Reading List | Books | Leadership

Books on Leadership

Best Books to Read in 2020

Ann Venkataraman
ILLUMINATION
Published in
6 min readJun 20, 2020

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Here is a must-read list for books to improve your leadership skills, and become world-class! Many are bestsellers for a reason, they provide solid practical tips for people in all stages of their careers.

Books are listed in random order; I love them all and find they have all contributed to my professional and personal success!

Whether you want to learn about leadership vs management, leadership in turbulent times, transformational leadership and other leadership styles, or looking for suggestions on leadership books for women, or simply want to increase your social influence skills, this list will help you out. Read these classics if you are participating in a reading challenge and just seeking new books to read this year.

1] “Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office”. Lois Frankel.

Screenshot by the author — personal copy via Google PlayBooks

Brilliant book for any woman who wants to break the glass ceiling. Yes, it does exist although it remains invisible until you reach a certain stage of your career. The gist of the book is to play to your feminine strengths, while also becoming aware of common career mistakes that derail your career in subtle but concrete ways. Many of these mistakes are similar to “Death by a thousand cuts”. Just one or two won’t hurt you, but like compound interest, they make a huge and NEGATIVE difference. If possible, try the audiobook version, which is like having a candid conversation with your favorite aunt or a respected mentor.

2] “Sun Tzu — The Art of War for Managers”. Gerald & Steven Michaelson.

The Art of War is a classic book on leadership and strategy by ancient Chinese military theorist Sun Tzu. There are many books that translate the original into English. This book, however, is slightly different. Instead of strategies for “war”, this book teaches managers how to vanquish their competition (internal and external). It might feel a bit Machiavellian to some, however the book…

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Ann Venkataraman
ILLUMINATION

Techie, Manager, Blogger & Mom. I write about Leadership, books, productivity, and how to use them to fast-track your career.