Business Education:
Books on
Leadership & Management

If you intend having a thriving growing business, start reading books on leadership and management as soon as you can. Many business owners find their transition to an effective leader a struggle so the sooner you start educating yourself the better.

When business coaches work with well established businesses, the focus of their conversations tends to be on leadership and management issues.

Recommended leadership books for business owners:

1. Creating Magic (Lee Cockerell)

As a former executive at Disney, Cockerell has a lot of wisdom and experience to share on the subject of leadership. Packed full of real life examples and insights, there's a lot to be learned from this book even though the examples are based on a large corporation. If you're interested in learning more about how Disney handle leadership check out the public training courses through the Disney Institute.

Difficulty rating: Easy

2. What Got You Here Won't Get You There (Marshall Goldsmith)

It takes grit and determination to grow a business but it requires a completely different skill set to be a really successful leader. This book highlights the need for advanced interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence and general people skills once you start building a team. Goldsmith identifies 20 common habits or flaws that typically hold people back from becoming really successful leaders. It offers great insights for anyone wanting to become a better leader.

Difficulty rating: Medium

2. Leadership & Self Deception (Arbinger Institute)

Leadership and Self Deception is one of the best leadership books but very different and much easier to read than many other books on leadership. It has been an international best seller since it was first published in 2001, and given that it has received virtually no promotion, it's success speaks volumes for the impact it has on readers.

It gets right to the core of what it takes to influence people. If you're struggling in your relationship with some people it will shed light on why and what you can do about it. The principle applies to any situation, not just leadership, but it can dramatically transform the power of your leadership.

The Arbinger Institute also do public courses on leadership.

Difficulty rating: easy

3. Good to Great (Jim Collins)

This is a general business book but it has some great lessons about leadership within it. Jim Collins studied 1435 companies over 40 years and, having identified 11 that made the break from being good to truly great, he analyzed them in great detail to find out what these 11 had in common. The conclusions are riveting and well worth reading if your business is growing significantly.

Difficulty rating: Medium

4. One Minute Manager (Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson)

One of the most simple books on leadership and a must-read for anyone supervising staff. Using a simple story line it follows an executive looking for an effective manager and along the way learns about one minute management, one minute praising, one minute reprimands and one minute goal setting. He learns how to distinguish facts from the story so that he can make effective decisions. Read it over and over.

Difficulty rating: Easy

5. ABC's to a Winning Team (Blair Singer)

Probably one of the best team building books we've ever read. This book shows you how to develop a winning team culture where everyone is clear on the goal and they work together to achieve results. Be warned - this also means you have to be a great leader. We've found many business owners don't have the courage to do this which breeds contempt and mistrust for the rules. If you want to be a great leader and you're committed to learning how to make it happen then this book is a valuable guide.

Difficulty rating: Medium

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