open book - books for leaders

The seven best books for awesome leaders

open book - books for leaders

When I start coaching with a new non-profit leader I usually get asked for a list of what to read. I’ve ceased being surprised that these busy people want to keep learning and growing between all the other million things they have to do. I guess that’s why they’ve come to me too.

There are two places I steer everyone. First I encourage them to check out The Happy Manifesto. I love everything that comes out of www.happy. com and this sums up how leaders can create a happy, productive, inclusive workplace in one free download. The other is the Harvard Business Review website which is absolutely chocka with practical resources on a whole range of topics. Both are invaluable supports for our coaching.

And then there are these seven. If these are the only books you have on your shelf (or in your Audible library, where you’ll find all but Thrive) my work is done.

  1. Dare to Lead, by Brené Brown
  2. Nonviolent Communication, by Marshall Rosenberg. I teach all my clients his brilliant, four-part communication process for asking for what you need without making the other person wrong. More in my blog here.
  3. Thrive, by Ariana Huffington Not a fan of self-help? This one is full of passion and solid research. She outlines a clear path for how to get in touch with who you really are (not who you think you ought to be).
  4. The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson. I love this book. Success comes from the little habits and choices we make daily.
  5. Drive, by Daniel H Pink. An inspiring and funny read on what really motivates you (and the people in your team) to do what you do
  6. Lean In, by Cheryl Sandberg A rallying cry for women leaders (and the men in their lives)
  7. Nine Lies about Work, by Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall. The newest addition to my book shelf and already throwing a few of my favourite leadership truths out the window! But all good…

And the one I return to again and again in my work? Dare to Lead. It’s beautifully written, full of warmth and insight and will remind you that you are not alone in your up-and-down journey to be a purposeful, value-led leader.

Over To You

What’s your go-to when you need a boost of inspiration or motivation? I’d love to know which books have impacted you the most, so please do share your recommendations in the comments below.

What Next?

If you’re ready to take the next step in your own professional development I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at or give me a call on 07958 501 427. I’d love to have a chat about how I can help.