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Lisa’s Top 5 Leadership Authors (and why you want to read them)

On the paperback side of the book publishing industry, more than four titles per day are released with ‘leadership’ in them. Leadership books and authors are seemingly everywhere.

How do you cut through all these releases and figure out who’s best to read in specific contexts? I’m here to help.

Here are my top 5 leadership authors. I find each of their books inspirational and actionable.

So, if you are looking for an interesting read over the holiday break for yourself on someone on your gift list: consider one of these gems.

1. Be a better person with MARSHALL GOLDSMITH, Ph.D.

Dr. Goldsmith is the author or editor of 35 books, which have sold over two million copies, been translated into 30 languages and become bestsellers in 12 countries. He has written 3 New York Times bestsellers, MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – and Triggers.

2. Overcome shame with BRENÉ BROWN, Ph.D.

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston. She has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brené is the author of: Dare to Lead, Braving the Wilderness, Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection, and I Thought It Was Just Me.

3. Learn new skills with DANIEL PINK

Daniel H. Pink is the author of five provocative books — including three long-running New York Times bestsellers, Free Agent Nation, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, A Whole New Mind, Drive, To Sell is Human, and When. Dan’s books have been translated into 34 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

4. Get happy with SHAWN ACHOR

Shawn Achor is a New York Times bestselling author of Before Happiness, The Happiness Advantage, and Big Potential. Shawn has become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success.

5. Understand your why with SIMON SINEK

Simon Sinek is described as ‘a visionary thinker with a rare intellect.’ He teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. Sinek is the author of three bestselling books: Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, and Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration and The Infinite Game.

If I were to add a sixth author, check out Emma Seppala from Stanford. She has one major book out now, The Happiness Track. She’s a consistently well-researched author on how ‘soft skills’ make an impact on the bottom line. If you’re having trouble convincing your boss on the need for training programs geared at empathy, consider her work.

Oh and, yes, as an executive coach I’ve also written a few books — if you’d like to check those out.

Happy reading.


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