5 Must Read Leadership Books for 2019

One thing that we have come across often in different businesses is that leaders are readers. They are eager to learn new things and deploy the strategies in the way they lead. The offices of the great leaders often contain bookshelves full of literary work from other leaders. They try to read these books and gain new insights that change the way they work and think. In this article, we will be talking about 5 of the best leadership books for personal development.

#1 – “Being on Mission” by Mark McGregor

Based on Mark McGregor’s ’10 Principles of Leadership and Life’, “Being on Mission” tells the story of Michael Weber, the typical, overworked manager, struck down in both his personal and professional life until he arrives at an all-time low. His ensuing transformation begins with the help of two mentors and a powerful leadership training workshop. Michael becomes aware of his situation, takes responsibility for his circumstances and his actions, and acquires the courage to change. Along his journey, he develops into a more effective leader and establishes clarity and purpose by defining his values, his vision, and his mission. Thereby, Michael ultimately alters the way he approaches his work, prioritizes the things that matter most, and begins to lead a more meaningful and purposeful life. ”Being On Mission” is a story of inside-out transformation and leadership development, and with the lessons learned by Michael Weber along his journey, you, too, can transform yourself professionally and personally.

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#2 – “How the Mighty Fall” by Jim Collins

Jim Collins wonders about a few questions in the book: How do huge companies fall? Could the decline be prevented? How do companies reverse a failing course?

In this book, Jim Collins answers these questions and offers the readers advice on how they can avoid decline. If they are on the course to move downwards, then how they can reverse the direction. The author’s research reveals the five-stages of decline:

Stage 1: Excessive pride which leads to the downfall of the leader

Stage 2: Failure of the organization due to self-satisfaction

Stage 3: Tendency to count the positives and ignore the negatives

Stage 4: Losing awareness about one’s achievements

Stage 5: The decline approaches the reality

By understanding these stages of decline, companies can avoid the fall to the bottom. Great companies can trip and still recover. The decline is self-imposed, and recovery is in our own hands.

#3 – “On Becoming a Leader” by Warren G. Bennis

Warren Bennis wrote this classic book on leadership in the mid-1980s. It is all about leadership based on personal growth, self-expression, learning, and integrity. “On Becoming a Leader” finds conclusion from the dozens of interviews on leaders. Leaders don’t seek to lead; instead, they express themselves completely. They take risks and learn from the situations. They try to reflect on all their experiences and inspire others to follow them. Bennis accuses American managers of short-term thinking. His examples of the late Robert Maxwell and Apple Computer’s John Sculley come to mind. We appreciate the author’s basics and inspiring philosophy of leadership.

#4 – “The Five Levels of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell

This book embodies the core of John Maxwell’s teachings. It lays out the entire leadership model in his book. John starts with neutralizing the prevailing notion amongst the people that gaining a leadership position makes them the leader. According to the author, it is just the entry point to leadership. There are five levels in leadership explained in the book.

  1. Position- People follow because they need to.
  2. Permission- People follow because they are willing to.
  3. Production- People follow because of your contribution to the organization
  4. People Development- People follow because of what you have done for them.
  5. Pinnacle- People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

With real-world examples and an abundance of data, John explains these five levels the book. He talks about the behavioral aspects and the reasons that can lead to the downfall of the leader. It is a fascinating read as you can instantly analyze how to gain and lose as a leader.

#5 – “Leadership and Self-Deception” by Arbinger Institute

This book tries to understand the reasons for leadership problems in an organization. Self-deception is one of the major causes of this issue. Self-deception is to act in a way that is contrary to what is right. Whether intentional or not, leaders undermine their performance by deceiving themselves. This book demonstrates how leaders can avoid these situations of self-deception and elude their destructive thought patterns. The author claims that if the leader controls this point, then it can result in improved teamwork, commitment, and trust. The book forces you to take a hard look at yourself whether you like it or not. We tend to enter the blame game, and this leads to self-deception. It is an interesting book for people to understand the basics of leadership.