Reading should be a habit for any leader, even experienced ones. But if you’re wondering what you should read next, we put together a list of books that all executive leaders should read. These books are filled with helpful information on strengthening your leadership skills, improving your emotional intelligence, and finding business success.
The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People
Even if you read this book already, it’s worth taking another look at it now and again to refresh your memory. Though it was published in 1989, author Stephen R. Covey writes about the principles and habits of successful people and why they’re essential in both your personal and professional life. A must-read for anybody, but especially executive leaders.
Getting to Yes
This book by the trio of Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton is about how important the skill of negotiation is to executive leaders. It teaches that the key to successful negotiations is to see the situation from the other side’s perspective—another must-read for aspiring leaders.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Author Dale Carnegie wrote this book in 1936, but while some of the language may be outdated, the information is still relevant today. It teaches you how to be persuasive and likable, qualities every leader should possess. It’s no wonder why this book has sold over 15 million copies worldwide.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Being a leader is about making tough decisions, and this book by Ben Hrowitz is here to help you with that. The author reflects on his time as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and the challenging situations he faced, like firing a loyal friend or deciding when and how to sell his company. If you need help with those tough decisions in your life as a leader, this is the book for you.
“Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” by Daniel Goleman takes the author’s research into neuroscience and psychology and turns it into actionable advice. It argues that emotional intelligence- how well we interact with people- can matter more than your IQ in determining what makes a great leader.
First, Break All the Rules
This book is based on Gallup’s research of more than 80,000 managers and finding out they all have one thing in common: they all break longstanding management rules. One thing it teaches is that it’s better to hire people based on talent rather than experience. “First, Break All the Rules” by Marcus Buckingham is a classic about looking at business management from a different perspective.
The Innovator’s Dilemma
This book by Clayton Christensen is all about the companies that did everything right- and ended up failing anyway. The reason, Christensen argues, is because they weren’t innovating. The book will challenge how you think about business management with its theory of “disruptive innovation.”
The Effective Executive
This tongue-twister of a title is about how the best leaders are the ones that get the right things done. The author, Peter Drucker, is known as the “Father of Modern Management” for penning this book in 1967, and it outlines five practices that are essential to any executive leader.