The new year comes hand-in-hand with new beginnings, goal-setting and re-evaluating where we are in our lives, but also in our careers. If becoming a better leader is on your 2019 to-do list, there are some top notch books to help you on your journey.

The thing about leadership books, however, is that there are just too many to choose from in the world of self-help publishing. The good news is that we’ve read a bunch of them and have weeded out the dry and dull — so that you don’t have to face choice paralysis.

Without further ado, here is a list of 10 of our all-time favourite books to help you become a better leader this year.

#Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso is the founder and chief executive of global retail company Nasty Gal. She went from committing petty theft in her teens and dropping out of school at twenty-two to taking a random job just for the health insurance. During this unfulfilling job, Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay, which eventually led to the birth of Nasty Gal, a $250-million-plus fashion retailer with more than four hundred employees. Beyond being simply inspirational, Sophia’s book is for women who want to take a unique path to success and at its core, it’s all about following your gut.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni is no stranger to the leadership training world, having written other bestselling books like The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This third chart-topper focuses on the complex world of teamwork — something every leader ought to educate themselves about. Through powerful storytelling, Lencioni talks about the the five dysfunctions that go to the very heart of why even the best teams often struggle and how this can be tackled.

Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg

This bestseller by the chief operating officer of one of the world’s biggest tech giants, Facebook, encourages women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto. The book illustrates personal anecdotes of Sandberg’s own experiences as a leader in the male-dominated world of tech. As well as this, it combines hard data and research to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can do.

Drive, Daniel H. Pink

As a good leader, you not only have to keep yourself motivated, you also have to know how to keep your workforce enthusiastic about your shared goals. In Drive, Pink encourages us to forget everything we thought we knew about how to motivate people. He draws on four decades of scientific research about human motivation and applies it to business.

Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek

This book is for people who want to learn how to be the best leaders they can be for the workforce of today and tomorrow — it even includes an appendix dedicated to leading millennials. Sinek wants us to imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued at work and returns home feeling fulfilled. With this book, he outlines exactly how this can be achieved and turned into reality.

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

You may be surprised to find this classic in a leadership must-read list, but Coelho’s tale of a shepherd who follows his dreams has a lot to teach aspiring leaders. Following your dreams and taking note of the positive signs along the way is key to achieving career goals.

Little Black Book, Otegha Uwagba

This career toolkit for the working woman is simply refreshing. A pocket-sized guide tailored to creatives, it’s packed with new no-nonsense ideas and practical advice, whether you have years of experience under your belt, are just starting out or are thinking of going at it alone.

How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie

A list of leadership books wouldn’t be complete without one of the most world-renowned motivational reads. It’s on the reading list of most successful leaders of the world and aims to get people to not only lead, but do it in a way that gains trust and respect.

Good to Great, Jim Collins

Another science-backed read, Good to Great sets out to explain exactly what it says on the tin: why some companies make the leap and others just don’t. The book is based on the findings of a five-year long study which tries to answer how good, mediocre and even bad companies can go about achieving greatness.

The 4 Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris

While technically not about leadership, this book is about a way of working that ensures you’re your own boss. The book wants us to forget the old concept of retirement and instead opt for short work bursts and frequent mini-retirements. It argues that this makes sense in unpredictable economic times. The 4 hour work week has become a bit of a movement, so if you’re looking to lead without burning out, you may finish reading this book and have some ideas of your own about achieving a healthier work/life balance.


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