Posted by Ian Matthews on 1 December 2015

1. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
With so many copies and parodies it is easy to forget how revolutionary this book is. One of the first books on leadership to move away from how a leader should behave, to first looking at what is going on inside the leader. It argues for absolute integrity and challenges the way we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us, before looking at how to apply that in every aspect of life. One of the best books written.

2. Who You Are When No-one is Looking by Bill Hybels
Another book that aims at changing how we think, feel and act – rather than simply putting on leadership as a ‘mask’. A classic in its own right, it is on of the few Christian books on leadership to have made an impact outside of the church. A leader that people will follow is one who acts the same whether they are on their own, in a room of trusted friends or in front of a large crowd.

3. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell
Another classic of the genre by John C Maxwell who has a reputation as someone who has trained and developed leaders from all walks of life. This book is probably the best distillation of much of his teaching and approach – eminently practical, readable and one that leaders at every stage of life will be able to use.

4. First Things First by Stephen Covey and Roger Merill
It is unusual to put two books by the same author on a ‘top 5’ list, but Stephen Covey is an exception If Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is about changing us, First Things First is the comprehensive and practical book on how we should order our days. More than a simple book on time management, it takes the reader back to first principles and builds a philosophy and approach that helps to make sure the most important things in life don’t get squeezed out or forgotten by day to day pressure.

5. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
Slightly different from the other books on the list is this unusual book by the author of the multi-million selling Blue Like Jazz. In it Miller writes of his experience of taking a life that had hit a point of atrophy and stagnation and ‘re-editing’ it to embrace a new life full of adventure and exploration. Essential reading that can help see life as an adventure to be embraced and avoid the dangers of settling for anything other than the best that is out there.

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