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April 1, 2016

The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: LEADERSHIP

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:45 PM – Filed under:

Leadership is this seemingly unidentifiable quality we all wish for in politicians, chief executive officers, and—whether we admit it or not—parents. These books prove their is nothing elusive about what it takes to lead people. All of these authors take different routes to the same destination: everyone wants a leader to define what the future will be and take them there.

On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis

Deemed the dean of leadership gurus by Forbes magazine, Warren Bennis persuasively argued that leaders are not born, they are made. Delving into the qualities that define leadership, the people who exemplify it, and the strategies that anyone can apply to achieve it, his classic work On Becoming a Leader has served as a source of essential insight for countless readers. In a world increasingly defined by turbulence and uncertainty, the call to leadership is more urgent than ever.

The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All by Michael Useem

Are you ready for the leadership moment? In The Leadership Moment, Michael Useem explores nine such moments and what lessons they hold for all of us.

Merck's Roy Vagelos commits millions of dollars to develop a drug needed only by people who can't afford it. Eugene Kranz struggles to bring the Apollo 13 astronauts home after an explosion rips through their spacecraft. Arlene Blum organizes the first women's ascent of one of the world's most dangerous mountains. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain leads his tattered troops into a pivotal Civil War battle at Little Round Top. John Gutfreund loses Salomon Brothers when his inattention to a trading scandal almost topples the Wall Street giant. Clifton Wharton restructures a $50 billion pension system direly out of touch with its customers. Alfredo Cristiani transforms El Salvador's decade-long civil war into a negotiated settlement. Nancy Barry leads Women's World Banking in the fight against Third World poverty. Wagner Dodge faces the decision of a lifetime as a fast-moving forest fire overtakes his firefighting crew

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

For more than 25 years, The Leadership Challenge has been a trusted source on becoming a better leader, selling more than 2 million copies in over 20 languages since its first publication. Based on Kouzes and Posner's extensive research, their enduring work in proves how leadership is a relationship that must be nurtured, and most importantly that it can be learned.

Leadership Is an Art by Max De Pree

Leadership Is an Art has long been a must-read not only within the business community but also in professions ranging from academia to medical practices, to the political arena. First published in 1989, the book has sold more than 800,000 copies in hardcover and paperback. De Pree looks at leadership as a kind of stewardship, stressing the importance of building relationships, initiating ideas, and creating a lasting value system within an organization. Rather than focusing on the “hows” of corporate life, he explains the “whys.” He shows that the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality and the last is to say thank you.

Leadership Is an Art offers a proven design for achieving success by developing the generous spirit within all of us. Now more than ever, it provides the insights and guidelines leaders in every field need.

The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership  by Steve Farber

In this exciting and timeless business parable, Steve Farber explores an entirely new leadership model, one in which leaders aren't afraid to take risks, make mistakes in front of employees, or actively solicit employee feedback. His book dispenses with the typical, tired notions of what it means to be a leader. Farber's modern parable begins on a sunny California beach where he has a strange and unexpected encounter with a surfer named Edg. Despite his unassuming appearance, the enigmatic Edg seems to know an awful lot about leadership and this brief interaction propels Steve into an unforgettable journey. Along the way, he learns about Extreme Leadership and what it means to take the Radical Leap.

Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will by Noel M Tichy & Stratford Sherman

Jack Welch made General Electric one of the world's most competitive companies. This dynamic CEO defined the standard for organizational change, creating more than $400 billion in shareholder value by transforming a bureaucratic behemoth into a nimble, scrappy winner in the global marketplace.

Here, Tichy and Sherman extract the enduring leadership lessons from the revolution Welch wrought at GE. Of these, the most essential is the limitless power of learning. Leadership has its mysteries, but it is a skill that anyone can acquire and enhance. Above all, great leaders select great people and lure them into an endless process of learning and adaptation.

Leading Change by John P. Kotter

From the ill-fated dot-com bubble to unprecedented M&A activity to scandal, greed, and ultimately, recession—we’ve learned that widespread and difficult change is no longer the exception. It’s the rule.

John Kotter’s now-legendary eight-step process for managing change with positive results has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. By outlining the process every organization must go through to achieve its goals, and by identifying where and how even top performers derail during the change process, Kotter provides a practical resource for leaders and managers charged with making change initiatives work. Leading Change is widely recognized as his seminal work and is an important precursor to his newer ideas on acceleration.

Needed more today than at any time in the past, this bestselling business book serves as both visionary guide and practical toolkit on how to approach the difficult yet crucial work of leading change in any type of organization. Reading this highly personal book is like spending a day with the world’s foremost expert on business leadership. You’re sure to walk away inspired—and armed with the tools you need to inspire others.

Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature by Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.

The hardest tests for leaders challenge their character as much as their skills, and a growing body of research shows that the self-knowledge gained from such tests is critical to leaders’ success.

In Questions of Character, Joseph L. Badaracco outlines eight fundamental challenges that test a leader’s character, and proposes exploring them through the lens of literature. Badaracco argues that serious fiction provides us with memorable characters facing compelling challenges similar to those that confront business leaders. Through rich analysis of the main characters in The Death of a Salesman, The Secret Sharer, The Last Tycoon, and other stories, Badaracco addresses complex issues leaders face, such as the soundness of their vision, their readiness to take on responsibility, the depth of their compassion, and their ability to manage success.

Presenting classic leadership dilemmas in a novel and valuable light, Questions of Character helps leaders and aspiring leaders prepare for the opportunities and tests before them.

The Story Factor: Secrets of Influence from the Art of Storytelling by Annette Simmons

Over one hundred stories drawn from the front lines of business and government, as well as myths, fables, and parables from around the world, illustrate how story can be used to persuade, motivate, and inspire in ways that cold facts, bullet points, and directives can't. These stories, combined with practical storytelling techniques show anyone how to become a more effective communicator. From who I am to I-know-what-you re thinking, Simmons identifies the six stories you need to know how to tell and demonstrates how they can be applied.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women's voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women's progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

In 2010, Sandberg gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to "sit at the table," seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of "having it all." She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.


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