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The 5 Best Leadership Books Ever

Updated on January 25, 2012

"All leaders are readers but not all readers are leaders." (Harry S. Truman) - Leadership Books for the True Leader

What is leadership? Mostly, great and effective communication.

It's not easy to become a better leader, mostly because the first step is to want to change yourself. Leaders know that they can't change other people but they can change how other people react by changing their own actions. Leaders also know that you can't teach yourself everything; you have to be willing to learn from people who have more experience than yourself. But you know that, because you're here.

Below are what I consider the 5 Best Leadership Books Ever. Read my reviews, tell us if you've read them, and then add your own favorites. If readers like another book in particular I'll write a review and expand the Top 5 list. I've included the blogs of three of my favorite leadership gurus, too.

1. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

2. How To Have Confidence and Power in Dealing With People by Les Giblin

3. Personality Plus by Florence Littauer

4. The Ant and The Elephant: Leadership for The Self by Vince Poscente

5. The Greatest Salesman in The World by Og Mandino

(Plus YOUR Leadership Book List!)

And, if you find this lens on books on leadership the least bit helpful, please "like" it on Squidoo and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or your other favorite social medium.

How To Win Friends and Influence People

How To Win Friends And Influence People, Revised Edition
How To Win Friends And Influence People, Revised Edition

How To Win Friend explains the timeless principles of human relations, and as we know effectively communicating with people is the foundation of leadership as people voluntarily follow a good leader. It's written to help professionals but it also directly helps people in their personal lives life more effectively and happily by teaching the psychology of human relations and helping people make social contacts and friends and further improve their speaking skills. How To Win Friends is based on sincerity and stresses that acting earnest without being earnest may produce short term results but only produces long term harm.


The Top Five Reasons "How To Win Friends And Influence People" is a Best Leadership Book Ever

  • Stresses sincerity
  • Written for the professional, helps the professional and the non-professional
  • Explains how to use the psychology of human relations to get what you want by giving people what they want
  • Includes a section about communicating effectively through writing
  • Illustrates points with interesting and entertaining stories

Reader Poll

Have you read How To Win Friends and Influence People?

See results

Videos about "How To Win Friends And Influence People"

Top 5 Reasons "How to Have Confidence and Power" is a Best Leadership Book Ever

  • The book, unlike many others, includes tips for speaking to strangers and developing your small talk
  • Based in sincerity and servant leadership
  • It's easy to understand and thought-provoking
  • Giblin teaches the effects of an individual's attitude on how others treat them
  • Principles of human nature such as those included in this book do not change so their lessons will never be outdated

More Editions of "How to Have Confidence and Power"

Reader Poll

Have you read How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing With People?

See results

Videos about "How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing With People"

Personality Plus


by: Florence Littauer

You can't be a leader without first understanding other people. You can't understand others without first understanding yourself. If you want to be a great leader it's extremely important to understand how people think. Littauer uses an ancient personality profile system, which I find very true to life, to explain why people naturally want to act the way they do. She explains the positive and negative points of acting in each way and helps the reader understand how to cater to the various personality types in order to provide more effective leadership.


Top 5 Reasons "Personality Plus" is a Best Leadership Book Ever

  • An entertaining quiz gives insight on yourself and others
  • It's easy to read and includes entertaining personality examples
  • Littauer teaches that personality differences are not necessarily personality flaws
  • Knowing how others' minds work helps you lead them more efficiently by allowing you to give them what they individually need and want to do a job at their best
  • The book is just as valuable for personal relationships as it is for business relationships

Reader Poll

Have you read Personality Plus?

See results

Videos About "Personality Plus"

The Ant and The Elephant

The Ant and the Elephant: Leadership For the Self
The Ant and the Elephant: Leadership For the Self

"The Ant and the Elephant: Leadership for the Self" is a short parable of a little ant living on the back of a very large elephant. When the ant wants to reach his goal of finding the Oasis, he must learn to conquer his thoughts and lead himself and his elephant on a long journey. In the same way, great leaders must reprogram and conquer their emotional subconscious if they want their logical conscious mind to truly be effective. The conscious mind is ruled by 2,000 neurons; the subconscious, 2 billion. In order to cast a vision and lead a team you must tame your subconscious, your elephant, and get it going in the same direction as your ant. The book is "a parable and 5-step action plan to transform workplace performance," and I've found this invaluable to my life.


5 Reasons "The Ant and The Elephant" is a Best Leadership Book Ever

  • The author teaches leadership principles in an easy-to-understand story
  • A summary of the lessons is in the back of the book
  • While written for adults, children would also understand and benefit from the story
  • It's a quick read for the time-pressed leader
  • It focuses on reprogramming your subconscious, the subject of the sentence "The only thing in your way is you."

Reader Poll

Have you read The Ant and The Elephant: Leadership for the Self?

See results

Videos About "The Ant and The Elephant" and Vince Poscente

Top 5 Reasons "The Greatest Salesman in the World" is a Best Leadership Book Ever

  • The book is written as an entertaining parable
  • The book includes 10 lessons separated in daily readings for easy mental reprogramming
  • The lessons are universal and timeless
  • The book gives directions for how often and when to read the "scrolls" after you're finished with the book
  • A second book is available containing only the lessons in the ancient scrolls

Other Editions of "The Greatest Salesman in the World"

Og Mandino's Great Trilogy
Og Mandino's Great Trilogy

Includes: The Greatest Salesman in the World, the Greatest Secret in the World, the Greatest Miracle in the World


Reader Poll

Have you read The Greatest Salesman in the World?

See results

Videos About "The Greatest Salesman in the World"

Another Leadership Book List

Want more great leadership books? Check out Leadership Must-Reads from Bill Hybels.

Find More Leadership Books

Try these leadership books or search for books by Chris Brady, Orrin Woodward, John Maxwell, and more!

Your Turn: What Do You Think of These Books?

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    • blue22d profile image


      5 years ago

      Great lens. I have read two out of five - excellent books.

    • bjj james profile image

      bjj james 

      5 years ago

      Great Resource!

    • Onethindime LM profile image

      Onethindime LM 

      6 years ago

      You've given me a few to add to my read list. Thanks.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: Oops, unbroken link:

    • practicemastery1 profile image


      6 years ago

      good job - thanks.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice references! Thanks!!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Can I also post other books here? Masters of Business Leadership Series: Volume 3. The Masters Journeys (Coming Soon). Avail this soon on Amazon's Kindle Store. Thanks!

      Also kindly visit this link pls:

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I posted my own list here and How to Win Friends & Influence People was atop my list as well!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      You have quite a useful selection here.

    • studyaids profile image

      Steve Jones 

      6 years ago from Birmingham UK

      A very inspiring lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Am I allowed to be a bit immodest by including my own book on the list? It's titled The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Knowhow and Skill.

    • aruraza profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks this is a useful lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Highly helpful lens. I hope these books will help me when I will read all. But one thought, leadership cannot be developed/created in a human, rather it can be enhanced/improved. Reading books will help all but I am sure not for great leaders. Because great leaders in work-pad takes decision from judgement, learning from reading is a minor part of it.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      Great books that I started reading in my twenties and have continued into my fif...... ies. Great lense

    • waldenthreenet profile image


      7 years ago

      Valuable topic that I share common/complimentary interest for many many years ! Knowledge Doing gap and going beyond is the challenge ahead ! Congrads on reaching Squidoo Level 55. Going for 56 now. Will visit with you soon again ! Thanks.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good list. I've read Carnegie and Mandino, but not the other three.

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 

      7 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Must read books for anyone that wants to take a leadership role.

      Blessed by a Squid Angel**

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      like it very cool & considered approach to leadership will work through your list please read my related lens at

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      7 years ago

      Great picks and knowledge, woderful page, thumbs up!!!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have read Og Mandino a long long time ago and it did help me then.

    • sunworld lm profile image

      sunworld lm 

      7 years ago

      Great list. Wonderful lens. Not only do you read about leadership, you live and manifest the principles you study. Wishing you continued success.

    • Lee Nitus profile image

      Lee Nitus 

      7 years ago

      Terrific books... One of my favorites is the The Saint, The Surfer, and the CEO by Robin Sharma... I have a lens that gives some decent insight on the're welcome to review it. The lens is called GreatnessGuides. All the best!

    • spartakct profile image


      7 years ago

      Great collection, Nice lens!

    • WayneDave LM profile image

      WayneDave LM 

      7 years ago

      Great set of books. Thanks a lot for sharing this lens. Awesome stuff!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      good collection for reading

    • PeterDuerksen profile image


      7 years ago

      Great inspirational list!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nice resource for those looking to learn about leadership.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a showcase on excellent books on leadership, I have some reading to do!

    • bkarsono profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great lens. I'm into keadership lately. I wrote a much simpler one myself. Please come visit my lens on similar topic. Thanks.

    • shandigp profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: thanks so much for your kind comments!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      I really like how you presented this lens. Good selection of books. I read a lot of leadership books since my doctorate is in leadership and I taught leadership courses in a university doctoral program. I will certainly check out your recommendations. Found you in the forum and wanted to stop by since this lens has reached an important milestone. Nicely done!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good selection. I can see I'm going to be hitting the bookstore

    • sunworld lm profile image

      sunworld lm 

      7 years ago

      Good selection of books. I appreciate your reviews. I highly recommend anything written by John Maxwell. Good luck.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      great resource for confidence building books for people who want to be leaders. Great lens!

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 

      7 years ago

      Really cool collection of books on leadership. Would certainly like to read the last 3.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • zentao profile image


      7 years ago

      great list of books, things for sharing

    • kimark421 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great list. Great lens. Thanks!

    • aerome profile image


      8 years ago

      Good selection of books!


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