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The Best Leadership Books: Lessons from the Greatest Leaders of All Time

The Best Leadership Books: Lessons from the Greatest Leaders of All Time

Discover the Secrets to Exceptional Leadership with These Must-Read Books

You could be a rookie entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran, but you have big dreams and want to change the world. You want to join the elite list of global business leaders. Those leaders learned from others who inspired them. You can learn a lot from their successes to develop your distinct leadership style. The six books below are the best books in the field of leadership from the experts who have made their name in this field.

1. Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Doris Kearns looks inside the life of former president Abraham Lincoln and points out leadership secrets based on his management style. Lincoln was one of the greatest American presidents, and one can use his strategies of choosing the right and diverse cabinet built from former political opponents. This nurtures cooperation and diverse viewpoints. All of this will offer the right insights into how leaders should be more strategic, humble, and inclusive.

2. Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

This is one of the oldest books on military strategy and is cited by the greatest global business leaders in the world. The best part about this book is that it shows strategies that can be used in a business environment and that are also applicable to all other areas of life. It is the best book to learn how to be an excellent leader. The discussion points in the book include strategic planning, resource management, and the importance of comprehending one’s adversaries.

3. Niccol Machiavelli's The Prince

Niccol Machiavelli wrote the book known as The Prince, and it has become a masterpiece in leadership literature for many centuries. It is an excellent treatise on effective governance strategies. It highlights the core qualities of pragmatism, adaptability, and foresight, as these are essential for any leadership situation. Along with Art of War, this is one incredible historic leadership literature work of art.

4. Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Leadership in Turbulent Times

This book references the leadership policies of four former American presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. It assesses the various abilities and traits displayed by these excellent gentlemen who became renowned political leaders in some of the country’s most challenging times. Their leadership screamed courage under fire and leading by example – all necessary traits to become an effective leader.

5. Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power

Would you believe there are 48 laws of power? Robert Greene makes a strong yet effective case in this comprehensive book that has been in the hands of some of the greatest and most powerful leaders of our time. It is introspective on the ideas of power and practice by manipulation with examples from historical luminaries like Louis XIV, Machiavelli, and Sun Tzu. The latter two were influential leaders and authors in their own right, and their books are also listed here in this blog. The book showcases the essential concepts of strategy, adaptation, and self-preservation, and those can be employed by every aspiring and seasoned business leader who looks to accomplish their goals.

6. Warren Bennis’ On Becoming a Leader

Warren Bennis examines what it takes to be a leader and what sets great leaders apart from ordinary ones. He outlines the qualities and traits that build a strong leader, and those include self-awareness, empathy, and the capacity to articulate a compelling vision. All of the research is based on interviews with leaders in various disciplines and is a must-read for leaders looking to build themselves personally and professionally.

These six books are the “sinister six” of leadership books and essential reads. One can learn so much from the greatest and most influential people of our time and eventually join that list. One can preserve their legacy by following the ideas and principles in these books. Go ahead and get all the books, and you will change your life!



Michael Stickler is a best-selling author and internationally sought-after speaker. His highly acclaimed work includes Cliven Bundy: American Terrorist Patriot, Journey to Generosity, and Life Without Reservation. His 19th book, Ghost Patriot is his first book in the political fiction genre, and it is quickly approaching best-seller status. When not traveling the world as an author/speaker, you might find Michael in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, or on a beach near Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, writing his next book. He is also the Founder of Leadership Books.

You may also contact Michael at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.


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