God never stops amazing me. He just continues to put awesome people and awesome things in front of me and I know that when He gives me a gift, it’s not really for me! So, wanted to share this ‘gift’ that I found with each of you! I wasn’t always a reader but, have certainly become one over the past 5 years and I can’t even calculate the impact it’s had on me and my family so, if you’re not a reader, I can’t encourage you enough to just START! (There’s even a book in this list about just that ha!)
Will you join me? If so, drop me a comment and tell me that we’re in it TOGETHER!
A lot of these I have already read but, those that I haven’t I’ve created a plan to get through the rest of the year. There’s an awesome little description so that you can find which one matches your current season or an area in which you’d like to grow in and head straight there!
The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership by Jenni Catron
God’s Word is the greatest leadership resource there is, and Jenni did an amazing job expanding on His command to love with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength in regards to leadership. Prepare to be challenged, encouraged, and walk away leading differently.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Consistency in correct choices is the clearest path to succeeding in what matters. It’s not the one-time event or one great idea that makes a great leader, but a lifetime of consistent, effective choices. To sharpen your daily routine to maximize your effectiveness, implement the seven habits in this book.
Business for the Glory of God by Wayne Grudem
If you’ve struggled with a call to ministry and wondering if your business can accomplish that, this book is filled with Biblical principles and practical wisdom on everything from selling to money. God can get glory from our work, but we must be intentional to do it His way, not the world’s way.
Discipline: The Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot
While most people define discipline as routines for improvement, the approach in this book is very different as she examines discipline as the “very shape of a believer’s life.” It’s not an “extra,” but discipline is a requirement to be a disciple of Christ. From body to possessions to feelings, this book will challenge your heart to live in the boundaries set by God to discover His ultimate freedom.
Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey
If you don’t have an MBA and don’t have the resources to go back to school and get one, this book is your next best option. Dave tells you everything you need to know to excel in your field by combining top tips on entrepreneurship and leadership with an integrity-first mindset.
The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster by Darren Hardy
When we examine who succeeds in business and who doesn’t, we find that failure and success have little to do with outside forces. Entrepreneurship is for sure a rollercoaster – from finances to emotions – so if you want to learn how to prepare yourself for the ride and see if you’re willing to do what it takes to be one of the ones who “makes it,” buckle up with this book and hold on tight.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
If you’ve ever struggled with feeling overwhelmingly busy, but not productive, this book will help you cut the clutter from your workload with a disciplined system of determining how to make the highest contribution to the call God has placed on your life.
Famous in Heaven and at Home by Michelle Myers
So many times, we can get caught up in our planner pages and to-do lists. We wonder, “What does God want me to do for Him?” This book, through expanding on the Proverbs 31 woman, instead of answering that question, it asks the deeper question, “Who does God want me to be?” By prioritizing our character, we increase our chances of maximizing our lives for God’s glory as we emphasize the roles He has given us that are most important and prove by being faithful with little that we are ready for more.
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Too many leaders and business owners are consumed with what they “get” from leading and doing business, rather than giving their customers something of value. This parable tells a compelling story (you’ll probably read it one day), that will leave you chasing the idea of giving to others instead of receiving for yourself.
Good to Great by Jim Collins
(It’s been a lonnnng time since I’ve read this one -Niki)I’m not usually a fan of books full of numbers, but this research-based study on 11 companies who made the leap from good to great is an exception. Contrary to what most may assume what makes a great company great, this book provides an evidence-based roadmap of disciplines, not just strategy, to follow to find the path to greatness.
H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick
Going through the 3 H’s of humble, hungry and hustle, Brad describes a leader “who is willing to work hard, get it done, and make sure it’s not about him or her.” Any reader of this book who turns the teachings into habits is headed not just for success, but for significance.
Hand Me Another Brick by Charles Swindoll
Leadership isn’t available without hardships and setbacks. Perhaps no one knew this better than Nehemiah. By examining what’s arguably the best parallel for leadership in the Old Testament, this book provides a spiritual approach to leadership and how to handle all its difficulties in a way that honors the Lord.
The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni
Whether you want to know if the key players in your organization are the right players or you’re brave enough to determine if you have the qualities required to maximize the potential of your team, this book, written as a fable, will walk you through the three qualities required of the Ideal Team Player and how to improve your weakest areas to become the MVP of your team.
Integrity by Henry Cloud
Moving being morality, this book examines the six character traits that must be present to achieve the “wholeness” of integrity. The subtitle of the book says it all – “the courage to meet the demands of reality.” Prepare to be challenged to work differently than the rest of the world, but in doing so, set yourself up for a competitive edge, simply due to the fact that you’re true to yourself and true to those you’re serving.
Lead like Jesus by Ken Blanchard
This book breaks down the life of Jesus, the greatest leader who ever walked the earth, into 4 categories: leading with our heart, our head, our hands and our habits. Every leader fails…except Jesus. When we align our leadership to mimic His, we have no direction for our influence to go but up.
Living Forward by Michael Hyatt + Daniel Harkavy
Do you struggle with reverse engineering? Maybe you know where you’d like your business or ministry to be in 5-10 years, but you aren’t sure the steps you need to take between now and then to get there. This book will be your best friend as you map the plan to get you from here to there.
The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy
If you treasure advice from those who take a values approach to serving others more than “bossing,” this book will become one of your favorite resources. Leading truly is more about who those we are leading are becoming than about us. Discover the 7 principles of mentor leadership from a man who has proven intimidation and spotlights aren’t required to become a respected leader.
One Question by Ken Coleman
If you’ve ever dreamed of sitting in a room full of leaders you respect and soaking up their top tip of business advice, buy this book and unleash your imagination. You can’t go one page without finding a #truthbomb and a new leader to follow.
Prayer: The Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders by Dave Earley
If you’ve ever allowed yourself to go a day without prayer + remain unaffected by it, those days will be over once you read this book. From developing a prayer team to truly understanding how productive prayer is (and consequently, how unproductive prayerlessness is), this book will be one you’ll highlight, re-read, and treasure for years to come.
The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller
Bottom line: people who blame others will never rise to the top. One of the top things that holds potential leaders back is their lack of personal accountability. This book challenges the “blame game” and encouragers leaders to first question themselves when they spot a problem instead of pointing fingers at anyone else. Positive change happens when we change ourselves first.
START by Jon Acuff
This might be the biggest problem I see among hopeful entrepreneurs: all talk and little action. If you’ve found yourself in constant thinking mode and struggle with the application process, read this book to help you cast your fears aside and start doing.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
While many leadership books address the what’s and how’s of business, this book asks the deeper question, “Why?” Why do you do what you do? Why should someone else care about what you’re doing? When we base our work on our “why,” not only will we get to live inspired, but we greatly increase our success in inspiring others along our way.
Talent is Never Enough by John Maxwell
Talent will only get you so far. There are personal disciplines and character choices that must also be present to maximize the abilities God has given us. This book discusses 13 elements that will either limit our talent or propel us forward.
Visioneering by Andy Stanley
Andy defines visioneering as “a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.” Plain and simple, we can’t lead without vision. So if we’re going to end up somewhere in life, let’s make sure we’re headed somewhere on purpose. Exploring the life of Nehemiah, you’ll be blown away by the Biblical wisdom and practical application of this book.
What To Do When It’s Your Turn by Seth Godin
Rather than a book to read from cover to cover, this is a book to leave near your desk, and any moment when you’re needing some quick motivation, all it will take is a quick glance at this book to find the inspiration you need. I guarantee you won’t be able to read more than a page without feeling the urge to “do!”
BONUS BOOK: The Bible
The Bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions. We didn’t want to include it on the list with the others as a one-time read, but also couldn’t make a list without it. If you dismiss every other book on this list, don’t discount this one. More than just the best leadership book and wisdom guide of all time, this is the inspired Word of the one true God. Read His Word daily, and even if you don’t read another word from another book, you’ll have everything you ever need.