If you want to know what it takes to be a good leader and get practical advice from people who know what they're talking about, it makes sense to look to the "Leadership" and "Self-help" bookshelves. But with so many great leadership books out there, how do you even get started?
Fortunately, the resume experts at Resume.io have distilled the wisdom of bestselling leaders for you. They used the "most highlighted" feature in Amazon's Kindle to find which quotes readers found most inspiring, to give you a taste of the best-rated leadership books on Goodreads.
Here are readers' favorite quotes from the top 20 leadership books.
This authorized biography of Steve Jobs charts his rise to success from inexperienced and experimental young technician to founder of one of the most successful companies in modern history.
"Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are."
Everyday culture comes under the statistical spotlight in this cult bestseller by Levitt and Dubner. Their provocative analyses of contemporary living lead to thought-provoking insights into human motivation.
"There are three basic flavors of incentive: economic, social, and moral."
Gladwell uses notable examples from hockey players to scientific geniuses to examine the conditions that lead to success. He highlights the importance of collaboration and perseverance, suggesting it takes 10,000 hours practice to become an expert.
"Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good."
Not discounting the years of hard work behind most successes, Gladwell's first book suggests a triad of factors (word-of-mouth, "stickiness," and social context) can combine to create a "tipping point" that sends an idea skyrocketing.
"Change happens not gradually but at one dramatic moment."
Carnegie's classic guide to becoming more affable is packed with practical advice on living a more rewarding life. With over 16 million copies sold in the 80 years since publication, it has certainly influenced its fair share of people.
"When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic."
This passionately argued and thoroughly researched examination of how society undervalues introverts is a rallying cry for introverted people to better understand themselves and play to their own strengths.
"Introverts prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family."
In this anecdote-rich and principle-led approach to solving personal and professional problems, Covey presents a holistic, step-by-step path to adopting positive habits that help boost success.
"It's not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us."
This amusing fable uses cheese as a metaphor for life goals. Following the characters through a maze, which could represent work, family, or community, this motivational bestseller focuses on how people approach challenges and adapt to change.
"The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists"
Kiyosaki's account of growing up with his father and the rich father of his friend, explains how each influenced his thoughts on wealth and finance. It shows the difference between being a slave to money and finding financial satisfaction.
"Learn to use your emotions to think, not think with your emotions."
Duhigg uses famous examples like Martin Luther King Jr. and Michael Phelps to illustrate how people develop "keystone" habits to facilitate success. Presenting cutting-edge theories from behavioral science in relatable stories, he demonstrates people's capacity to change.
"First, find a simple and obvious cue. Secondly, clearly define the rules."
Sun Tzu's treatise on military strategy has had an enduring influence in it's 2,500-year history. It has been cited as an inspiration by historical game-changers such as Napoleon and General Douglas MacArthur, as well as numerous leaders in business, commerce, and politics.
"Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small."
Sandberg shares her personal success story and explores the challenges women face when trying to get an equal footing on the business ladder. She offers some practical advice on how women can help themselves become successful.
"The most common way people give up power is by thinking they don't have any."
Shocking Europe since its 1532 publication, this manual for aspiring political powerhouses made Machiavelli's name synonymous with the use of ruthless and scheming tactics to achieve absolute power.
"Men ought either to be well treated or crushed."
This is an authorized account of the tech entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX. It gives an insight into his eccentric approach to life and business, and his thoughts on America's competitiveness toward technological advancement.
"Musk respects people who continue on after being told no."
Tolle's spiritual self-help juggernaut advises readers to turn away from the critical and egoistic mind, to aspire to a more "essential" sense of being. The simple language ensures these 'high ideas" are accessible to millions of readers worldwide.
"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have."
After 25 years researching and interviewing hundreds of the richest people, Hill concluded that a shift toward thinking like the rich can help in achieving one's goals and becoming successful.
"Opportunity has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat."
This is a step-by-step guide to escaping the rat race and achieving your dream lifestyle. Whether that involves world-travel, early retirement, or just better work-life balance, this book is crammed with practical tips and real life examples of how to transform your income stream to maximum success.
"A task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion."
Following 12 years of research into work, relationships, home, and family life, Brown dispels the myth that vulnerability is a weakness. She argues that people can find insight, strength, and purpose in difficult emotions.
"Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them."
Collins presents the findings of his team's five-year research project into the strategies that transform organizations from good to great. The result is a management book full of tried-and-tested ideas.
"Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice."
Fifteen years after Getting Things Done made personal and professional organization the hot topic that inspired a culture obsessed with time-management tools and strategies, the message is just as relevant as ever.
"Getting things done requires two basic components: defining (1) what "done" means (outcome) and (2) what "doing" looks like (action)."