A Leader’s Favorite Books

Updated on
April 14, 2024

by Samara Anderson

Building the industry bookshelf one recommended read at a time.

Whether you are a “manager” or not we are all leaders. And every leader has their own style and approach. One of my favorite ways to learn about different leadership styles is by studying some of the greats.

Of course it is also helpful to read actual “leadership books” some of my favorites are by Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell and John Maxwell. But if you are craving to learn more by example I would suggest picking up any one of these books and learning from the stories of success and failure.

Personally, I was fascinated to learn in context how these men made decisions, what motivates them and how they treat people. I studied and captured what I felt they did well and made note of the things I thought weren’t so great qualities. In the end I was inspired and motivated as well as armed with techniques and useful lessons. My only regret is I chose four books about male leaders :) as a part of my next growth spurt I will be sure to include some inspiring female leaders.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight

“You are remembered for the rules you break.” — Phil Knight

The Virgin Way, by Richard Branson

“Listen — it makes you sound smarter” — Richard Branson

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance

“There needs to be a reason for a grade. I’d rather play video games, write software, and read books than try and get an A if there’s no point in getting an A.” — Elon Musk

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

“You should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last.” — Steve Jobs

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