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This list comprises books that are connected to leadership, though they are not necessarily “how-to” books. I have found the majority of those to be limited in scope and application. My preference is to draw lessons from each thing I read, but seldom look at them as prescriptive guides. The selections below include a number of biographies. I find that reading about prominent and impactful leaders provides important lessons made more lasting because they are associated with stories.
The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey

Never Eat Alone (esp. for networking) by Keith Ferrazzi

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goowin

Give and Take by Adam Grant

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph granny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

Drive by Daniel Pink

Energy Leadership by Bruce Schneider

Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar

The Power of Habit by Charles Twohigg

Art of Possibility by Ben Zander & Rosamund Stone Zander


There are lots of books on self-improvement, some serious, some with little scientific backing and that generally fall in the area of Pop Psychology. This list falls mostly in the former category. As a scientist, I like to see the data and research foundation to recommendations. Nevertheless, some are based on an intuitive or philosophical foundation. Again, these are not prescriptive guides but can provide, in part, valuable lessons for personal improvement.
The Gift of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Presence by Amy Cuddy

Mindset by Carol Dweck

Give and Take by Adam Grant

The Confidence Code by Katy Kay & Claire Shipman

The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith

Drive by Daniel Pink

Well Being by Tom Rath & Jim Harter

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Happier & Even Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar

Perfection by Tal Ben-Shahar

The Power of Habit by Charles Twohigg


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