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10 Best Leadership Books

We live in divisive times, and people are looking for answers. Political divisions are increasingly deep, more people are trying to find their purpose in life, and many are turning to the most successful people in business and politics for help. In 2018, we’ve seen a larger-than-usual number of self-help books being released by big names in the professional world. Here at Heartrepreneur, we looked through a selection of the best leadership books released this year. From that group, we’ve created a selection of the 10 best leadership books available. These all contain in-depth career advice, tips on how to take your work to the next level, and guides from the best on how to be an effective leader. From celebrities to expert business people, each of these books contains unique tips that will help you achieve the goals you have for 2018. Read on and discover which of the best leadership books of 2018 is right for you.

– 10 Best Leadership Books of 2018 FAQs –

 

 

What Can I Expect to Get Out of the Leadership Books on the Market?

None of the best leadership books promise specific results – that’s up to you. What they deliver is an in-depth look into the tricks and tips that some of the most successful people in the world used to get ahead. Many of them are useful to people at any stage of their life.

 

I’m New to the World of Business and Leadership Books. Will I Be Able to Understand the Lessons in These Books?

These books are geared towards a general audience, written so that anyone can take lessons from them. These are not business manuals; they are guides for how to incorporate the lessons of leadership into your everyday life and job.

 

Will These Books Contain Practical Advice That I Can Incorporate Immediately?

Many of these books contain step-by-step guides to transforming your life based on the principles on which the book focuses.

 

Can I Find These Books Easily?

All these books should be available on Amazon in either print or digital versions, or at your local bookstore.

 

I’m Not Well-Versed in the Business World. Are Any of These Books by People I Would Know Already?

Many self-help and best leadership books are written by celebrity businesspeople and stars in other areas. If you’re looking for a household name, you may be most interest in the book by celebrity poker player Annie Duke.

How We Reviewed

The following list of best leadership books was reviewed based on the following parameters – Length, price, accessibility to readers, and the extent of material covered.

Overall Price Range of This Product

The ten best leadership books we profile are all in the same price range. All ten can be found on Amazon Kindle for $13-15. Paperback or hardcover copies can be shipped to your home, and average $2-3 more than the digital copy.

What We Reviewed

1

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

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When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
  • Daniel H. Pink
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Hardcover: 272 pages

Features

Behavioral science expert Daniel H. Pink‘s latest book focuses on the research showing it is not just the what or how that makes people good at their jobs – it’s the when. He finds out when is the most productive time of the day, when in the year it’s best to start a new project, and the ideal life stage to change jobs. Filled with psychological insight and practical advice, Pink’s book shows how the unconscious psychological impact of time that affects our success can be turned to our advantage by arranging our days around our most productive hours.

PROS

  • Strong scientific research background with plenty of evidence shown
  • Filled with practical advice and hands-on guides to scheduling your day
  • Written for a casual self-help audience without too much technical lingo

CONS

  • Focuses on self-help rather than business tips
  • Less interested in leadership than personal productivity

Price

This product can on Amazon for around $15.

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2

“Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too” by Gary Vaynerchuk

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Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and...
  • Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness
  • Hardcover: 288 pages

Features

A successful wine critic, vineyard owner, and social media titan, Gary Vaynerchuk built his empire from humble beginnings as an immigrant from Belarus. He’s since become one of the most sought-after voices in the self-help industry. In his newest book, he draws from the experiences of dozens of influencers and entrepreneurs who went their path instead of taking a corporate job and were rewarded by becoming their brand. He focuses on how to create your brand on every social media platform and maintains a light, practical, and inspiring touch in his writing throughout.

PROS

  • Fast-paced, easy to read writing style filled with personal anecdotes
  • Very practical advice focusing on social media, making it ideal for young entrepreneurs
  • Very current, including content focusing on platforms released only a year or two ago

CONS

  • Little advice for those in a traditional corporate job
  • Its technology-based approach means the book could become dated as soon as new platforms emerge
  • May not be ideal for older, less-tech-savvy readers

Price

This product can go on Amazon for around $15.

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3

Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More

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Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve...
  • Morten T. Hansen
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Edition no. 1 (01/30/2018)

Features

Morten Hansen, a Norwegian motivational speaker and colleague of business guru Jim Collins, is known as one of the world’s foremost experts on productivity. For his new book, he conducted a five-year study of 5,000 employees and managers. Out of that data, he developed seven practices that all the most successful people in the world share. He combines lessons on how to apply these seven practices with profiles of leaders ranging from a principal who turned around a failing high school to the first explorer to reach the South Pole in 2011.

PROS

  • Easy-to-understand seven principles that can be applied to your everyday life
  • In-depth profiles of leaders around the world with compelling stories
  • Useful to anyone looking to be more productive whether they’re in a corporate job or self-employed

CONS

  • Much of the book is devoted the analysis of his study
  • Author not familiar to most Americans

Price

This product can go on Amazon for around $15.

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4

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

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Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
  • The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech...
  • "Crime thriller authors have nothing on Carreyrou's exquisite sense of suspenseful pacing and multifaceted character...
  • John Carreyrou

Features

Investigative journalist John Carreyou’s latest book is a tell-all expose of the meteoric rise and spectacular fall of Theranos. The blood-testing app became a global sensation when it debuted promising accurate test results at a fraction of the time and cost. It made founder Elizabeth Holmes the youngest self-made female billionaire in history.

There was only one problem – it was all a lie, and when the process the company was built on was exposed as a fraud, the entire business collapsed and left Holmes broke and facing criminal charges. Carreyou (who broke the initial story) explores how one of the biggest frauds in American history was made possible, and how to keep it from happening again.

PROS

  • Compelling true crime story ripped from the headlines.
  • In-depth look at the risks of new start-ups and how they can be built on a house of cards.
  • Among the longer books on this list.

CONS

  • A cautionary tale, but not really a leadership book.
  • Contains little in the way of practical advice.

Price

This product can go on Amazon for around $14.

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5

Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord

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Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
  • Patty McCord
  • Publisher: Silicon Guild
  • Hardcover: 228 pages

Features

Written by the former chief talent officer at fast-growing entertainment company Netflix, this book spins out of a slide deck about the company’s culture that went viral a few years back. Focusing on how Netflix looks at retention, hiring, and office policy, McCord coins the term “radical honesty” to describe her management style and argues that companies are the most effective when they expect excellence and decency out of their workers, and trust their staff enough to not micromanage them with unnecessary rules.

PROS

  • In-depth look at one of the fastest-growing companies in the world
  • Written from a management perspective, making ideal for a boss looking to change their leadership style
  • The first-person perspective of a powerful and respected female executive

CONS

  • Management’s perspective is valuable, but the book lacks practical advice for staff or the self-employed
  • Among the thinner books on this list

Price

This product can go on Amazon for around $15.

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6

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle

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The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
  • Daniel Coyle
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • Hardcover: 304 pages

Features

Daniel Coyle, an expert in talent and organizational behavior and an advisor for Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team, looks at the most successful groups in the world – ranging from the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs to the US Navy’s famed SEAL Team Six – to figure out why they work so effectively as a unit. The book promises to demystify the topic of organization culture and break a successful down into a series of key skills that allow a group to cooperate effectively.

PROS

  • Contains profiles of famous groups in the areas of national security, sports, and Hollywood that everyone will be familiar with
  • Contains practical advice on how to bring a team together and keep it working effectively

CONS

  • Focuses entirely on team-building and cooperation, with little advice for solo workers
  • More easily understood if you’ve read Coyle’s earlier book, The Culture Code

Price

This product can go on Amazon for around $14.

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7

Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke

Features

Annie Duke is one of the biggest names in professional Poker and is one of the most successful female players of all time. Before she was a champion at the World Series of Poker, she was awarded a National Science Foundation to study cognitive psychology, and that is what she builds on here. The book focuses on one of the most challenging tasks of leaders – to make key decisions before they know everything. Now working as a business consultant, she uses all she’s learned to guide the reader through how to make gut calls with the best chance of success.

PROS

  • Annie Duke is a household name with a big fan base
  • Practical advice on decision-making that can be applied to any situation
  • Duke’s diverse background in Poker, science, and business gives her a unique perspective and broad view
  • Good mix of practical advice and engaging anecdotes

CONS

  • Easy-to-read style geared more towards casual audiences than established leaders

Price

This product can go on Amazon for around $14.

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8

Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea That Drives 10x Growth by John Doerr

Features

Venture capitalist and self-made billionaire John Doerr has served on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and brings his background in public service and private business to this book exploring the concept of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). This revolutionary approach to goal-setting makes it easier to make tough choices in business. Combining first-person case studies with celebrity narrators including Bono and Bill Gates, Doerr’s book shows the way OKRs can spur massive growth at top companies and organizations.

PROS

  • Easy-to-understand concept (OKRs) defines this book
  • Effective use of famous names to enhance the narrative
  • Good mix of business information with practical advice

CONS

  • Among the shortest books on the list

Price

This product can go on Amazon for around $14.

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9

Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance—and What We Can Do about It by Jeffrey Pfeffer

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Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and...
  • Jeffrey Pfeffer
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness
  • Hardcover: 272 pages

Features

Stanford professor and business theorist Jeffrey Pfeffer is known for his works on power and leadership and his advocacy for evidence-based management practices. In his newest book, he takes an unflinching look at the health risks of modern work life. Rather than focusing on physically dangerous jobs, he looks at how long hours, family conflicts, and economic stress lead to health problems. He argues that these practices don’t help the corporate bottom line, and both employer and employee will benefit by businesses altering their practices to take the health of their workers into consideration.

PROS

  • In-depth look at a little-studied area affecting the US economy
  • One of the best recent books on worker rights and welfare
  • Well-researched, with concrete policy suggestions included

CONS

  • More a call to action than a leadership guidebook
  • Little in the way of practical advice for the reader

Price

This product can go on Amazon for around $15.

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10

The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love without Becoming a Person You Hate by Fran Hauser

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The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without...
  • Fran Hauser
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Hardcover: 224 pages

Features

Startup advisor and investor Fran Hauser is well known as an advocate for women in business, and her latest book looks at the pressure women face in the workplace to be “nice“. She argues that this behavior, while encouraged by the higher-ups, actually holds women back from attaining the same advancement as their more aggressive male colleagues. The book combines a forward-looking feminist attitude with real advice that will help women in business take their careers to the next level.

PROS

  • Highly relevant in the post-Me Too era
  • Filled with practical advice for women looking to advance their careers
  • First-hand experience of a successful female entrepreneur in a male-dominated world

CONS

  • One of the thinnest volumes on this list

Price

This product can go on Amazon for around $13.

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The Verdict

All ten of the best leadership books profiled on this list are highly acclaimed, containing compelling stories of success and failure in the business world and advice on how to maximize your potential and avoid the biggest mistakes. Which is best for you will depend on your goals. A woman entering the business world will be extremely satisfied with Fran Hauser’s, The Myth of the Nice Girl.

 

Someone looking for a beach read with insight into the corporate world won’t find a better true-crime book than John Carreyou’s Bad Blood. For its universal appeal, containing the most practical advice with an engaging narrative about workplace culture and the path to success, we at Heartrepreneur give our nod to Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke. Duke’s varied background and practical, in-depth advice makes it the best pick from the ten best leadership books of 2018.

 

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1 Comment

  • David Yorka
    Reply

    Bloody Brilliant! To handpick then provide a book preview that not only draws you in and introduces you to each author to present the logic and high-level reasoning behind the selection of the individual books and what makes them equal parts of an authentic collection! (think ”box set”)

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