Leading a church is a complex task that requires skills in shepherding, organization management, and navigating diverse personalities. Therefore, leadership can be challenging. Fortunately, there are many accomplished leaders whose experiences and insights can offer valuable guidance. The leadership books they’ve written can help pastors and others improve their skills. Certainly, these are ten such books that every leader should consider reading.
General Leadership Books
1. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Stephen R. Covey. Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” has sold over 25 million copies since its release in 1989. This makes it a must-read leadership book for anyone. It delves into the seven habits in detail, covering topics such as proactivity, synergy, win-win mindsets, and continuous improvement. It is an essential read for all leaders. Additionally, Covey’s son has written “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens.” This release offers guidance for young adults.
2. Lean In: Sheryl Sandberg. Lean In is a powerful and inspiring book that showcases a collection of leadership essays. These essays put a particular emphasis on women’s role in the workplace and the unique organizational challenges they face. Sandberg’s experiences as the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook give readers a firsthand account of the tech industry. Subsequently, it is a fascinating read for leaders of all genders. It’s also an essential resource for anyone looking to empower and support women in the workplace while improving their own leadership skills.
3. Wooden on Leadership: John Wooden and Steve Jamison. Wooden is a legendary coach who led his UCLA Bruins to ten national basketball championships during his illustrious career. He’s widely recognized as one of the greatest coaches in sports history. Although this book delves into his basketball expertise, readers from all walks of life can learn valuable managerial lessons and tips. Everything from Wooden’s fabled 12 Lessons of Leadership to his “Pyramid of Success” are featured.
Leadership Books on Building Successful Cultures
4. Powerful: Building a Culture of Leadership: Patty McCord. McCord, a prominent member of Netflix, played a pivotal role in creating a dynamic and productive work environment that transformed the entertainment industry. Her book offers invaluable insights on leadership and emphasizes the importance of “radical honesty.” It also provides practical assignments to promote success in both professional and personal lives. With its focus on effective leadership, this book is highly recommended for those in charge of church leadership.
5. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently: Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. This excellent book distills findings from careful studies of some of the world’s most successful business leaders, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to smaller enterprises. In other words, it draws examples and lessons from the world’s most innovative thinkers. In other words, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the realm of creative leadership.
6. How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life: Geoffrey Lewis, Joanna Barsh, and Susie Cranston. Looking for insights from successful female leaders? Look no further than this engaging and entertaining leadership book. The authors have collected lessons from women around the world, offering a wide range of perspectives on effective leadership. Some of the featured leaders include:
- Alondra de la Parra, an orchestra conductor
- Andrea Jung, former CEO of Avon
- Ruth Porat, CFO of Morgan Stanley
- Eileen Naughton, former Vice President of Google
But don’t let the title fool you: this book has plenty of helpful advice for leaders of any gender. Whether you’re a seasoned CEO, a new manager, or a pastor, you’ll find plenty of practical tips and inspiring stories to help you lead with confidence and purpose.
Success, Friends, and Results
7. How to Win Friends and Influence People: Dale Carnegie. Carnegie’s self-help and leadership classic, first published in 1936, was a groundbreaking work that forever changed the genre. It has got age to it. However, its popularity has endured, with millions of copies still being sold. Carnegie’s insights on leadership, personality, management, and other topics remain timeless and invaluable. The book includes sections such as “Seven Rules for Making Your Home Life Happier,” “Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment,” and “Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking.” Whether you are a leader or not, this book is a must-read that can truly transform your life.
8. Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results: Judith E. Glaser. Above all, effective communication is an essential skill for any leader. Judith Glaser’s book delves into the concept of “conversational intelligence” — therefore helping readers improve their communication skills. Drawing on the latest neuroscience and psychological research, the book offers valuable tips on establishing meaningful relationships through conversations. With its science-based approach, this book is an exciting and essential addition to any leader’s library. It provides valuable insights applicable to both business and life.
Leadership Books, Coffee, and the Soul
9. It’s Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks: Howard Behar and Janet Goldstein. With its employee-centric approach, Starbucks has emerged as a giant in the US economy. For this reason, this book is a must-read for all leaders. In this captivating read, former Starbucks executive Howard Behar delves into the people-first approach that drove the company’s success. He offers numerous lessons on how to apply this revolutionary approach to any leadership scenario. To clarify, Behar draws from his experience at Starbucks to provide fascinating anecdotes on the company’s growth and expansion. In short, his take offers a vibrant element to this exceptional leadership book.
10. Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success: Hugh Delehanty and Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson’s leadership style was renowned for effectively managing complex personalities. And while these skills were developed in a sports career, his tips apply to everyone. In this captivating book, he shares his creative management techniques and lessons in dealing with challenging individuals. With insider stories of NBA stars such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal, the book is engaging and provides valuable insights for leaders seeking to manage volatile personalities.
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