Three Must-Read Books on Leadership and Self-Discovery

Understanding yourself is vital when you want to be an authentic, service-minded leader. In today's post, I share books that can help you reflect and gain insight for your own leadership journey.

Have you ever read a book at just the right moment? It happened to me at 52, and the book I read was pivotal in my leadership journey.

Books can be transformative. They can shift the way you see the world or give you a framework for solving problems. Books can help us make sense of difficult situations and cope with challenges. 

We recently had a lively discussion on LinkedIn about transformative books. The recommendations were as diverse as they were insightful. More on that in a moment.

First, let me share that pivotal book with you, plus two other must-read books on leadership and self-discovery. When you understand yourself, your strengths, and your purpose, you’re a more effective leader. These three books will give you insights and lessons to better understand yourself and human nature.

 1. Discover Your True North by Bill George

Before I read this book, I didn’t think I was a very good leader. I’d been successful in business, but I wondered why I was being asked to evolve into even greater leadership roles.

This book showed me that effective leaders aren’t always the smartest people in the room. Leadership is about caring genuinely, building strong teams, and exercising emotional intelligence. In this light, I could understand my strengths as a leader. This book encouraged me to find and follow my purpose – and here I am today supporting leaders through Legacy of Significance. I encourage you to read it and to find your own True North.

2. The Leader Within Us by Warren Rustand

I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Warren as a mentor. (In fact, he’s the one who suggested I read Discover Your True North.) When he published his own book on leadership, I got a copy right away.

Warren draws on his own experience and stories from other leaders to illustrate important principles like clarity of vision, certainty of intent, and power of values. When you read this book, you’ll find actionable insights on both the practical aspects of leadership and the inner journey that can lead to external success.

3. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Sinek’s genuine curiosity in human nature shines as he dives deep into the psychology and physiology of leadership. He shares the story and science behind the most effective leaders. They put their teams first. They create a culture of safety and trust. They value human well-being alongside business metrics.

Your Turn

I want to hear from you now. What’s one book you’ve read at exactly the right time in your life?

Head over to the LinkedIn discussion and let’s keep the conversation going. You can read recommendations from other readers and tag a colleague to see what they’d add to the list.

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