100 books like Scaling Leadership

By Robert J. Anderson, William A. Adams,

Here are 100 books that Scaling Leadership fans have personally recommended if you like Scaling Leadership. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Evolvagility: Growing an Agile Leadership Culture from the Inside Out

Lyssa Adkins Author Of Lead Together: The Bold, Brave, Intentional Path to Scaling Your Business

From my list on for leaders scaling themselves for their business.

Who am I?

For over a decade I helped people develop their skills and expand their leaderful-ness in Agile Coaching and I kept hearing the same blocker: “This is great and all, but my leaders don’t get it. They are the impediment.” After working with many thousands of Agilists I decided to go into the “belly of the beast” and personally coach leadership teams. What I found were not beasts or even garden variety egomaniacs. Instead, I found well-meaning people who are genuinely confounded by the complexity of today’s business landscape and who struggle with performance-killing team dynamics. Good news: the human technology to “solve” these issues is widely available. We know how.

Lyssa's book list on for leaders scaling themselves for their business

Lyssa Adkins Why did Lyssa love this book?

This book gives the philosophical underpinning for why creating a leadership development culture in all parts of your organization is essential for working in our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) business landscape. And, it shows you how to do it with specific practices and new-mindset concepts. It is geared toward organizations with Agile ways of working in the environment, but is also useful if Agile is not present. I especially enjoy the way several theories of adult development are interwoven in this book which makes using them to guide leadership development strategies (your own and others) simpler and more immediately applicable.

By Michael Hamman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Organizations around the globe are struggling to adapt to an increasingly complex and turbulent social, economic, technological, and business environment—whether they be banks, product development companies, or city councils. Many are responding by embracing agility as a way of working—some with a primary orientation around operational agility (Agile software development methods such as Scrum and SAFe), others focusing on customer development agility (e.g., Lean Startup), while others are embracing a broader business agility. In almost all of these cases, the prevailing notion of agility is concerned primarily with processes and practices, with systems and structures—a form of outer agility. But,…


Book cover of Systems Inspired Leadership: How to Tap Collective Wisdom to Navigate Change, Enhance Agility, and Foster Collaboration

Lyssa Adkins Author Of Lead Together: The Bold, Brave, Intentional Path to Scaling Your Business

From my list on for leaders scaling themselves for their business.

Who am I?

For over a decade I helped people develop their skills and expand their leaderful-ness in Agile Coaching and I kept hearing the same blocker: “This is great and all, but my leaders don’t get it. They are the impediment.” After working with many thousands of Agilists I decided to go into the “belly of the beast” and personally coach leadership teams. What I found were not beasts or even garden variety egomaniacs. Instead, I found well-meaning people who are genuinely confounded by the complexity of today’s business landscape and who struggle with performance-killing team dynamics. Good news: the human technology to “solve” these issues is widely available. We know how.

Lyssa's book list on for leaders scaling themselves for their business

Lyssa Adkins Why did Lyssa love this book?

This one is hot off the presses in 2021. It gathers the powerful principles and processes from Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching and packages them for leaders. It “ups the ante” by showing how a systems-inspired orientation is critical for leaders to take, and why, and how to do it. I especially like that a big portion of the book is meant to be your just-in-time resource when you need to bring forth a specific leadership competency so that you can increase the relationship systems intelligence of the system and lead to much better outcomes. You can just flip to that specific competency and get the juice you need.

By Frank Uit de Weerd, Marita Fridjhon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Today’s 21st Century leaders face tremendous pressure in an increasingly complex and fast-changing world, where traditional leadership models have become obsolete. To transform and transcend these challenges a new type of leadership is essential.

THE SOLUTION?

Systems Inspired Leadership (SIL): a powerful alternative for innovative leaders. Instead of an outmoded and ineffective top-down, leader-knows-all style that results in stress, pressure, and anxiety, SIL offers a fresh, proven approach for achieving optimal results for your organization.

This approach helps to overcome barriers and open doors to growth and innovation by tapping the collective wisdom of the organization. Instead of trying to…


Book cover of Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

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.

Who am I?

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?

I love this book because I routinely see blind spots get in the way of leaders’ performance and effectiveness.

These leaders are blind to how they are perceived or to their ineffective behaviors. The reason is simple – most of us don’t investigate and uncover the hidden perspectives we embody; the deeply reactive, repetitive response we have day-in and day-out, or understand the brilliant defense mechanisms we’ve built. 

The reason I love this book is because it’s easy to read and the concept is simple, but profound. The authors explain clearly why forcing ourselves to look at our blind spots is the first step in correcting them, and paves the way for enhanced communication, increased productivity, and long-term success.

Cultivating the ability to see things from another person’s perspective is among other ways this book helps break the cycle of “self-deception,” that prevents leaders from reaching their full potential. It’s…

By Arbinger Institute,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Leadership and Self-Deception as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This third edition of an international bestseller--over 2 million copies sold worldwide and translated into 33 languages--details how its powerful insights on motivation, conflict, and collaboration can benefit organizations as well as individuals.

Since its original publication in 2000, Leadership and Self-Deception has become an international word-of-mouth phenomenon. Rather than tapering off, it sells more copies every year. The book's central insight--that the key to leadership lies not in what we do but in who we are--has proven to have powerful implications not only for organizational leadership but in readers' personal lives as well. 

Leadership and Self-Deception uses an entertaining…


Book cover of Perseverance

Lyssa Adkins Author Of Lead Together: The Bold, Brave, Intentional Path to Scaling Your Business

From my list on for leaders scaling themselves for their business.

Who am I?

For over a decade I helped people develop their skills and expand their leaderful-ness in Agile Coaching and I kept hearing the same blocker: “This is great and all, but my leaders don’t get it. They are the impediment.” After working with many thousands of Agilists I decided to go into the “belly of the beast” and personally coach leadership teams. What I found were not beasts or even garden variety egomaniacs. Instead, I found well-meaning people who are genuinely confounded by the complexity of today’s business landscape and who struggle with performance-killing team dynamics. Good news: the human technology to “solve” these issues is widely available. We know how.

Lyssa's book list on for leaders scaling themselves for their business

Lyssa Adkins Why did Lyssa love this book?

Amazon tells me I have bought this book 8 times. Honestly, I’m surprised it’s that few. I tend to give Perseverance to colleagues and leaders I am coaching. We all need a little help “keepin' on keepin’ on” when we are doing the heavy lifting of inner development and this little book does that. Perseverance manages to be simple and profound, short and deep, and oh, so helpful for functioning in the midst of chaos. You can open it to any “random” page and get the message you need in the moment, or to prepare your mind and heart for the day ahead. Given the permanent whitewater we leaders find ourselves in, the need for this kind of inner resourcefulness is essential, and the need to replenish it constantly.

By Margaret J. Wheatley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this inspiring and beautifully illustrated book, bestselling author Margaret Wheatley offers guidance to people everywhere for how to persevere through challenges in their personal lives, with their families, at their workplaces, in their communities, and in their struggles to make a better world. She provides hope, wisdom, and perspective for learning the discipline of perseverance.

Wheatley does not offer the usual feel-good, rah-rah messages. Instead, she focuses on the situations, feelings, and challenges that can, over time, cause us to lose heart or lose our way. Perseverance is a day-by-day decision not to give up. We have to notice…


Book cover of Joan Garry's Guide to Nonprofit Leadership: Because the World Is Counting on You

Ed Mishrell Author Of The 5 Truths for Transformational Leaders: How Nonprofit Organizations Thrive, Grow, and Make a Profound Difference

From my list on leaders with the courage to be transformational.

Who am I?

I've been fascinated throughout my career by what makes an effective leader. I read about leadership; I carefully observed effective leaders; and I worked hard to become a leader. After a 40-year career, I concluded that nonprofit leaders required a leadership model that met the unique challenges of leading a nonprofit organization and that I was the right person to write the book. I'm proud of The 5 Truths for Transformational Leaders. I believe the book addresses the unique challenges of leading a nonprofit organization. I hope you discover how to use its principles to make a bigger difference in achieving your organization’s mission. Nothing could be more important for the future of our nation.

Ed's book list on leaders with the courage to be transformational

Ed Mishrell Why did Ed love this book?

While there are thousands of books on leadership there are few that specifically address the challenges of leading a nonprofit organization. 

Leading a nonprofit is different; authority is diffused and widely shared, success is difficult to define and competition for resources is intense. Or, as Joan states “nonprofits are messy.” Joan provides a practical guide to leaders based on her experience as a leader and consultant.  

Her approach is down to earth straight forward and sprinkled with a dash of humor. Hearing Joan speak and subsequently reading her book several years ago was the first impetus for me to explore writing about nonprofit leadership. Thank you Joan.

By Joan Garry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Joan Garry's Guide to Nonprofit Leadership as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a world where the old rules no longer apply, nonprofit leadership is more important than ever

Now in its second edition, Joan Garry's Guide to Nonprofit Leadership is a must-have resource for organizations of all shapes and sizes wanting to make a bigger difference in the world. Filled with real-life stories and concrete strategies, this practical guide helps develop the specialized skills and mindset needed to successfully lead and manage a stable and impactful world-class organization.

A lot has happened since Joan Garry's Guide to Nonprofit Leadership was first published in 2017. The COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 election cycle,…


Book cover of Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

David Worrell Author Of The Entrepreneur's Guide to Financial Statements

From my list on building culture, teamwork, and leadership.

Who am I?

Entrepreneurs have a tough lot in life. We dream of creating value for others, yet we are often cursed to pay a huge price in our own lives. My experience as an entrepreneur is no different – I struggled through three mediocre business startups, learning a little bit more with each one. Along the way, I have put my lessons learned into writing: textbooks, how-to guides and even cover stories for Entrepreneur magazine. Combining my own experience and the best advice from other entrepreneurs, I have systematically improved my current company… and have finally broken free of the curse! Now I love to share my experience with other business owners like you!

David's book list on building culture, teamwork, and leadership

David Worrell Why did David love this book?

Building a great company and a great team takes more than love and data. In Leaders Eat Last, I learned the science behind why we join teams, why we leave a team, and how to build a team where people want to stay.

It turns out that being a part of a team is in our DNA. Literally. We have survived as a species by working together, and our brains produce pleasure chemicals when we are standing shoulder to shoulder with a co-worker.

But that’s not what makes this book great. Simon Sinek references both large companies and the military to make his case. Among other thoughtful insights, Sinek argues that the dedication, drive, and sacrifice that make the Air Force such a formidable team can be similarly created within work teams and companies. 

This is a must-read if you want to really understand why and how we work together…

By Simon Sinek,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Leaders Eat Last as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leadership is not a rank, it is a responsibility. Leadership is not about being in charge, it is about taking care of those in your charge.

When we take care of our people, our people will take care of us. They will help see that our cause becomes a reality.

In Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek, internationally bestselling author of Start With Why, investigates these great leaders from Marine Corps Officers, who don't just sacrifice their place at the table but often their own comfort and even their lives for those in their care, to the heads of big business…


Book cover of Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm

Wayne Moloney Author Of The Wentworth Prospect: A novel guide to success in B2B sales

From my list on B2B salespeople to stay relevant and successful.

Who am I?

Everyone survives by selling something whether we wear the title or not. Selling has been my career, even before I was a salesperson. I started my career in engineering but quickly realised my passion was in developing business, not designing industrial ventilation systems. Helped by a boss who also saw I was better suited to roles other than engineering (he wasn’t so polite) I went on to enjoy a successful career spanning 4 decades working in Australian, Asian, and European markets that embraced all facets of sales and business development. Helped by great mentors and learning from the experience of others, I have endeavoured to give back by mentoring business owners, salespeople, and writing.

Wayne's book list on B2B salespeople to stay relevant and successful

Wayne Moloney Why did Wayne love this book?

The internet delivers us a tsunami of information. Approximately 328.77 million terabytes of data are created each day – 60 times more than in 2010 and estimated to grow at 20% per year.

How can we make sense of this? What is valuable and what is not? What is real, what is fake?

Mardsbjerg argues that our fixation with data makes us lose touch with reality and that we need to be making sense of the world through deep, nuanced engagement with culture, language, and history.

By Christian Madsbjerg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A FINANCIAL TIMES BUSINESS BOOK OF THE MONTH (APRIL 2017) Humans have become subservient to algorithms. Every day brings a new Moneyball fix - a maths whiz who will crack open an industry with clean fact-based analysis rather than human intuition and experience. As a result, we have stopped thinking. Machines do it for us. Christian Madsbjerg argues that our fixation with data often masks stunning deficiencies, and the risks for humankind are enormous. Blind devotion to number crunching imperils our businesses, our educations, our governments, and our life savings. Too many companies have lost touch with the humanity of…


Book cover of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win

Scott Greenberg Author Of Stop the Shift Show: How to Turn Your Struggling Hourly Workers Into a Top-Performing Team

From my list on managing employees and building teams.

Who am I?

I’m fascinated with the relationship between personal growth and professional performance. Why is it in the same environment, doing the same work, some people can excel while others struggle? Most chalk it up to external circumstances that can’t be controlled. Others focus on tactics. But I’ve learned top-performers are masters at the human side of their work–the way they think, lead and serve–and that’s what gives them their edge. All of my work centers around infusing hard skills with improved soft skills, and getting better results in the process. That’s the stuff I find delicious, and it’s what I speak and write about.

Scott's book list on managing employees and building teams

Scott Greenberg Why did Scott love this book?

I like tools and tactics, but when reading, I also like engaging stories. This book is loaded with them, offering a raw and authentic approach to leadership.

I liked how Willink and Babin pull valuable business takeaways from intense experiences on the battlefield. And I liked that a major takeaway is the importance of accepting absolute responsibility for what you do. No one’s going to argue with these guys.

I found the book totally empowering. 

By Jocko Willink, Leif Babin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Highly decorated Navy SEALs, now successful businessmen, show readers how to lead and win in business and in life with principles learned on the battlefield. In Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin share hard-hitting, Navy SEAL combat stories that translate into lessons for business and life. With riveting first-hand accounts of making high-pressure decisions as Navy SEAL battlefield leaders, this book is equally gripping for leaders who seek to dominate other arenas. Jocko and Leif served together in SEAL Task Unit Bruiser, the most highly decorated Special Operations unit from the war in Iraq. Their efforts contributed to the…


Book cover of Rare Breed: A Guide to Success for the Defiant, Dangerous, and Different

Geoffrey Colon Author Of Disruptive Marketing: What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us about Navigating the New Normal

From my list on disruptive marketers in the 21st century.

Who am I?

Ever since touching my first computer (the Apple IIC) in 1985, broadcasting a radio show in 1988, logging onto the world wide web in 1991, launching my first podcast in 2004 or producing the highly viewed YouTube show The Download in 2020 I've been interested in what Marshall McLuhan has dubbed, "The Medium is the Message." Not only how media and technology are used but how it intersects with humanity, education, entertainment, marketing and popular culture to drive word of mouth. To me, marketing isn't just about the technology or the quantified metrics but about how it shapes long lasting impressions on people and leads to sustained behavioral change.

Geoffrey's book list on disruptive marketers in the 21st century

Geoffrey Colon Why did Geoffrey love this book?

If the Conceptual Age of marketing is here where imagination reigns supreme, will the same types of personalities in business from the Information Age be the ones to dominate? Nope. Authors Ashley and Sunny urge people to treat each one of our quirks as helpful virtues rather than harmful vices. Less logical and more emotional, things like fringe interests, strong personalities, and bold antics have their place in a creative and disruptive world. Applying your unique characteristics strategically could help you stand out, forge your path, and connect with others in ways that following rules just does not deliver. If you read this from the lens of a marketer, there are some great takeaways to apply to the personality of what brand it is you are trying to sell. Oh, and what profile am I of the 7 vices? A rebel of course.

By Sunny Bonnell, Ashleigh Hansberger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An unconventional business book for the rebels and misfits--the Rare Breeds--who don't fit the traditional mold, offering an approach that's anything but business as usual.
What if your biggest weaknesses are actually your greatest strengths?

Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger, award-winning brand consultants and founders of Motto, bring their wisdom and insights to this radical "outside the box" business guide written specifically for the mavericks, oddballs, and visionaries they call Rare Breeds. While most advice guides encourage you to change your inherent characteristics to get the job, get the promotion, get the client, Bonnell and Hansberger identify a different approach:…


Book cover of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Luana Marques Author Of Bold Move: A 3-Step Plan to Transform Anxiety Into Power

From my list on moving through anxiety toward what matters most.

Who am I?

Growing up in Brazil facing poverty and adversity, I was helped by my grandmother, who instilled in me a profound lesson: be the water, not the rock. She taught me the significance of adaptability in confronting uncertainty, stress, and discomfort. Later in life, while pursuing my PhD in clinical psychology, I discovered her teachings aligned with leading mental health practices. Today, I'm an associate professor at Harvard, a renowned global speaker, and an author, ardently committed to empowering individuals globally with evidence-based techniques to transform anxiety into power. Every book in this list resonates with my grandmother's wisdom about boldly navigating life and underscores the transformative potential of embracing discomfort. 

Luana's book list on moving through anxiety toward what matters most

Luana Marques Why did Luana love this book?

My journey with Simon Sinek's Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action began during my tenure at Massachusetts General Hospital, where I was tasked with the integration of two research labs.

As I grappled with unifying two distinct cultures, I grabbed with motivating and integrating two distinct teams. On my quest for innovative methods to articulate ideas, I chanced upon Sinek's Golden Circle—a potent formula for inspiring action. This strategy begins with 'why', segues into 'how', and culminates with 'what'.

Since immersing in Start with Why, I've employed the Golden Circle in countless presentations, workshops, and meetings, tapping into the strength of collective values and a sharp sense of purpose. If you find yourself in a leadership role and feeling cornered, my recommendation is: Start with Why.

By Simon Sinek,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Start With Why as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE MILLION-COPY GLOBAL BESTSELLER - BASED ON THE LIFE-CHANGING TED TALK!

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT START WITH WHY:

'It's amazing how a book can change the course of your life, and this book did that' Reader Review

'Imagine the Ted Talk expanded to 2 hours long, with more depth, intrigue and examples' Reader Review

'What he does brilliantly is demonstrate his own why - to inspire others - throughout' Reader Review

'Wow. Wow. Wow. I cannot rate this book highly enough to take a different, positive approach to life and work' Reader Review

Discover your purpose with one simple…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in leadership, nonprofits, and business?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about leadership, nonprofits, and business.

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