There isn’t one approach to leadership that works for everyone. Instead of trying to emulate successful leaders in their entirety, it’s better to learn from them and adapt their principles and systems to one’s own temperament. Finding what works for you is a balancing act of education, observation and introspection. Fortunately, there are numerous books available written by leaders eager to reflect on their careers and share their insights.

In the final installment of our series on recommended reads, we asked EXIT Realty Broker/Owners and CEO to suggest their top picks for business books and here, we focus on their recommendations addressing leadership.

  1. “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell (CEO, Tami Bonnell’s pick): The perennial New York Times® Best Seller with over one million copies sold worldwide, this book is referred to by many as the 21 commandments of leadership. Maxwell extracts the defining principles from his decades of experience and reinforces them using historical allegories. With experience in multiple industries and revisions to keep his principles relevant in a rapidly changing world, this book provides a timeless foundation in leadership.
  1. “EntreLeadership” by Dave Ramsey: Ramsey is the author of three New York® Times Best Sellers and host of a nationally syndicated radio show on business and finance, “The Dave Ramsey Show”, to more than 4.5 million listeners. His most recent book, EntreLeadership, tells the 20-year story of how he built his company from the ground up to being named one of the Best Places to Work in Nashville seven times. This book contains step-by-step instructions on everything required as a business leader based on the lessons Ramsey learned from running his own business.
  1. “The Truth about Leadership” by James Kouzes & Barry Posner: With a subtitle reading “The No-Fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts you Need to Know”, this book cuts through the noise to deliver universal truths about what it takes to lead others. Using research and case studies gathered over thirty years, Kouzes & Posner organize the strategies and characteristics of effective leaders in 10 defining principles. The authors are frank that these ideas may not be cutting edge, but they are demonstrably dependable. EXIT Realty’s Director of Leadership, Bob McKinnon, says, “If you read only one book on leadership (and I recommend each of you own this book), it should be this.”
  1. “The 5 Levels of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell: Surprised to see another Maxwell book on the list? Don’t be. John Maxwell is a renowned figure on leadership; he was named the world’s most influential leadership expert by Business Insider and Inc. magazines. This book aims to increase your influence as a leader by helping you inspire others. Each “level of leadership” is defined by the primary motivator guiding your followers. At level 1 people follow leaders out of obligation, but by level 5 it’s out of admiration for what the leader represents. Through this book, Maxwell’s goal is to demonstrate how to surpass each level in becoming a leader worth following.
  1. “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio: Founder of one of the world’s largest hedge funds, Bridgewater Associates, Dalio is among Bloomberg’s 100 Wealthiest People as of 2018. His book is a New York Times® Best Seller, beginning with the story of how he formed his company and transitioning into the practices and principles he leveraged to succeed. Dalio addresses topics such as influential leadership, decision making, and building company culture and effective teams. The book mirrors Dalio’s nature in that it’s meticulously structured and systems-oriented.

This is the fourth installment of EXIT’s “Recommended Reads”, which brings you book recommendations from EXIT’s leaders to help you achieve success. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the previous installments on self-development, entrepreneurship, and salesmanship.



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