Leadership Reading List: 11 Books for Entrepreneurs

by HBR Blog Network

Try a leadership reading list that provides a well-rounded, wide-ranging overview of what it takes to be a great business leader.

leadership reading list

John Coleman, coauthor of Passion & Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders, provides a leadership reading list in HBR Blog Network. “Leaders should be readers,” he writes.

“Reading has a host of benefits for those who wish to occupy positions of leadership and develop into more relaxed, empathetic, and well-rounded people,” Coleman says. He then provides a leadership reading list of eleven books “that includes history, literature, psychology, and how-to.”

Coleman writes that he tried to mix it up and get some variety into his list, as “novels can enhance empathy,” while “social science and history can illuminate lessons from other times and fields that might be relevant to your own.” He starts with The Emperor’s Handbook by Marcus Aurelius of Ancient Rome, moves onto Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, and jumps around from Michael Lewis to Clayton Christensen. Coleman “tried to make all the choices directly relevant to young businesspeople interested in leadership,” and his list, “at the very least…can make you a more interesting conversationalist.”