The best books to level up your leadership

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a TedX and keynote speaker, leadership expert, and corporate facilitator. I’m also a repeat software founder and CEO. I work extensively with Fortune 1000 and hyperscale organizations to connect leadership and culture directly to organizational outcomes, as well as diversifying C-suites and corporate boardrooms. I’m passionate about guiding leaders to measurable outcomes and helping others learn from failure (yes, it happens to all of us!) Over the years, I’ve learned the key is understanding and embodying your own values so you can build resilience for yourself as an individual, your team, and your organization as a whole. I hope my list of recommended books helps you do just that!


I wrote...

No Permission Needed: Unlock Your Leadership Potential and Eliminate Self-Doubt

By Tissa Richards,

Book cover of No Permission Needed: Unlock Your Leadership Potential and Eliminate Self-Doubt

What is my book about?

Are you waiting for your next promotion or to further your leadership career – hoping that others will just recognize your value? Are you avoiding big goals out of fear, low confidence, or lack of clarity? Whether it’s a board seat, starting your own business, a promotion, or making a career pivot, you can move forward – on your terms – by demonstrating your value with confidence and clarity.

In these pages – filled with easy-to-follow challenges and inspiring stories from leaders just like you – you’ll discover how to: ditch your “elevator pitch” and create a catalyst statement; internalize the value you bring to any role or relationship; gain clarity on your leadership values; identify your personal leadership style; and replace self-doubt with confidence.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future

Tissa Richards Why did I love this book?

In her career, Indra broke numerous barriers (being an immigrant and a woman of color, to name just two) to become a Fortune 50 CEO.

She was a trailblazer and refused to compromise on her values, even when faced with near-constant resistance and challenges. Indra’s memoir is a powerful look at how one woman chose to do things differently, as well as being a call to action for the business world to shift the current paradigm.

By Indra Nooyi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Life in Full as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller
 
An intimate and powerful memoir by the trailblazing former CEO of PepsiCo

For a dozen years as one of the world’s most admired CEOs, Indra Nooyi redefined what it means to be an exceptional leader. The first woman of color and immigrant to run a Fortune 50 company — and one of the foremost strategic thinkers of our time — she transformed PepsiCo with a unique vision, a vigorous pursuit of excellence, and a deep sense of purpose. Now, in a rich memoir brimming with grace, grit, and good humor, My Life in Full offers…


Book cover of Everything Is Figureoutable

Tissa Richards Why did I love this book?

For many entrepreneurs, Marie Forleo is practically a household name – for over a decade, she’s been coaching those souls brave enough to take the leap into business ownership.

As entrepreneurs will tell you, a huge part of success has to do with your mindset. In this book, Marie outlines a key strategy for training your brain to overcome uncertainty and actionable tips to overcome everyday challenges, both big and small.

By Marie Forleo,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Everything Is Figureoutable as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"This book will change lives."
--Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

From the host of the award-winning MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast, an indispensable handbook for becoming the creative force of your own life.

While most self-help books offer quick fixes, Everything is Figureoutable will retrain your brain to think more creatively and positively in the face of setbacks. In the words of Cheryl Strayed, it's "a must-read for anyone who wants to face their fears, fulfill their dreams, and find a better way forward."

If you're having trouble solving a problem…


Book cover of Tales of Potential: The Cinderella Story You Haven't Heard

Tissa Richards Why did I love this book?

I love a book you can actually take action on and Tales of Potential delivers!

Joanna Bloor makes the case that most decisions about your career happen in a room you’re not in – which means you have to rely on someone else to tell your story and be your advocate. This book outlines exactly how to distill your story down to the most important elements, so it’s easy for others to tell effectively.

You’ll learn how to clearly communicate your potential and capabilities in a way that will have a lasting impact on your life.

Book cover of You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

Tissa Richards Why did I love this book?

I find this book really refreshing.

Jen Sincero moves away from the typical stuffiness of personal development books and approaches the topic with humor and a bit of irreverence. This book is like a don’t-sugar-coat-it conversation with your best friend over margaritas. It’s a quick and enjoyable read, full of down-to-earth advice and try-it-yourself exercises.

You’ll feel ready to take on anything and have a great time doing it!

By Jen Sincero,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked You Are a Badass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

YOU ARE A BADASS IS THE self-help BOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO DESPERATELY WANT TO IMPROVE THEIR LIVES BUT DON'T WANT TO GET BUSTED DOING IT. In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you've never made before. By the…


Book cover of The Zigzag Principle: The Goal Setting Strategy that will Revolutionize Your Business and Your Life

Tissa Richards Why did I love this book?

We all need to have our conditioning challenged occasionally, and this book does exactly that.

It takes the idea that success is a straight line and turns it on its head. Rich Christiansen argues that the best goal setting isn’t linear. Instead, he encourages readers to literally zigzag to their goals. His book is important because it teaches leaders how to be nimble, flexible, and resilient.

The zigzag principle is simple, powerful, and offers a totally new way of approaching business (and life). 

By Rich Christiansen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Zigzag Principle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Zigzag Your Way to Success!

Have you ever set your sights on the top of a mountain and then started your ascent by heading straight through the trees and up the sheer cliffs? Or driven in your car to the other side of town-as the crow flies? Of course not! Because you instinctively know that, just as a river has to wend its way around obstacles, the best route is never actually a straight line!

In The Zigzag Principle, Rich Christiansen applies a foundational law of nature to business management, entrepreneurship, goal-setting, and life in general as he explores why…


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We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter

By Amy T. Waldman, Peter Jest,

Book cover of We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter

Amy T. Waldman

New book alert!

What is my book about?

This irreverent biography provides a rare window into the music industry from a promoter’s perspective. From a young age, Peter Jest was determined to make a career in live music, and despite naysayers and obstacles, he did just that, bringing national acts to his college campus atUW-Milwaukee, booking thousands of concerts across Wisconsin and the Midwest, and opening Shank Hall, the beloved Milwaukee venue named after a club in the cult film This Is Spinal Tap.

Jest established lasting friendships with John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, and others, but ultimately, this book tells a universal story of love and hope…

We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter

By Amy T. Waldman, Peter Jest,

What is this book about?

The entertaining and inspiring story of a stubbornly independent promoter and club owner 

This irreverent biography provides a rare window into the music industry from a promoter’s perspective. From a young age, Peter Jest was determined to make a career in live music, and despite naysayers and obstacles, he did just that, bringing national acts to his college campus at UW–Milwaukee, booking thousands of concerts across Wisconsin and the Midwest, and opening Shank Hall, the beloved Milwaukee venue named after a club in the cult film This Is Spinal Tap.

This funny, nostalgia-inducing book details the lasting friendships Jest established…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in self-actualization, life satisfaction, and Cinderella?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about self-actualization, life satisfaction, and Cinderella.

Self-Actualization Explore 214 books about self-actualization
Life Satisfaction Explore 215 books about life satisfaction
Cinderella Explore 30 books about Cinderella