Under The Hood

Leading Continuous Digital Transformation


The Books Every Leader Must Read

I’m an enthusiastic reader, always seeking new books on leadership. For a long time, I have wished there were more book lists for leaders, so I decided to make one of my own. These books are classics and have impacted on how tomorrow’s leaders envisage the world.

I would love to read any book recommendations you may leave in the comments.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek

My absolute favorite book for leaders is Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. Since listening to this as an audio book, I have been talking about it over and over again. It explains clearly how quickly credibility can be built when new ideas are sold to people you have not yet met before.

Made to Stick, Chip Heath, Dan Heath

There are common characteristics that apply to which kinds of messages become hits. It’s very eye opening to read what makes a message stick. This book is useful for leaders and people making marketing decisions.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, Jim Collins

In his book, Jim Collins relies heavily on his studies on companies and what made them succeed. All of Jim’s books are great and worth expending time and thought upon.

Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, W. Chan Kim,‎ Renee Mauborgne

It would be impossible for me to make a list of books for leaders without adding this one. For anyone aiming to grow their knowledge on organizations and what top management thinks, this should be a must read.

Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

Our intuition and first ideas may not always take us in the correct direction. Daniel Kahneman divides thinking into fast and slow, where the latter allows people to consider things with a wider perspective and more information.

Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization, Robert Kegan and Stephen R. Thorne

This book helps individuals and teams to understand what keeps them from achieving their targets and helps them to get to the next level. By combining information from the latest understanding of the potential for adult brain development and organizational development, writers make a case for unlocking how our beliefs keep us from improving.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, Ben Horowitz

Building anything from nothing is always hard and leaders end up in difficult situations. It’s interesting to read how Ben Horowitz opens his hard decisions during the building of his unicorn startup. Leaders are not expected to show their weaknesses and Ben Horowitz greatly opens up their thinking.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, Stephen R. Covey

Stephen R. Covey’s book is a classic on how to develop personal effectiveness through building habits. This book is a must read for achieving personal goals and improving relationships.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel H. Pink

People feel driven when they have three attributes: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Daniel H. Pink sheds light on these three attributes that are behind motivation.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck

Our success is limited by whether we believe our capabilities are fixed or limited. Carol S. Dweck is a scientist who has studied this topic deeply, and shows the effects of the mindset on our effort and what kind of goals we choose for ourselves.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The course of history keeps moving in a predestined direction, unless something unexpected happens to change it. The Black Swan book is a well put analyses of changes in history which helps us to understand the world around us.

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, Martin Ford

Should we feel worried that the robots will take our jobs? There are so many jobs that robots could do with better accuracy within a few years. The threat we face, is that of mass unemployment. Martin Ford has studied this topic in-depth and shakes up readers’ thoughts on future possibilities.


  1. Sherezad Shafiq

    Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell.

    • Kati Lehmuskoski

      Thank you Sherezad.

      This seems like a great book and just ordered it. Have a great week!

      Cheers, Kati

  2. All of them has a distinct method which they imagine is going
    to cause them to become money.

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