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50 Essential Books on Leadership and Strategy


There are many books about leadership and business skills that can help people learn in those areas. is a wonderful resource that shows which libraries around the world have books in stock. Here is my list of useful books about leadership and business ranked in order of the number of libraries that carry them, according to

1 –
Who Moved My Cheese Spencer Johnson(43 editions in 5,723 libraries on – Change is a constant in life and this book is a parable to teach people how to deal with change. 

2 –
In Search of Excellence  – Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman (78 editions in 4,927 libraries) – A classic book from the 1980s that finds management patterns behind successful companies.

3 –
Crucial ConversationsKerry Patterson et al (26 editions in 3,739 libraries) – This book teaches people how to conduct difficult and important conversations effectively.

4 –
The Effective ExecutivePeter Drucker (95 editions in 3,428 libraries) – A classic by Peter Drucker, who is often considered a founder of modern business management theory, where he identifies the key skills executives need to be successful. 

5 –
Drive Daniel H. Pink (25 editions in 3,407 libraries) – This book explores some suprising research findings on what motivates people and how managers can use informations to lead teams. 

6 –
Eat that FrogBrian Tracy (46 editions in 3,074 libraries) – Shares tips for defeating procrastination so you can get more done in less time.

7 –
Dare to Lead,- Brene Brown(16 editions in 2,584 libraries) – Shares stories and research about how to be daring as a leader.

8 –
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of LeadershipJohn C. Maxwell (17 editions in 2,572 libraries) – Popular leadership coach summarizes leadership lessons in a list.

9 –
The GoalEliyahu M. Goldratt (54 editions in 2,563 libraries) – A fiction story that teaches lessons on how to run an operation.

10 –
OriginalsAdam Grant (23 editions in 2,536 libraries) – The Wharton professor shares lessons on how non-conformity is essential for leaders.

11 –
Competitive StrategyMichael E. Porter(23 editions in 2,459 libraries) – A classic book that introduced many popular strategy frameworks.

12 –
The Innovator’s DilemmaClayton Christensen(21 editions in 2,420 libraries) – Explores how innovation plays a large role in business strategy.

13 –
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleStephen R. Covey (34 editions in 2,416 libraries) – A classic book where the title says it all.

14 –
Leadership in Turbulent TimesDoris Kearns Goodwin(11 editions in 2,413 libraries) – The Pulitzer Prize winning author shares leadership lessons from some of the greatest US presidents.

15 –
Start with WhySimon Sinek(21 editions in 2,386 libraries) – Explains how people look for meaning from their work and how leaders can use that to motivate.

16 –
Jack: Straight from the Gut Jack Welch (14 editions in 2,336 libraries) – The memoir of the former CEO of General Electric who was considered by many to be the best CEO of his generation.

17 –
It Worked for MeColin Powell (14 editions in 2,190 libraries) – The legendary American military leader shares his leadership approach.

18 –
The Loyalty Effect Frederick F. Reichheld and Thomas Teal (20 editions in 2,054 libraries) – The Bain consultant who created the Net Promoter Score explores how customer loyalty is critical for business.

19 –
Go TeamKen Blanchard et al – (10 editions in 1,952 libraries) – The multi-bestselling author Blanchard shares the secrets leaders can use to take their teams to the top level.

20 –
PresenceAmy Cuddy(20 editions in 1,917 libraries) – The author gained fame for her “power poses” TED talk and this book expands on her research on how to project confidence and competence.

21 –
The AdvantagePatrick Lencioni(9 editions in 1,828 libraries) – Lencioni is a former Bain & Company consultant turned author who writes leadership lessons in the form of fiction books. This is one of his most popular. 

22 –
Awaken the Giant WithinAnthony Robbins(14 editions in 1,707 libraries) – The classic book from one of the best known motivational speakers.

23 –
Extreme Ownership Jocko Willink & Leif Babin (11 editions in 1,662 libraries) – Shares the leadership lessons from US Navy SEALs.

24 –
The McKinsey WayEthan Rasiel(5 editions in 1,623 libraries) – A former McKinsey consultant gives an overview of how the elite management consulting firm works.

25 –
How the Mighty FallJim Collins(10 editions in 1,466 libraries) – A follow up to his classic book, Good to Great, which takes the opposite take and talks through things that bring down good enterprises. 

26 –
EntreLeadershipDave Ramsey(9 editions in 1,405 libraries) – The famed financial guru shares his leadership lessons.

27 –
TribesSeth Godin(12 editions in 1,377 libraries) – How to rally followers and supporters into a tribe.

28 –
Lead With a StoryPaul Smith(8 editions in 1,351 libraries) – How to use storytelling to lead people. (Note: the author of this list is a business partner with the author of this book.)

29 –
Never Split the DifferenceChris Voss and Tahl Raz (23 editions in 1,350 libraries) – Lessons on negotiation from a FBI hostage negotiator.

30 –
Radical Candor Kim Scott (10 editions in 1,325 libraries) – Shares how to use direct feedback to be a demanding but fair manager.

31 –
Measure What MattersJohn Doerr(8 editions in 1,315 libraries) – Lessons from the famed venture capitalist on how to focus on the right metrics to ensure success.

32 –
TriggersMarshall Goldsmith(9 editions in 1,301 libraries) – Lessons from a leading executive coach to identify and remove things that derail you from success.

33 –
The Ride of a LifetimeRobert Iger(15 editions in 1,235 libraries) – Memoir from the highly successful CEO of Disney.

34 –
Crushing It Gary Vaynerchuk(9 editions in 1,127 libraries) – Lessons in entrepreneurial success from popular motivational speaker known often simply as Gary V.

35 –
The Camino Way Victor Prince(8 editions in 983 libraries) – Shares leadership lessons a former Bain & Company consultant learned by walking a 1,000 year old, 500 mile pilgrimage trail across Spain. (Note: the author of this book is the author of this list.) 

36 –
The Art of the Start 2.0Guy Kawasaki(10 editions in 978 libraries) – How to successfully launch a business or product. 

37 –
Lead Inside the BoxVictor Prince and Mike Figliuolo(7 editions in 872 libraries) – Shares a framework leaders can use to figure out how to manage different people differently and how to invest their own time and energy as leaders most effectively. (Note: the co-author of this book is the author of this list.)

38 –
Making of a ManagerJulie Zhuo(12 editions in 820 libraries) – Zhuo shares her lessons learned starting as a new manager at age 25 in this practical handbook.

39 –
The Virgin WayRichard Branson(7 editions in 781 libraries) – Memoir from the founder of Virgin brand of companies in airlines, music and more.

40 –
My Life in Full Indra Nooyi(9 editions in 691 libraries) – Memoir of former CEO of Pepsi, who was one of the preeminent CEOs of her generation and one of the first women to be CEO of a global business of that size. 

41 –
The Breakthrough ImperativeMark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert(10 editions in 550 libraries) – Bain & Company partners share insights on how companies can generate breakthrough performance. 

42 –
Leading Up: How to Lead Your Boss So You Both WinMichael Useem (5 editions in 520 libraries) – Wharton leadership professor shares insights on how to manage upward.

43 –
The Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing and ThinkingBarbara Minto(40 editions in 504 libraries) – Classic book that teaches the concise communication style used by McKinsey consultants.

44 –
Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership and the Olympic GamesMitt Romney(10 editions in 497 libraries) – Memoir of the famed Bain & Company management consultant turned venture capitalist turned governor and senator.

45 –
Profit from the Core: A Return to Growth in Turbulent TimesChris Zook and James Allen(9 editions in 470 libraries) – Bain & Company consultants share insights on how to drive growth and profitability. 

46 –
The Book of Mistakes Skip Prichard(4 editions in 459 libraries) – A fiction parable to help readers learn from mistakes that can hold them back from success.

47 –
The Leader with No TitleRobin Sharma (14 editions in 450 libraries) – A leadership fable that teaches leadership lessons. 

48 –
Rising to the Challenge Carly Fiorina (5 editions in 450 libraries) – Memoir of the former CEO of Hewlet Packard

49 –
Play Nice But Win Michael Dell (5 editions in 444 libraries) – Memoir of the founder and CEO of Dell Computers. 

50 –
The Leadership Gap Lolly Daskal (3 editions in 316 libraries) – One of the most popular writers on Inc. magazine shares her take on the biggest things holding people back from reaching their full leadership potential.

Data pulled on 20-21 February 2022 from

About the Author of this List: Victor Prince is the #1
executive coach for financial services executives. He is also an Amazon Top 20 best-selling leadership author who helps organizations build leadership, strategy, communications, and critical thinking skills. Follow Victor on LinkedIN to access his 100+ articles on leadership, strategy, learning & development, and more. 

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