100 books like Leadership Presence

By Harvard Business Review, John Beeson, Amy J.C. Cuddy , Deborah Tannen , Amy Jen Su

Here are 100 books that Leadership Presence fans have personally recommended if you like Leadership Presence. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Working With Emotional Intelligence

John Beeson Author Of The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level

From my list on advancing and succeeding at the executive level.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent many years as a management consultant to a range of big, global corporations, smaller companies, and not-for-profits. I also headed up succession planning and management development at two major companies. I decided to go into this field based on a strong conviction, a conviction that continues today: that leadership counts. Strong leaders benefit people in their organizations and, ultimately, society itself. Having worked with many senior leaders and led organizations myself, I know the range of pressures executives face and how easy it is to fail. Companies need a supply of capable, well-equipped senior leaders, and those who aspire to top-level positions need guideposts about achieving their career aspirations. 

John's book list on advancing and succeeding at the executive level

John Beeson Why did John love this book?

This book has more than stood the test of time.

Goleman played a key role in popularizing the notion of emotional intelligence. It’s a key skill for any executive but one I find is often misunderstood. Goleman makes a strong case that one’s emotional intelligence is rooted firmly in self-control and self-mastery. That is, you can’t really tune into others in a deep way unless you are in control of yourself and your emotions. I use this book often in my coaching, and it’s a revelation to many senior leaders and aspiring executives. 

By Daniel Goleman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Working With Emotional Intelligence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you want to be more successful at work? Do you want to improve your chances of promotion? Do you want to get on better with your colleagues? Daniel Goleman draws on unparalleled access to business leaders around the world and the thorough research that is his trademark. He demonstrates that emotional intelligence at work matters twice as much as cognitive abilities such as IQ or technical expertise in this inspiring sequel.


Book cover of Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

John Beeson Author Of The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level

From my list on advancing and succeeding at the executive level.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent many years as a management consultant to a range of big, global corporations, smaller companies, and not-for-profits. I also headed up succession planning and management development at two major companies. I decided to go into this field based on a strong conviction, a conviction that continues today: that leadership counts. Strong leaders benefit people in their organizations and, ultimately, society itself. Having worked with many senior leaders and led organizations myself, I know the range of pressures executives face and how easy it is to fail. Companies need a supply of capable, well-equipped senior leaders, and those who aspire to top-level positions need guideposts about achieving their career aspirations. 

John's book list on advancing and succeeding at the executive level

John Beeson Why did John love this book?

As they move up, executives become more and more responsible for strategy and building the capacity of the organization. But one thing never changes: they are still responsible for making sure that strategic plans get implemented.

Their dilemma, given all the other responsibilities they take on, is how to manage execution without getting bogged down at too low a level of detail. Bossidy is a retired CEO and Charan is a well-respected consultant. They lay out a roadmap for ensuring implementation and simultaneously building organization capacity.

By Ram Charan, Larry Bossidy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Larry Bossidy is one of the world's most acclaimed CEOs, with a track record for delivering results that has few peers. Ram Charan is a legendary advisor to senior executives and boards of directors, with unparalleled insight into why some companies are successful and others not. The result is the book people in business need today. One with a highly practical framework for closing the gap between results promised and results delivered. After a long, stellar career with GE, Larry Bossidy became CEO of Allied Signal and transformed it into one of the world's most admired companies. Accomplishments like 31…


Book cover of Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls

John Beeson Author Of The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level

From my list on advancing and succeeding at the executive level.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent many years as a management consultant to a range of big, global corporations, smaller companies, and not-for-profits. I also headed up succession planning and management development at two major companies. I decided to go into this field based on a strong conviction, a conviction that continues today: that leadership counts. Strong leaders benefit people in their organizations and, ultimately, society itself. Having worked with many senior leaders and led organizations myself, I know the range of pressures executives face and how easy it is to fail. Companies need a supply of capable, well-equipped senior leaders, and those who aspire to top-level positions need guideposts about achieving their career aspirations. 

John's book list on advancing and succeeding at the executive level

John Beeson Why did John love this book?

Bennis and Tichy are giants in the development of management thought and practice. Their book makes a fundamental point. You can have all the skills and experience in the world, but if you can’t display sound judgment on the big decisions, you ultimately won’t succeed.

What I find most useful about this book is the way they encourage the senior leader to start by framing an issue or decision and then using that framing to create the best decision-making process as well as bring in the right people to contribute.

By Noel M Tichy, Warren Bennis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“With good judgment, little else matters. Without it, nothing else matters.”

Whether we’re talking about United States presidents, CEOs, Major League coaches, or wartime generals, leaders are remembered for their best and worst judgment calls. In the face of ambiguity, uncertainty, and conflicting demands, the quality of a leader’s judgment determines the fate of the entire organization. That’s why judgment is the essence of leadership.

Yet despite its importance, judgment has always been a fairly murky concept. The leadership literature has been conspicuously quiet on what, exactly, defines it. Does judgment differ from common sense or gut instinct? Is it…


Book cover of Borrowing Brilliance: The Six Steps to Business Innovation by Building on the Ideas of Others

John Beeson Author Of The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level

From my list on advancing and succeeding at the executive level.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent many years as a management consultant to a range of big, global corporations, smaller companies, and not-for-profits. I also headed up succession planning and management development at two major companies. I decided to go into this field based on a strong conviction, a conviction that continues today: that leadership counts. Strong leaders benefit people in their organizations and, ultimately, society itself. Having worked with many senior leaders and led organizations myself, I know the range of pressures executives face and how easy it is to fail. Companies need a supply of capable, well-equipped senior leaders, and those who aspire to top-level positions need guideposts about achieving their career aspirations. 

John's book list on advancing and succeeding at the executive level

John Beeson Why did John love this book?

One of the success factors I highlight in my book is leading innovation and change.

Simply maintaining or marginally improving the status quo isn’t enough in most organizations. Many aspiring executives find the requirement to lead innovation intimidating, since by definition it means finding solutions that are different from what they are most familiar with.

Murray illustrates that the vast majority of innovations are not “bolts out of the blue.” Rather, they are often the result of taking a new idea out of one context (for example, a different field or industry) and then building on it.

The implication for me is that the successful executive needs to adopt an external perspective, i.e., looking outside his or her own organization, and find ways to identify new ideas—even if the practical application is not immediately apparent. 

By David Kord Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Borrowing Brilliance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Most of us think that outstanding success derives only from groundbreaking innovation. But we're wrong. In fact, many of the most successful business ideas of our time have come about when someone has borrowed and adapted an idea from somewhere else.

In Borrowing Brilliance, David Kord Murray explains exactly how you can do the same. He demonstrates conclusively that new business ideas are simply combinations of existing ideas, and then sets out to show how you can solve current problems and create new opportunities by learning where to look for ideas and answers. In the process, he takes you through…


Book cover of The Leader on the Couch: A Clinical Approach to Changing People and Organisations

Jody Michael Author Of Leading Lightly: Lower Your Stress, Think with Clarity, and Lead with Ease

From my list on leading lightly in organizations and in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

At 29 I was one of the first female traders on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, building my own all-female trading company. I lost everything in 1987, which gave me a stellar opportunity to understand my power to choose how I responded to the turmoil. Now, I’m an internationally credentialed Master Certified Coach, Board Certified Coach, University of Chicago-trained psychotherapist, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Over 25 years ago I founded my coaching company, Jody Michael Associates. We focus on building emotional intelligence, executive presence, and mental fitness. When we help our clients learn to lead lightly, they take themselves, their teams, and their organizations to new levels of awareness, discernment, and performance.

Jody's book list on leading lightly in organizations and in life

Jody Michael Why did Jody love this book?

This is an undercelebrated leadership book.

Rarely do we go “under the hood” to understand the drivers that account for 90% of our day-to-day behavior. Understanding the core impetus behind a leader’s behavior and decisions is clearly one of my passions, and this book is an interesting read in that regard. 

In this book, Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries deftly deconstructs the way we believe we make decisions to reveal that, regardless of the veneer of rationality we maintain, our emotional responses to formative events early in life remain our inner compass.

His comparison of disparate paths to self-development exposes unexpected parallels which lend strength to his argument that feelings play an important role in leadership.

By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Leader on the Couch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Despite the proven benefits of emotional intelligence, organizational life has typically been hostile to the inner world of feeling. Rationality is deemed superior to feeling, which can contaminate judgment. But without feeling there is no passion, and no action. This book sets out to change people and organizations for the better, by revealing the 'dark side' of leadership behaviour and its impact on performance. Tapping into the startling parallels between the journey to emotional intelligence, the process of psychoanalysis, the practice of leadership coaching and the Zen journey to enlightenment, renowned thinker Manfred Kets de Vries helps executives, consultants, and…


Book cover of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Howard M. Guttman Author Of When Goliaths Clash: Managing Executive Conflict to Build a More Dynamic Organization

From my list on managing those "keep you up at night" organizational issues.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the principal of Guttman Development Strategies (GDS), an organization development firm that works with senior executives and their teams in major corporations globally to build horizontal, high-performance teams, provide leadership coaching, and develop leadership skills. I am a speaker and author of three acclaimed management books and dozens of articles in business publications.

Howard's book list on managing those "keep you up at night" organizational issues

Howard M. Guttman Why did Howard love this book?

The insights in this groundbreaking book apply across the board, from social and family life to interacting and managing others in organizational life.

What factors are at play when people of high IQ flounder while those who are more modestly endowed succeed? Goleman argues that the difference is Emotional Intelligence, which, as he explains, comprises empathy, effective social skills/communication, self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation.

I’ve watched too many of the allegedly best and brightest, tough-minded executives flame out because they failed to rein in emotional impulse, read others’ feelings, or handle interpersonal relationships. The skills are learnable, and in today’s asymmetric, hybrid, matrixed organizations, they are essential for success.

By Daniel Goleman,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Emotional Intelligence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The groundbreaking bestseller that redefines intelligence and success Does IQ define our destiny? Daniel Goleman argues that our view of human intelligence is far too narrow, and that our emotions play major role in thought, decision making and individual success. Self-awareness, impulse control, persistence, motivation, empathy and social deftness are all qualities that mark people who excel: whose relationships flourish, who are stars in the workplace. With new insights into the brain architecture underlying emotion and rationality, Goleman shows precisely how emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened in all of us.


Book cover of The School of Life: An Emotional Education

Wendy Thomas Russell Author Of Relax It's Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids about Religion When You're Not Religious

From my list on finding your own philosophy of life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m drawn to the intersection of psychology, philosophy and pragmatism — a dynamic that can be found in the books I write, the conversations I enjoy, and the ways I choose to spend my down time. By getting in touch with my personal psychology (influenced by my brain chemistry, temperament and upbringing) and studying various philosophies (from the Stoics to Alain de Botton), I have begun to find my own truth and formulate my own best practices in life. I don’t always nail it — not by a long shot — but that’s why it’s called a practice. There are so many different ways to live a contented life. It can be awfully rewarding to locate your own.

Wendy's book list on finding your own philosophy of life

Wendy Thomas Russell Why did Wendy love this book?

Since discovering Religion for Atheists, while researching my first book, I have loved me some Alain de Botton, but I recommend this one because I think it offers the most in terms of practical wisdom across a host of categories. Alain has spent his life doing for others what I spend a lot of time doing for myself: Trying to discover universal truths that lead to a greater enjoyment of life without having to resort to religious dogma or magical thinking. He explains plainly how to love life for what it offers, wholly accept what it does not, and understand that we all, truly, are in this together.

By The School of Life,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover everything you were never taught at school about how to lead a better life...

'Amazing. He talk about sophisticated things in simple but not simplistic ways. A beautiful book that you should have in your home' Chris Evans

By the bestselling author of The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel and The Course of Love

'Alain de Botton likes to take big, complex subjects and write about them with thoughtful and deceptive innocence' Observer

As heard on Elizabeth Day's How to Fail podcast

We spend years in school learning facts and figures but the one thing we're never…


Book cover of Resenting the Hero

Hadeer Elsbai Author Of The Daughters of Izdihar

From my list on epic fantasies with "unlikable" female characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, many of the female characters in the media I engaged with were thin stereotypes (and some still are). Slowly, culture shifted towards the “strong female character, which quickly became a stereotype of its own. As culture shifts again to more nuanced female characters, many of them are slapped with the label of “unlikeable.” The label usually means that the character isn’t a tired stereotype and is complex, multifaceted, and interesting. Also, nearly all the time, the same traits admired in a male character are despised in a female character (think of Alicent Hightower, whose moral complexity would certainly be celebrated in a man). 

Hadeer's book list on epic fantasies with "unlikable" female characters

Hadeer Elsbai Why did Hadeer love this book?

This book is told in first-person from the perspective of Dunleavy, a pretty judgmental young woman who is not happy to be partnered with the infamous Shintaro Tarish. She's stubborn, inexperienced, naive, a little full of herself, cold, overly logical, and has little to no emotional intelligence. She also takes everything in stride, has an incredible dry wit, and is genuinely caring.

She's the type of character who will make you feel so many emotions, because she's so real she leaps off the page. There were times when I audibly groaned because Dunleavy's actions were just so terribly frustrating. I was delighted by her and her slow-burn friendship with Shintaro, made so tantalizing because Dunleavy can be so terrible to him sometimes!  

By Moira J. Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Resenting the Hero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a realm beset by natural disasters, only the magical abilities of the bonded Pairs—Source and Shield—make the land habitable and keep the citizenry safe. The ties that bind them are far beyond the relationships between lovers or kin—and last their entire lives…

Whether they like it or not.

Since she was a child, Dunleavy Mallorough has been nurturing her talents as a Shield, preparing for her day of bonding. Unfortunately, fate decrees Lee’s partner to be the legendary, handsome, and unbearably self-assured Lord Shintaro Karish. Sure, he cuts a fine figure with his aristocratic airs and undeniable courage. But…


Book cover of Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happines

Eric Holsapple Author Of Profit with Presence: The Twelve Pillars of Mindful Leadership

From my list on mindful leaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I experienced early success in the business world, but I found myself feeling empty. This led to a decades-long exploration of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. Now, I combine my expertise in business and my passion for mindfulness to make a greater impact on individuals and the world at large. By making mindfulness techniques accessible and relevant to professionals and executives, I teach others to transform their affluence and success into positive influence in their organizations and communities. 

Eric's book list on mindful leaders

Eric Holsapple Why did Eric love this book?

This book highlights not only theory, but how Google implemented mindfulness via a program with the same name “Search Inside Yourself,” which the author instituted and ran. I was impressed with the depth of the presentation, its simplicity, and the overall theme of mindful business to act as a catalyst to save the world.

The book starts out by emphasizing a focus on breath as access to mindfulness, and that mindfulness is a practice on – and off – the cushion. Tan shows that mindfulness is in sync with running a business and making a profit and can go beyond to make a greater impact on the world. He showcases how emotions can be mastered, empathy is not a weakness, and compassion is possible for the most stoic members of our teams. 

By Chade-Meng Tan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Search Inside Yourself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan, one of Google’s earliest engineers and personal growth pioneer, offers a proven method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.

Meng’s job is to teach Google’s best and brightest how to apply mindfulness techniques in the office and beyond; now, readers everywhere can get insider access to one of the most sought after classes in the country, a course in health, happiness and creativity that is improving the livelihood and productivity of those responsible for one of the most successful businesses in the world.

With forewords by Daniel Goleman, author of…


Book cover of Mastering the Basics: Simple Lessons for Achieving Success in Business

Todd Dewett Author Of Dancing with Monsters: A Tale About Leadership, Success, and Overcoming Fears

From my list on how people skills support great leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by the relationships component of leadership. I’ve worked for major service firms, taught MBAs for years, advised many teams and organizations, and educated millions via my courses on LinkedIn Learning. When I look at performance, I see the same issues popping up over and over: people issues! You can know a lot about how to run a team operationally or how to roll out a change step by step – but it’s all for nothing if you don’t know how to positively relate to and lead others. Communication, motivation, empathy, etc. – these are the essential people skills required to allow you to actually add value with your business knowledge.  

Todd's book list on how people skills support great leadership

Todd Dewett Why did Todd love this book?

Most leadership books are hyper-focused on one or two very finite and well-defined topics. 

Dean’s book intentionally takes the opposite approach. It’s like someone came up to this person who has had huge sales and general executive success and asked them to name their top twenty tips for having an effective career. But instead, Dean explodes with a few hundred amazing tips. 

From grand ideas such as “always be learning” and “fostering relationships” to very specific ones such as “be reliable” and “don’t show off or gloat,” this is an amalgamation of tried-and-true career wisdom delivered in an easy-to-digest manner. 

I imagine anyone reading this book will come away with several new maxims to live by. Bottom line – this is fast, useful advice.  

By Dean Karrel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mastering the Basics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you limiting your potential because you haven't mastered workplace skills, office politics, and career development?

Do you ever feel pressured to learn the latest strategies just to stay ahead of your peers? Are there times when you feel intimidated by colleagues with fancy titles or advanced degrees who don't shy away from sharing their opinions? We can all fall into the trap of getting caught up in a competitive and stressful work environment and the result can negatively impact our confidence and ability to maximize our potential. Based on business lessons and techniques that Dean Karrel learned throughout his…


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