10 Books for Aspiring Young Leaders

There are many things you do not learn in an academic setting, but need to be successful as an adult and a successful leader. These include fundamentals for your professional and personal life. I have been giving a lot of thought lately to my favorite books to transition from school to becoming an adult with a trajectory towards successful leadership.

My top 10 fit into a structure of five developmental domains. These domains are:

  • Self Awareness: Understanding your own purpose, values and mission. Understanding your own personality type and how it differs from others. Being able to notice your needs, emotions and tap into your intuition.

  • Self Development: Taking care of your health is fundamental to all other development. This includes the basics of sleep, exercise, nutrition, mental health, meditation, having a primary care doctor and visiting the dentist regularly. Managing your money and your time effectively are critical as well. At the root of self development is developing a sense of agency over your life, maintaining gratitude, developing resilience and creating positive relationships.

  • Social Awareness: The centers around noticing other's emotions and perspective, and being respectful of all people regardless of differences in beliefs.

  • Relationship Building: To have strong relationships, you need to listen deeply to others and hear their needs, act empathetically and meet your commitments to others. This develops trust between people and allows relationships to flourish.

  • Leadership: Developing the ability to inspire others to journey down the same path as you, to achieve a shared vision.

My top 10:

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves - The definitive book to develop self awareness, self development, social awareness and relationships.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck - Instills the belief that you can become better at anything with the right attitude and practice. This is a necessary fundamental to believing that you can grow competency in these five domains.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey - These habits cross all five domains. This is a classic best seller for a reason.

How to Be a Star at Work by Robert E. Kelley - Another book that has something to offer in each of these domains. It is not as well known as many of the others on my list, but one of my personal favorites.

Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, And Work by Otto Kroeger and Janet Thuesen - Personality models help you with self awareness and develop social awareness of others. This book is based on one of the most accepted personality type models, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Freedom from Your Inner Critic by Jay Earley and Bonnie Weiss - Learning to notice your inner voice and how it drives your emotions is a key self development learning. Once you have awareness you can shift your inner critic into an inner cheerleader.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen - A classic book about how to manage your time, tasks and projects to be effective and organized, freeing your mind to focus on creative thinking.

The Wealthy Barber - Everyone’s Common Sense Guide To Becoming Financially Independent by Dave Chilton - This is a great concise book about building personal wealth.

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg - Becoming aware of and learning to meet the needs of both yourself and others is a fundamental strength necessary for social awareness and building meaningful relatioinships.

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown - There are so many great books on leadership that it was hard to choose just one. This made my list because of its comprehensive list of leadership tenants and meaningful examples from Brene’s own life.

Please add your wisdom by commenting on this post with your favorites!