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My Top 10 Books on Leadership for 2018

December 3, 2018

“If you ain’t readin, you ain’t leadin” As we enter the winter season here in Ohio, I find myself having a little more time to get some reading in. If you are shopping for that leader in your life or are looking to up your leadership game in the coming year these are worth a look! 


I am on the road a lot and audiobooks are my best friend. I have been a happy audible subscriber for over 5 years and it is worth every penny. Right now Audible is doing a promotion where you can get 2 free audiobooks. Sign up for a free account by clicking here.

To make life easy, I put all of the books in this list can be found on Amazon by clicking here. 

Extreme Ownership

Extreme Ownership was a great book especially if you enjoy military narratives. The authors do a great job taking your back and forth from the battlefield to the conference room, giving examples of what it takes to create a high success work environment. The book does a great job pointing out the over arching idea like “Cover and Move” and “Leading Up & Down the Chain of Command” at the end of the chapters. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking to build a stronger team and set them up for success. 

Who Moved My Cheese

This is one of those books that I re-read every few years. This title was first recommended to me by one of my mentors when we were implementing a new program at the school that I worked at. This book is great to use to help get buy-in from your team before your implement something new. The book is a really short read but the lessons on managing change are timeless. If you are someone who is an agent of change or maybe you find yourself not handing a change very well, this book is worth a listen. 

How To Win Friends And Influence People

Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people is the quintessential book on leadership. If you don’t read any other books next year, just get through this one. I have used the lessons in this book over the last several years to network with several important influencers as well as customers who come into the camera stores I work with. Although simple points, once you learn about what people find the most important in their day to day life, you will find that you can communicate much more effectively. 

The E-Myth Revisited

I see a ton of entrepreneurs that are constantly focused in their businesses instead of on their businesses.  One of the things that lead to me getting burnt out with portrait photography was everything was dependent on me and I was the single point of failure for everything. This leads to a ton of stress and it made my business very stagnant and it made it impossible to grow. After reading this book, I got the help I needed and found myself much happier over all. 

The One Thing

The One Thing is the book that can totally change you and how you choose to manage your time. There are several high level ideas like the “Pareto principal” and “success lists” but the biggest change for me was taking the principals in the book and forming better habits for how I work and what I choose to spend time focusing on. If you are having issues finding focus or you feel like you are under water and you just don’t know where to start then start by reading or listening to this book. You won’t regret it. 


This book was a fun and very short read. The book takes you through a parable about a women who finds herself a recently widowed and has been tasked with turning around an under performing team of negative employees. The interesting part of this book is where the lessons come from, Mary Jane learns how to find success at work and life from fishmongers at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

Win The Locker Room First

I read this book while I was on vacation recently and it had a tremendous affect on how I managed my teams at work. I do not follow professional sports but for some reason I was drawn to this book in Barnes and Nobel. The book takes you through 7 leadership principals that help build and coach a high performing team.  This is one of those weekend reads that can help you become a better leader by Monday!

Energy Bus

Ill be honest, I picked this book up twice and started reading it and I could not get into the story but the third time was a charm. This book does such a great job at calling someone out for a negative attitude about life, work, and overall happiness. Since finishing this book I have unapologetically recommended this book to colleagues and even friends. If you find yourself giving off a negative vibe or know someone that does, this is the book for you. 

Lead for Gods Sake

This book made such an impact on my leadership journey. This book takes you through a parable about a high school basketball that has always found success but this year he is struggling to motivate his team. The leadership lessons come from a very unique source, the high school janitor. Also, make sure you read the book all the way to the end as it brings everything together. 

The Art of Exceptional Living

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this book but I have to say I am so glad I did. The audio version of this book is a collection of Jim’s live talks that he did all over the world. I found myself nodding my head in agreement when Jim made several points about living your best life.


Have you read any of these books? Are there any that you would add? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts.