The Three Best Books for New Leaders

How to Read Your Way to Success


This blog post originally appeared on Press Start Leadership

If you’re a new leader, do your homework before walking into your new career or a new organization. To start off on the right foot, build a baseline of knowledge so you can step into any scenario with practicality and ease. In addition to doing the research on your new employer, make sure you’re researching how to perform your new role. How do you do that? Reading the following books is a great place to start.

Here are 3 books I recommend for becoming a great leader:

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

I believe Tao Te Ching is a book everyone should read, but it’s especially great for leaders. Tao Te Ching offers a great balance of leadership skills and mindfulness. In fact, its greatest teaching is about finding balance and not taking anything to an extreme – a skill you definitely need to master as a leader.

First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins

While Tao Te Ching offers broader, philosophical advice, First 90 Days offers more practical advice. I’ve read this book numerous times and try to re-read it anytime I start at a new company or a new position. It offers a great template for what you should do in your first 30, 60, and 90 days in a leadership position. Watkins thoroughly explains how to observe your new surroundings, examine the organization’s unique differences, and employ the right solution for the right problem.

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

First off, I recommend you read anything by Simon Sinek – he’s an exceptional business mind and speaker, and has written numerous books that are more than worth your time. Leaders Eat Last takes all of his previous work on how to run a great business and applies it toward leadership. This book is perfect for understanding the proper mindset of a leader, which he and I both believe should be one of positivity.

As a leader, you are always stepping into some sort of surprise. If you can do it with positivity and mindfulness, you’ll be ahead of the game. Reading any of these three books can help set you on the right track, and if you’re looking for a fourth, check out my FREE e-book, 5 Heroic Leadership Skills. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel while you’re at it!


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