10 Favorite Leadership Books, New & Classic

Books about leaders and leadership

There are thousands of books on leadership and they range widely in quality. The field becomes more crowded every day, as enterprising authors and publishers mistakenly believe that leadership is a “soft” skill open to interpretation by any random CEO or tech entrepreneur. In fact, great leadership is rooted in reliable scholarship and substantial, hands-on experience. Here are 10 of my favorite books that make the grade as genuinely useful for both students and practitioners.

Bennis, W. (2009). On Becoming a Leader. Boulder: Basic Books.

My #1 favorite. Thoughtful and full of insight, this is like having your own personal coach. Find it at Strand Books.

Bordas, J. (2012). Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Latinx, African-American, and Native American styles and perspectives. Find it at Greenlight Bookstore.

Carnegie, D. (1981). How to Win Friends and Influence People. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Originally published in 1936, this remains the best advice for how to get, and keep, clients. Find it at Greenlight Bookstore.

Dreier, P. (2012). The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century (1st ed.). New York: Nation Books. 

Leaders and role models from all walks of life and a wide range of cultures. Find it at Greenlight Bookstore.

Han, H. (2014). How Organizations Develop Activists (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

How to build a great in-house leadership development system that can really make change. Find it at Oxford U. Press.

Hickman, G. (2016). Leading Organizations (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.

A big, fat anthology of essays from researchers and practitioners. A whole library in a single volume. Find it at Sage Publishing.

Lammers, W., & Genovese, M. (2014). The Presidency and Domestic Policy (2nd ed.) New York: Routledge.

Good example of how to establish criteria to compare leaders in the same field or position. This book examines US presidents from FDR to Obama. Find it on Amazon.

Legault, S. (2014). Carry Tiger to Mountain: The Tao of Activism and Leadership. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press.

Leading as a spiritual activity that nurtures people and the planet. A real treasure. Find it on Barnes & Noble.

Northouse, P. (2017). Leadership: Theory & Practice (7th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.

The best all-around, comprehensive leadership text. If you only buy one book on the topic, this is it. Find it on Amazon.

Wills, G. (2014). Certain Trumpets: The Nature of Leadership. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Intriguing analysis of well-known leaders and their styles; heroes and anti-heroes. Find it at Strand Books.

Net Neutrality: blah, blah, blah…

You’ve been hearing the term “Net Neutrality” for a while now. You sort of know it’s about keeping open access to the internet, for all. But you haven’t looked into the boring details because other people are taking care of that for you. Now… TODAY… is the time to change that.

The FCC is rolling back the Net Neutrality protections put in place during the Obama administration. Today is the day where the internet comes together to stop them. If we don’t, big cable companies (in other words, your internet providers) will control what we see and do online. Widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees will follow.

What this will mean in the real world is an internet that ever-more-closely mirrors the extreme stratification we see offline. Small nonprofits won’t be able to get their messages out to donors and clients. Social justice activists will no longer have a level playing field to get the word out. And you–as a customer–will pay more money for an internet that is measurably worse than the one you have now.

So what can you do?

1) Take a few minutes today to really understand what we’re facing.

  • Watch and share the explainer video below
  • Visit Battle for the Net (if you don’t want to sign up for their list, just scroll down the page for tips)
  • spread the word on social media

2) Let Congress know that this FCC rule matters to you.

Support the Summer Meals Act of 2017 & Help Hungry Kids

Please support the Summer Meals Act of 2017

Each summer, over 60,000 community organizations across the nation—schools, houses of worship, camps, community centers—volunteer to host children of all ages and commit to providing healthy, nutritious meals. This collaboration is called the Summer Meals Program and it helps 3.2 million children get connected with healthy meals all summer long.

Despite this incredible effort, there are still kids who the program doesn’t reach. These are kids who get most of their meals before and during school, but when summer vacation comes they face many weeks of misery because they don’t get enough to eat. This is why the Summer Meals Program is so vital. Without our help only about 17% of eligible children will actually get the meals they need. (WhyHunger.org)

You Can Help

Here in America, where we are blessed with an abundance of food, feeding hungry children is one issue that we can all agree is the right thing to do. This is a moral issue that crosses the boundaries of politics, culture, and geography. Right now there is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would fund nonprofit organizations to provide meals to many more needy kids. Please call or email your Congressperson and ask her/him to vote ‘yes’ on this important piece of legislation.

Information on how to find the name of your representative and his/her contact information is available by clicking on this link to Why Hunger, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity. And if you can, please also donate to Why Hunger to help them in their very important work. No amount is too small, and your donation is tax deductible.

Thank you!