25 of the Best Leadership and Success Books to Read in Your Lifetime, According to Amazon

By Shana Lebowitz

Amazon’s editors selected their 100 favorite books on leadership and success.

We’ve highlighted 25 below, including books by psychologists, economists, and competitive athletes. Each one offers a unique look at what it means to be truly successful and how you can achieve your full potential.

Read on and start stocking your shelves with inspiration.

‘Getting to Yes’ by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton

'Getting to Yes' by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton

Based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, this 1981 best-selling business book — the second edition was released in 1991 — offers strategies for dealing with personal and professional conflicts. Those include separating the people from the problem and focusing on interests, not positions.

Find it here »

‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen

'Getting Things Done' by David Allen

Thirteen years after its first publication, productivity guru Allen released the second edition of “Getting Things Done.”

The book teaches readers the basics of time management at work and at home. The idea is to come up with an organizing system for daily to-dos so you free up mental space for focusing on big-picture goals.

Case in point: the “two-minute rule” to keep an overflowing inbox under control.

Find it here »

‘Getting More’ by Stuart Diamond

'Getting More' by Stuart Diamond

In this best-seller, Diamond turns traditional negotiation strategies on their head, instead suggesting that it’s important to value your partner’s emotions and perceptions.

As Diamond wrote on Business Insider:

The more important the negotiation is, the more emotional people tend to be — whether diplomacy, a billion-dollar deal or my kid wants an ice cream cone. Pay attention to this! The world is not rational.

The book is based on Diamond’s course at Wharton Business School, and Google has even used it in its employee training.

Find it here »

‘Freakonomics’ by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

'Freakonomics' by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Levitt, an economist, and Dubner, a New York Times journalist, make economics accessible by showing how it applies to pretty much every issue, from cheating to parenting.

Soon after publishing the book, the authors started a blog and then a podcast by the same name, both now popular.

Find it here »

‘Flying Without a Net’ by Thomas J. DeLong

'Flying Without a Net' by Thomas J. DeLong

DeLong, a Harvard Business School professor and a former Morgan Stanley executive, wrote this book to help other high-need-for-achievement professionals like him overcome their anxieties and live life to the fullest.

The book helps readers confront their deepest fears and gives them a series of practical tools for dealing with them.

Find it here »

‘Flow’ by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

'Flow' by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Flow,” according to positive psychologist Csikszentmihalyi, is the state of getting so absorbed in your work that it flows effortlessly and you don’t pay attention to things like time passing or hunger. You might call it being “in the zone.”

Your success depends largely on your ability to achieve this state, the author argues.

“It is the full involvement of flow, rather than happiness, that makes for excellence in life,” he wrote on Psychology Today.

Find it here »

‘First, Break all the Rules’ by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

'First, Break all the Rules' by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Facebook’s HR chief, Lori Goler,told Business Insider that this book heavily influenced her management philosophy. After reading it, she worked to turn Facebook into a “strengths-based” organization.

According to the authors, two Gallup analysts, the keys to great management include focusing on strengths and finding the right fit for each employee. That way, people get to develop what they’re already skilled at.

Find it here »

‘Find a Way’ by Diana Nyad

'Find a Way' by Diana Nyad

In 2013, Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, at 64.

In “Find a Way,” she describes the experiences leading up to this achievement — including failing the Cuba Swim 30 years earlier — and explains how she developed the perseverance necessary to become an American hero.

Find it here »

‘Execution’ by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

'Execution' by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

In 1998, Bossidy was named CEO of the year by Chief Executive magazine for his leadership of AlliedSignal.

In 2002, he partnered with business consultant Ram Charan to write a book about his own experience leading a company to greatness, mainly by hiring the right people.

“If you want to be a CEO — or if you are a CEO and want to keep your job — read ‘Execution’ and put its principles to work,” said Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer Corp.

Find it here »

‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown

'Essentialism' by Greg McKeown

“Essentialism,” according to McKeown, is about doing fewer things better. The book helps readers figure out which personal and professional pursuits are worth their time and eliminate the rest.

The book isn’t just geared toward business leaders, either. As McKeown told NPR, it’s “for people who feel that they don’t have the power to push back and so they’ve given up the right to negotiate non-essentials. And as soon as you give up that right then you lose a lot of power.”

Find it here »

‘Emotional Intelligence’ by Daniel Goleman

'Emotional Intelligence' by Daniel Goleman

In this now classic book, Goleman, a psychologist, suggests that IQ isn’t all that matters for success. In fact, it might not matter nearly as much as your ability to manage your own and other people’s emotions.

Fortunately, this trait can be learned, and Goleman outlines the five core components of emotional intelligence so that readers can start developing it.

Find it here »

‘Elon Musk’ by Ashlee Vance

'Elon Musk' by Ashlee Vance

This biography of one of the greatest tech entrepreneurs of our time outlines Musk’s rise to success.

Readers gain insight into Musk’s personality, his leadership style, and the big ideas that have always inspired him.

Find it here »

‘Eat That Frog!’ by Brian Tracy

'Eat That Frog!' by Brian Tracy

The title of this book comes from Mark Twain’s classic quotation: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” In other words, do your hardest task first, when you have sufficient energy and attention, instead of wasting time on easier stuff.

That’s just one of 21 practical strategies for overcoming procrastination that Tracy offers, from writing everything down on paper to obeying the law of “forced efficiency.”

Find it here »

‘Drive’ by Daniel H. Pink

'Drive' by Daniel H. Pink

Pink is the author of a number of popular business books, and in this 2009 best-seller, he takes issue with the idea that you can motivate people with incentives alone.

Instead, Pink proposes that everyone needs to achieve a sense of autonomy, mastery, and purpose before they can do great work.

Find it here »

‘Do Over’ by Jon Acuff

'Do Over' by Jon Acuff

Acuff wants to help prepare readers for an unexpected turn in their careers — whether that means losing a job or being presented with a great new opportunity.

Drawing on his own 16 years of experience in corporate America, he advocates for creating what he calls a “career savings account.” That’s where you stash all the skills and experiences you’ve accumulated in the categories of relationships, skills, character, and “hustle.”

Find it here »

‘Crush It!’ by Gary Vaynerchuk

'Crush It!' by Gary Vaynerchuk

Vaynerchuk, an entrepreneur and a tech investor, writes that there’s no better time to pursue your passion and start your business than right now.

By working hard and learning all you can, you can use the digital tools available to you to build a hugely successful brand.

Find it here »

‘Choose Yourself’ by James Altucher

'Choose Yourself' by James Altucher

It’s a new world, Altucher says, and traditional routes to success won’t work.

“The only way we can thrive as entrepreneurs, artists, innovators, or whatever we want to do to live successful lives is to choose ourselves for that success,” Altucher told Business Insider in 2013. “No longer can we rely on the old paradigms (‘school’, ‘corporations’, ‘government,’ etc.) to provide the safety and success we deserve.”

Altucher shares his own entrepreneurial journey and those of others as inspiration to forge your personal path to success.

Find it here »

‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Amy Newmark

'Chicken Soup for the Soul' by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Amy Newmark

In 2013, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” celebrated its 20th anniversary of warming people’s hearts with 20 additional inspirational stories.

Readers learn about love, parenting, and pursuing their dreams from real people who have lived through the same struggles they have.

Find it here »

‘Change Your Brain, Change Your Life’ by Daniel G. Amen

'Change Your Brain, Change Your Life' by Daniel G. Amen

Neuropsychiatrist Daniel Amen offers simple “brain prescriptions” for overcoming a number of psychological and emotional hurdles, including anxiety and anger. There are writing exercises, breathing exercises, and even brain-friendly dietary guidelines.

These solutions are juxtaposed with Ames’ discussion of fascinating research findings on the connection between your brain, feelings, and behavior.

Find it here »

‘Business Adventures’ by John Brooks

'Business Adventures' by John Brooks

This 1969 collection of articles by New Yorker writer John Brooks is one of Bill Gates’ favorite books, originally recommended by Warren Buffett.

Gates writes:

Brooks’s work is a great reminder that the rules for running a strong business and creating value haven’t changed. For one thing, there’s an essential human factor in every business endeavor. It doesn’t matter if you have a perfect product, production plan and marketing pitch; you’ll still need the right people to lead and implement those plans.

Business Insider rounded up seven lessons from the book, including the importance of corporate culture and learning from failure.

Find it here »

‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert

'Big Magic' by Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert, author of the best-selling book “Eat, Pray, Love,” wants to help readers overcome their fears and channel their creative potential, just like she did.

Each of the book’s six sections — on courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust, and divinity — includes tips and strategies for finding inspiration and cultivating curiosity in your daily life.

Find it here »

‘Awaken the Giant Within’ by Tony Robbins

'Awaken the Giant Within' by Tony Robbins

This 1992 best-seller by one of the world’s most well-known motivational speakers offers practical strategies for finding and pursuing your passions.

As one reader on Goodreads put it: “This book will make you rich, but rich in mind, body, [and] spirit, and material wealth will follow if that is your desire.”

Find it here »

‘Andrew Carnegie’ by David Nasaw

'Andrew Carnegie' by David Nasaw

Nasaw’s rags-to-riches tale outlines how a poor Scottish immigrant became the wealthiest man in the US after helping to build the steel industry. What’s more, readers will learn why Carnegie ultimately decided to give away his entire fortune.

We also think it’s one of the best biographies to read if you want to get rich.

Find it here »

‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle

'A New Earth' by Eckhart Tolle

Like “The Power of Now,” also by Tolle, “A New Earth” encourages readers to live in the present if they want to find true happiness. He outlines steps to transcending our ego-based state of consciousness and reaching a more enlightened state.

The book was selected as Oprah’s Book Club pick in 2009.

Find it here »

‘#Girlboss’ by Sophia Amoruso

'#Girlboss' by Sophia Amoruso

In “#Girlboss,” the founder of retailer Nasty Gal, shares stories from her wayward youth, including stealing and dumpster-diving, and how it paved the way for her tremendous success.

The book is full of practical life and career advice that will inspire you to follow your passion and forge your own path. The bottom line? It won’t be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

Find it here »

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More from Thrive Global:

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Originally published on Business Insider. 


Add a Comment
  1. Thanks for sharing

  2. Tnks for sharing

  3. Nice works they are esucative

  4. I think i will go and get one for myself

  5. Thanks for sharing

  6. I will try some of those books

  7. “Change your brain, change your life “amazing! inspiring! thank you for this piece.

  8. First,break the rules…very interesting

  9. Thanks so much for the inspiring article.

  10. Thanks is awesome

  11. Thanks for this lovely aricle

  12. That’s true because I’ve Read one of the book’s business adventures.

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