Are you in search of the best books on leadership styles?
Years ago, all a manager had to do was give their employees a breakdown of tasks they needed to complete. Managers never cared about their employees’ feelings. Today, the business environment doesn’t work the way it used to. It’s no longer acceptable for managers to keep their employees at arm’s length. Instead, a good leader understands what motivates their staff.
That’s why we decided to provide you with a list of 16 of the best books out there on leadership styles. We hope you enjoy and make the most of what these resources have to offer.
16 Best Books on Leadership Styles
We’ve done the homework for you – here are 16 helpful resources for leaders that are available on Amazon. Just in case you want to get these books, there is a link to the Amazon page below each description.
(Note: I earn a small commission when you make a purchase using these links at no extra cost to you.)
#1. Leadership Styles: How to Discover and Leverage Yours (Leadership IQ Fast Reads) by Mark Murphy
Who’s it for: Leaders who are trying to ascertain their own style.
This book by Mark Murphy is intended to help readers determine who they are as a leader. It offers short snippets that help you figure out what your leadership IQ is and what that means. Also, it gives managers ideas on how they can use their stewardship style and skills to their advantage.
#2. The Leader You DON’T Want to Be: Transform Your Leadership Style from ‘Command and Control’ to ‘Transformative Visionary’ by Mary O’Sullivan
Who’s it for: Leaders who want to change their style.
This book is ideal for leaders who are looking to figure out what their style is and whether this is the best style for them. Actually, managers who feel they need to change the way they treat their staff are encouraged to read this book. O’Sullivan points out what the reader’s style should be and what they must do to change their current style.
#3. The 9 Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st Century Workplace by Beatrice Chestnut, PhD
Who’s it for: People who are having trouble adapting to today’s managerial world.
Chestnut’s book outlines the different types of leaders that exist in today’s business world. Also, it explains how managers today are different from what we saw twenty years ago. Anyone who is having a hard time succeeding in management should read this to find out what they’re doing wrong.
#4. The Successful Organizational Leader: Teaching leaders how to build successful strategies, gain essential support of their company members, and develop their leadership style by Cory Thames
Who’s it for: Those who are looking to become a successful leader.
Anybody who is having a difficult time developing management strategies will benefit from this book. It’s meant for everyday people who want to learn how to utilize what they see in their fellow managers to develop their own leadership style. Moreover, it gives practical ways to transition into the type of leader you want to be.
#5. Leadership: Theory and Practice by Peter Northouse
Who’s it for: Individuals who want to be a great leader.
While this one is meant to be a textbook for students studying business management, it can be helpful to anybody struggling with their own style. It explains the various theories on stewardship and gives examples of how these theories are put into practice.
#6. Side B: Remix Your Leadership Style by Paula S. White
Who’s it for: Leaders who want to completely change their own style.
White, a music executive, uses the metaphor of a record’s “Side B” to show people that they do have the ability to change their style as a leader. It explains how to take everything you know about being a leader and flipping it on its head.
#7. SuperVision and Instructional Leadership: A Developmental Approach by Carl Glickman, Stephen Gordon, and Jovita Ross-Gordon
Who’s it for: Leaders who are trying to develop a style.
There are thousands of guides for leaders and managers. This one, however, takes an innovative approach and discusses how leadership style can be developed by finding out how your workers are best managed. Additionally, it helps people mold their own stewardship style by learning how their employees respond.
#8. The Leadership Style of Jesus: How to Make a Lasting Impact by Michael Youssef
Who’s it for: Those who are interested in management outside the business context.
Youssef’s book, despite the title, can be helpful to anyone serving as a manager in everyday life. It talks about how we can succeed as a manager of volunteer organizations, youth organizations, and the workplace. Actually, it’s great for people interested in servant leadership.
#9. Staff Engineer: Leadership beyond the management track by Will Larson
Who’s it for: Those who are looking to become the best manager they can be without the need to focus on being promoted.
Most books for leaders include a section on how to move up the corporate ladder as a manager. This one doesn’t take that approach. Instead, it teaches you how to be a good manager in the position you currently hold. Additionally, it helps people take the skills they have as a manager and put them to use with their employees.
#10. The Leadership Experience by Richard L. Daft
Who’s it for: Managers who are trying to adapt to the latest in leadership theory.
Daft’s book can help people who are already in a management position, and it is one of the best books on leadership styles. It offers strategies and skills that people can use in order to be a successful manager in today’s climate. Also, it takes the latest leadership theories and puts them into practice. Rather than just discuss the theories themselves, it explains what they mean in the real world.
#11. Learning Group Leadership: An Experiential Approach by Jeffrey Kottler
Who’s it for: People who are managing a group of employees or volunteers.
This guide is a textbook but that doesn’t mean it can only benefit students. Kottler’s text focus on people who manage a group of people in the business world and in the world at large. The author uses real-world situations to explain how various theories and concepts work. Moreover, the book focuses on group dynamics and uses examples that relate to multicultural situations. This is key for people working as managers today who are facing issues such as diversity and inclusion.
#12. The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Stanler
Who’s it for: Anybody who needs to adopt a coaching managerial style.
Anybody who manages a group understands that you can’t do it from a distance. This book explains how important it is to develop a coaching approach to management. It emphasizes the importance of group dynamics and how a good manager listens just as much as they speak. Also, the guide is perfect for people who have a problem relating to their staff by teaching them how to develop listening skills.
#13. All in the Same Boat: Lead Your Organization Like a Nuclear Submariner by Jon Rennie
Who’s it for: Managers who need to learn how to incorporate their employees’ opinions into their decision-making.
The author of this book uses the analogy of being stuck in a submarine that’s trying to avoid an enemy attack. This guide does a great job of comparing management to a situation in which the manager and his staff have to work together in order to survive. Rennie equates the submarine situation to that of leadership in the business setting. This book can help managers who have been criticized for not listening to their employees.
#14. Leadership: A Communication Perspective by Craig E. Johnson
Who’s it for: Students and managers looking to learn communication skills.
Any successful manager understands the value of communication skills. This book has been around for decades. It discusses the importance of communication and evaluates the various leadership styles. Technically, it is a textbook, but it is priced as if it weren’t. It is perfect for people who need to brush up on their communication skills. Since communication is key in any management position, this guide can benefit all leaders.
#15. Group Leadership Skills: Interpersonal Process in Group Counseling and Therapy by Mei Whei Chen and Christopher Ryback
Who’s it for: Anybody who is looking for a roadmap to successful leadership.
The book itself doesn’t discuss leadership in general. Actually, it discusses the best ways to implement and manage group therapy sessions. This sort of advice could be helpful to a business leader even if helps them learn how to handle group meetings or training sessions. Also, it would be good for anyone in the addiction recovery process or counseling world.
#16. The 8 Dimensions of Leadership: DiSC Strategies for Becoming a Better Leader by Jeffrey Sugerman
Who’s it for: Anybody entering the world of leadership or management.
Sugerman’s book addresses both the qualities of a successful leader as well as the various skills a good leader must have. It addresses the 8 skills necessary to becoming an excellent leader. Also, it gives practical feedback on how these skills can be incorporated into any manager’s toolbox. Specifically, the book looks at different behaviors and how they can impact a manager’s success.
(Note: The prices listed above were taken from Amazon while writing this article, and they may be subject to change. So, please confirm it on the Amazon product page.)
Now that you have a list of the best books on leadership styles that can help you become an effective leader, the only question left is – which one do you want to read first? Some people have convinced themselves that leaders are born, not made. There is ample evidence to the contrary. If you fear that you are not a “born leader”, then these books can teach you whatever you need to know to become a leader.