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Leaders Are Readers: Books to Boost Leadership Skills

Image credit: Christina Morillo on Pexels

Leadership is an important skill that governs every aspect of our lives. For example, you’ll always see a leader in a group of kids playing on the playground. Among friends, someone always pulls more weight than others and naturally helps resolve disagreements.

Leadership in business is thought to be a trait reserved for supervisors. However, employees are often effective leaders, also, using their leadership skills to foster teamwork in difficult situations.


Leadership skills come naturally for some. But for most people, they’re developed over time. Experience is necessary to develop into a good leader. Understanding leadership theory isn’t enough to get results, especially when running a business with multiple employees. Still, concepts blossom into direct experience when absorbed from the right source.

Leaders Sharpen Their Skills with a Variety of Materials

Leaders are always learning. Frequently, they consume non-business materials to improve their leadership skills.

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) published an article summarizing nine books every leader should read. You may be surprised to see fiction titles on the list. For instance, there is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and Terry Pratchet’s Going Postal. However, each book serves a purpose. For instance, Going Postal is a satirical expose on bureaucratic inefficiency and the personal responsibility of a team. The EO article notes that paying attention to the way the main character treats his inferiors, and how they respond, will help the reader understand how to be a good boss.

When you want to become an effective leader, check out these authors, books, and audios with messages to help bring your business to a higher level of success:

3. Napoleon Hill’s Book Think And Grow Rich

Most entrepreneurs have read this classic text. If you haven’t yet read it, head over to Amazon or your local bookstore and grab a copy today.

Commissioned by Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill spent years interviewing the most successful men in business to learn the secrets to their success. Hill compiled his notes into a book first published in 1948 as Think Your Way To Wealth. In 1953, the book was re-published with the title How to Raise Your Own Salary. Finally, the title became Think And Grow Rich.

Think And Grow Rich will teach you how to use your mind to steer your course in life and get what you want. This book cultivates leadership by training people to take responsibility for their own results in life. Once they achieve success, they are compelled to share it with others. When people share this content, both families and teams grow stronger.

This classic text is also the foundation for many other highly successful entrepreneurs and motivational speakers, some of whom are mentioned in EO’s article.

2. Earl Nightingale’s Audio Recording The Strangest Secret

After reading Napoleon Hill’s classic book Think And Grow Rich, Earl Nightingale was inspired to create his own motivational speech. He called it The Strangest Secret. Following the advice of Hill, Nightingale played the audio for a sales team in order to improve their success. And it worked.

Roughly thirty minutes long, The Strangest Secret was recorded on vinyl by Nightingale in 1957. It sold more than one million copies. Some of his best quotes include:

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.”

“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!”

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”

3. Bob Proctor’s Program 11 Forgotten Laws

Bob Proctor made a significant appearance in the 2006 movie The Secret. It’s no wonder. He read Think And Grow Rich and within one year his annual income went from $4,000 to $175,000. Afterward, he went on to earn more than a million dollars.

A former firefighter, Proctor became a millionaire by creating a floor cleaning company. It wasn’t the shiny floors that raked in the dough, however. It was everything he learned from Hill’s book.

Proctor published an audio program called the 11 Forgotten Laws based on Hill’s work. However, he expanded on several elements neither Hill nor The Secret dove into deeply. For example, the Law of Supply, according to Proctor, maintains that supply is infinite. Further, desire is the mechanism that triggers the release of energy that brings that supply to you.

Keep Learning

Leaders never stop learning. Part of being a leader is guiding and teaching others. The more you develop your leadership skills, the better example you’ll be to those who look up to you as a great leader.