Great Books to Move Your Leadership Qualities From Good to Outstanding

In my business as an executive coach and management consultant, it seems not a day goes by without at least one of my clients asking for a recommendation on books I find most effective for improving leadership skills. So, below are six suggestions I bet you will not only enjoy but will find useful for your career trajectory.

Because of my strong belief in the power of social and emotional intelligence (SEI) and my specialty in that area, I highly suggest the following books.

1. Primal Leadership ~ by Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee. In my opinion, this is a “must read” for anyone who identifies themselves as a leader. The book is reader friendly as it takes a refreshing look at different leadership styles and how they play out in the work environment. Through the use of case examples, the authors provide a visual definition of social and emotional intelligence as it is used in the workplace bringing it to a level of understanding and application.

2. Emotional Intelligence ~ by Goleman. kishin-fukuoka I consider this book the “primer” of emotional intelligence. Published in 1995, it is still relevant today providing a solid foundation for the reasoning behind EQ and why it is so important for our personal and professional development.

3. Social Intelligence ~ by Goleman. In this book, Goleman takes EQ to the next level by adding the social component (SEI). Goleman explains the importance of how our evolution and ultimate success is geared toward connecting with others. Both theories from Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence are combined to create a solid foundation for the underpinnings of SEI.

Beyond SEI, I am also drawn to Daniel J. Seigel, M.D. because of his work in the area of brain science.

4. Mindsight ~ by Siegel. Is another book I highly recommend. In his work, Siegel shares groundbreaking information on brain science and how our brains are geared to take in information from our environment leading us to understand ourselves and others in more meaningful ways. If you are a leader, chances are you have to work with people, so this is a book that can help transform your relationship with yourself and others.

And of course this list would not be complete without a perspective on Change and influence. These authors are phenomenol.

5. Change Anything ~ by Patterson, Grenny, Maxfield, et. al. is also a book I frequently recommend. This book talks about “willpower,” among other things, and the ability to employ that skill to create your own success story. With quotes like, “crucial moments tell you when you’re at risk. Vital behaviors tell you what to do,” the book is full of useful information and strategies to employ for success.

6. Influencer ~ by Patterson, Grenny, Maxfield, et. al. is another book that is full of information to help take your professional life to the next level. It breaks down the power of influence into digestible pieces so you can immediately develop your own personal strategy for success in the work environment. This book has a lot of powerful information that the authors make easy to employ in everyday life.

Although these books provide great information to take your professional and personal life to the next level, remember 80% of what you learn is at work or in-situ, so make sure you look for opportunities to exercise your new learnings and hard wire your newly acquired behaviors for yourself!

For more information on enhancing your leadership qualities and taking your career trajectory to a new level, please visit my website at:


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