The 6 Best Leadership Books (From Your Peers) that Every Employee and Employer Must Read 1048

As Donald McGannon famously said, “Leadership is NOT a position or a title; it is action and example.” A leader is defined by their adaptability, composure, focus, inspiration, and ability to motivate those around them with their passion and enthusiasm.

It is not necessary to have an impressive designation to adopt a leadership attitude. A person with the attitude of a leader will carry themselves like a leader and show their positive outlook in the way they behave and communicate.

Many think that being a leader means being the smartest, the most capable or the most qualified person in the room. No! Leadership is about empowering others around you by harnessing their skills and strengths and leveraging these to meet organisational goals. The best leaders understand how people and teams work and use that understanding to orient everyone towards the common goal.

Good leaders are visionaries and inspire their teams to work hard on a long-term basis. In addition, they inspire the people around them through exciting ideas, enthusiasm and knowledge.

Leadership is about empowering others around you by harnessing their skills and strengths and leveraging these to meet organisational goals. Click To Tweet

Can you learn to become a good leader?

Perhaps you think that a person is born a natural leader. Maybe that is partially true.

But everyone has the ability necessary to empower and inspire the people around them. Leadership skills can be learned, cultivated and honed. Yes! You can learn to be a leader.

Excellent Books to Help You Develop & Hone Your Leadership Skills

1. Ethical Leadership by Madhumita Chatterji 

This book focuses on business ethics. It addresses the issues of human values, ethics, spirituality and leadership in business.

The most interesting thing is it has contributions from leading European and Indian scholars and practitioners and attempts to create a dialogue between Indian and European cultural traditions. And how the best of both worlds can be used to develop ethical leadership, sustainability, peace and well-being.

It delves deep to ask vital questions like what future business leaders can learn from the death and destruction of old models to create breakthroughs in leadership roles. When will organisations be passionate enough about change to want to shake the very foundations of outdated models and overthrow worn-out concepts, tunnel vision and fossilised values?

The authors believe that without deep spiritual reflection, business leaders will not be able to restore the earth’s endangered ecosystems or provide decent livelihoods for present and future generations.

The aim of the book is to use the vast resources of long-accumulated Indian and European spiritual wealth and wisdom, which are available for immediate use in this urgent task of transformation.

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Check out the book here.

2. Managerial Ethics: Dilemmas And Decision Making by Poonam Sharma, Kanika T Bhal

Ethics, in general, and particularly at the workplace, is currently an important topic.

In this book, the authors start with a discussion of the conceptual framework of ethics combining Western and Indian models (e.g., Machiavellianism and Gunas).

They also discuss relevant issues like those of ethical leadership, personality and cultural differences. The book gives new insights into ethical conduct and individual perceptions while envisioning a new model of managerial ethics.

For example, what kinds of decisions do managers make when faced with ethical dilemmas? What logic do they use? Does their personality affect their decisions? Are their decisions affected by their environment or the context?

This book addresses these issues both conceptually and empirically. The overall approach is descriptive and focuses on how ethics exist in practice.

Check out the book here.

3. Strategic Leadership Models and Theories by Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya, Sumi Jha

Indian companies constantly face new challenges being part of one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Globalisation and evolving technologies constantly make effective management difficult.

This book explores the idea of an India-centric leadership model. It offers an in-depth research study of strategic leadership theories and adapts them to India’s unique culture.

It uses the input of top Indian business leaders to provide a much-needed perspective in today’s global economy. This book makes an excellent read for anyone, including business leaders, researchers and students.

Check out the book here.

4. Management In India: Trends And Transition 

This book takes an in-depth look into the emerging changes in the Indian management culture both at macro and micro levels and the impact this is having on domestic businesses as well as multinational companies based in India.

The rate of change of the Indian business scenario has made it difficult for Indian managers to change policies at the enterprise and the employee level to match an increasingly global and international environment.

This book is a good read because it addresses key issues such as Indian management culture and emerging challenges. It also examines leadership styles and leadership issues that Indian corporations face, ethics and values and their effect on leadership and management culture, the issues that global corporations working in India face, and tackling human resources issues in the Indian context.

Check out the book here.

5. Hacks for Life and Career: A Millennial’s Guide to Making It Big 

This book is interesting because it provides life hacks to help millennials face the world professionally and personally.

It discusses a wide range of topics like entrepreneurship, self-help, technological disruption, and financial literacy.

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Hacks for Life and Career speaks to all millennials – from the ones starting their careers to those beginning a new entrepreneurial venture. It includes tips on resume writing, acing interviews, managing difficult bosses, colleagues, and how to upsell oneself in the corporate world. It even gives tips on how they can land a job with a nine-digit salary.

Check out the book here.

6. Dealing with Difficult People (HBR Emotional Intelligence)

We often have to deal with difficult people, and this book delves deep into the subject.

At the heart of dealing with difficult people is handling emotions- both one’s own and theirs.

This book deep dives into the research behind emotional responses to awful colleagues and shows how to build empathy and resilience to make those relationships more productive.

It shows how to stay calm in difficult conversations, unruffled in the face of passive-aggressive comments, and even determine if one is challenging to work with.

Uplifting and practical, these books describe the social skills that are critical for ambitious professionals to master.

Check out the book here.


The business landscape is constantly changing. To be an effective leader, you need to evolve and adapt constantly.

Organisations are increasingly valuing soft skills, and adaptability is high on that list. Both being a better leader and seeing the bigger picture are about adaptability and being a quick learner.

Organisations are increasingly valuing soft skills, and adaptability is high on that list. Both being a better leader and seeing the bigger picture are about adaptability and being a quick learner.

And one of the best ways to learn is to read. There are so many management and leadership books available, and it can be tricky to decide which one to read. So, go ahead and start with one of the recommended books and work your way up from there.

These books will help you develop a leadership bent of mind, look at the current business scenario from a different perspective, and think outside the box. After all, as Harry S. Truman wisely said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

And now, it’s your turn! If you have any interesting suggestions for management books that changed your perspective on leadership or have influenced your life, you could leave us a comment or get in touch with us- we would love to hear from you!


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