Top 5 books every aspiring leader should read

Almost everyone has the chance to be a leader at some point in their life, it’s up to that individual if they are going to own that opportunity or run from it. Leaders have the chance to develop individuals, teams, cultures, organizations and so on. So, are you already a leader? Have a leadership opportunity coming up? Or are you aspiring to be a leader? Regardless of where you’re at, here are 5 books every leader needs to read.

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1. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

This book has become one of, if not my favorite leadership books of all time. It’s an easy read that is very applicable and Sinek provides plenty of real-world examples that inspires you to take action within your own leadership position. In Start With Why, Sinek explains the importance of knowing your WHY behind what you do, Sinek states, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

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2. Leading Change by John Kotter

John Kotter is arguably the most credible expert on organizational change. In this book Kotter discusses how to influence change within an organization and how to overcome resistance of the change (because no one likes change). In this book, Kotter walks you through his "Eight-Step Process for Managing Change with Positive Results".

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3. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

As one of the most widely known case studies on how companies go from Good to Great, this book had to be on the list. Jim Collins describes 5 levels of leaders throughout the book. He goes on to describe how they impact an organization and provides real-world data and practical examples throughout. If you enjoy data in addition to leadership theories then this is probably one of the best books for you.

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4. Competitive Advantage: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors by Michael E. Porter

Michael E. Porter is a Harvard Business School professor, strategist, economist and researcher. He’s known for his hypothesis of the 5 forces in an industry, also known as Porter’s 5 Forces. He demonstrates in this book how to use his model and three strategies: lowest cost, differentiation, and focus to get ahead of the competition.

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5. The Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead and Get Things Done Across Cultures by Erin Meyer

In today’s age, business and connections are more globalized than ever before. Erin Meyer gives you practical examples about how you can best work with those of different cultures. Meyer provides background analytically, personal stories and first hand experience of how different professional cultures are around the world.

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