Most people want to be good leaders. Sometimes it's hard to figure out whether you are really great or just OK. If you are responsible for the success of the team, you really can't afford to settle for anything but being amazing. Of course, improving will take work. But there are some easy ways to start, and no better way than a little reading. Here is my favorite leadership book, and more choices from my Inc. colleagues.

1. by Patrick Lencione.

This book never sold as well as Lencione's other brilliant book, 5 Dysfunctions of Team. But it's simplicity and insights are unsurpassed for leaders seeking clear understanding. If you can think like a CEO, you can lead any team of any size. I read the book when I was 30 and felt like a fool for falling into such simple traps with my company. Two hours of learning will make for a lifetime of success, and if you don't have that much time, try the short summary in the back. Now you have no excuse for bad behavior.

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2. by Istvan Banyai

One of my clients once gave me this great book. On the surface you would think that it's a children's book, but the message of the book is incredibly profound, as the reader is moved from a farm to a ship to a city street, and so on. But just when you think you've got your bearings, it turns out that you really don't. --The Leadership Guy

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3. by Jim Collins

How to choose just one? Scanning my bookshelves, I see every book ever written by Daniel Pink, countless new releases, and the steadfast must-reads, like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The one that's jumping off the shelf for me today is Jim Collins's Good to Great. Today, being a good leader is not enough. In this book, Collins engages the reader in brilliant leadership discussions and inspires diligence and discipline. But what really stands out for me are his frequent reminders and demonstrations that you have to focus on the people before focusing on the challenge at hand. Read this book and you'll never let good be good enough. --The Successful Soloist

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4. by Paulo Coelho

Few books have touched me the way this book did. The book discusses a young shepherd who is searching for his "ultimate accomplishment." However, what the shepherd finds is that every time he comes close to reaching his goal, he has to start over to move to the next level of success.

This book inspires leaders because it describes the entrepreneurial journey, which is a journey of continual rebirth. You can't allow anything to stand in your way and you must always strive to be your best. The Alchemist emphasizes the important entrepreneurial tenet of not settling until you've reached your ultimate goal and working through setbacks that are part of the process. --Lean Forward

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5. by Bill Murphy Jr.

There are many I could choose--but I'd say it's this book I wrote about West Point's class of 2002. These young men and women, only 22 years old and leading soldiers to war, were some of the most inspiring leaders I ever met. --Action Required

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