieve their goals.

From my personal experience as a teacher and a former Accountant, I would add that  “By reading and applying the lessons from these books, anyone can become a more effective leader and achieve greater success in their personal and professional lives.”