A person's hands are visible as they hold a book open while many others lay around their feet, on the floor.

A Collection of Timeless Books that Will Help You Advance Your Career

Developing leadership skills can be a complex challenge, requiring just as much introspection as an understanding of the business environment. But, when it comes to advancing your career – leadership is essential.

As the CEO of Voices.com, David Ciccarelli knows all about the value of continuing education.

In an article by Entrepreneur.com, he shares, “Ensuring a baseline knowledge of business basics should be a top priority of every leader. Often, the business knowledge that has proven successful over and over again is attributed to the acquisition of an MBA. This credential is sometimes placed on a pedestal, and can be just out of reach for entrepreneurs who are strapped for time and resources as they busily build up their companies.”

So to continue to develop skills while building his business, David became an avid reader. Here are his 11 ‘best reads’ for leadership development.

* = David Ciccarelli Top Pick

1. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

By Simon Sinek *

Book cover for Start with Why

Retailer’s Description

Start with Why shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with ‘why.’

2. 60-Minute CEO: Mastering Leadership an Hour at a Time

By Dick Cross

Book cover for the 60-Minute CEO

Retailer’s Description

Looking toward the C-suite? Take heed. Author and serial CEO Dick Cross pulls back the curtain on this top leadership role, explaining in his new book that being a successful leader, running a business, and doing it extraordinarily well isn’t a full-time job.

3. The Magic of Thinking Big

By David Schwartz *

Book cover for the magic of thinking big

Retailer’s Description: The Magic of Thinking Big gives you useful methods, not empty promises. Dr. Schwartz presents a carefully designed program for getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life, and your community. He proves that you don’t need to be an intellectual or have innate talent to attain great success and satisfaction—but you do need to learn and understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there.

4. Think and Grow Rich: The Power of Attention

By Napoleon Hill

Book cover for think and grow rich

Retailer’s Description

Think and Grow Rich is a 1937 personal development and self-help book by Napoleon Hill. The book was inspired by a suggestion from Scottish-American business magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. While its title implies that the book deals with how to attain monetary wealth, the author explains that the philosophy taught in the book can be used to help people succeed in all lines of work and to do or be almost anything they want.

5. Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

By Daniel Goleman

Book cover for Focus: The hidden driver of excellence

Retailer’s Description

Attention works much like a muscle: use it poorly and it can wither, work it well and it grows. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to contend with, let alone thrive in, a complex world.

6. Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success

By Sylvia Ann Hewlett

Book cover for Executive Presence

Retailer’s Description

Are you “leadership material?” More importantly, do others perceive you to be? Sylvia Ann Hewlett, a noted expert on workplace power and influence, shows you how to identify and embody the Executive Presence (EP) that you need to succeed.

7. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

By Seth Godin*

Book cover for Tribes Why We Need You to Lead Us

Retailer’s Description

Since it was first published almost a decade ago, Seth Godin’s visionary book has helped tens of thousands of leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers around an idea, this book will demystify the process.

8. Power: Why Some People Have it and Others Don’t

By Jeffrey Pfeffer

Book cover for Power Why Some People Have it

Retailer’s Description

One of the greatest minds in management theory and author or co-author of thirteen books, including the seminal business school text Managing With Power, Pfeffer shows readers how to succeed and wield power in the real world.

9. Smarter Faster Better

By Charles Duhigg

Book cover for Smarter Faster Better

Retailer’s Description

Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters—this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently. They view the world, and their choices, in profoundly different ways.

10. 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential

By John C. Maxwell

Book cover for 5 Leadership Levels

Retailer’s Description

#1 New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell explains how true leadership works and makes it accessible to everyone. Leadership does not come from your title. In fact, being named to a position is only the first and lowest of the five levels every effective leader achieves. To become more than a boss people are required to follow, you must master the ability to inspire and build a team that produces not only results, but also future leaders.

11. 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

By John C. Maxwell

Book Cover for the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Retailer’s Description

Internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author John C. Maxwell has taken this million-seller and made it even better:

  • Every Law of Leadership has been sharpened and updated
  • Seventeen new leadership stories are included
  • Two new Laws of Leadership are introduced
  • New evaluation tool will reveal your leadership strengths―and weaknesses
  • New application exercises in every chapter will help you grow


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