10 leadership must-reads

I had a great meeting tonight with one of the most well-read and engaging Christian leaders I’ve ever known. His favorite books were a constant topic that had me adding to my list of must-reads. And after telling Hoots about the meeting, she asked me to list my top 10 non-Bible must-reads for those who are leading non-profits.books

Here are my 10 in no particular order:

Good to Great, Jim Collins
-Everyone talks about it, but not everyone understands the power of applying these principles.
Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath
-Absolutely must read this if you’re going to do any fundraising copywriting.
Blue Ocean Strategy, Kim and Mauborgne
-Foundational material for the creation of the Oneicity brand
Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield
-Excluding the Gospels, the most powerful story of triumphant leadership
Wizard of Ads, Roy Williams
-Roy Williams taught me how to think like people think.
Reality Check, Guy Kawasaki
-Bite-sized chunks of MBA-level business advice
Purple Cow, Seth Godin
-Only Seth Godin could make a metaphor like this applicable across all industries.
ReImagine, Tom Peters
-Tom Peters “got” design before anyone else did; good design is not an option today, it is an imperative.
The Essential Drucker, Peter Drucker
-Peter Drucker is the man!
1776, David McCullough
-Only because of the power of God and George Washington’s resourceful leadership are we not British subjects. If General Washington can do what he did with so little, I know I can overcome the “British” in my world!

I’m an avid reader and so I welcome your comments and recommendations.


Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity


(photo credits: Lin Pernille ♥ Photography)

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

5 thoughts on “10 leadership must-reads”

  1. I guess I need to upgrade my reading from curious george and dr.suess.. .Steve, thanks for the reading list ! No wonder you are so great at what you do with oneicity.

  2. One of our friends on Twitter has suggested “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage” as a leadership must-read. A brilliant add to this list!

    (And if you’re not following @jbhook2005 you should. She runs an amazing clinic for the uninsured and homeless. And she writes a wonderful blog, too!)

  3. Ok – so now I have 7 more books to read. Another great leadership book on G. Washington is called Angel in our Midst?

    George Washingtonspent most of his time “running away” from the more sophisticated and polished British army. He fought 8 battles lost 5 and won the war. Tactical retreats are standard operating procedure for great generals. SunTzu made it his goal to “win without fighting”

    “When faced with a challenge, effective leaders rarely rush forward with The Answer. Instead they do something quite at odds with the conventional view of leadership. Instead of charging the hill, they often look for ways to beg, borrow and steal a little more time” Leading Quietly

  4. Donna Mansfield

    This comment is in no particular order – just want to say how much I enjoy reading your site and the comments therein. I am learning a lot! A fellow I used to know, named Gary, would have heartily approved of all you are doing! He was a Tom Peters and Peter Drucker fan, and, of course, a little rubbed off on me. The other books look interesting, too.

  5. @Donna: Thanks for your comments. I think I’ve heard about your friend Gary and from what I’ve been told, he was quite a guy. This is high praise indeed–thank you.
    st

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