19 Top Leadership Reads for 2019

First in a 3-part series with insight from our award-winning executive coaching team. 

Paragon Executive Coaches share their favorite books.

Tell us your most impactful reads.



1. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

In the sixth edition, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner delve into today’s challenges for leaders, demonstrating how to move from being a good leader to a great leader.

2. In Defense of Troublemakers: The Power of Dissent in Life and Business by Charlan Nemeth

Changing the way, you think and act, Charlan Nemeth will showcase that dissention is critical to engage in creative decision-making.

3. Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Analyzing four presidents, which include Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson, Goodwin summarizes their leadership styles and how they became famously regarded leaders of their time.

4. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

We are ruled by our emotional and rational minds fighting for control, and Chip and Dan Heath provide guidance in attempting to unite these minds together for your decision-making and effect transformative change.

5. InsideOut Enneagram: The Game-Changing Guide for Leaders by Wendy Appel

Wendy Appel demystifies the Enneagram, creating fresh content to understand the self-transformation that can be unlocked through this assessment.

6. Next Gen Leadership: Secrets to Success for Future Leaders by Hunter Tiedemann

Millennials will make up a staggering 46% of the workforce by 2020 according to researchers at the University of North Carolina. Next Gen Leadership was written by a millennial for millennials as they prepare to lead the business, government, and military worlds in the coming decades. What does it take to lead people and why are some leaders more effective than others?



7. The Expertise Economy: How the smartest companies use Learning to Engage, Compete, and Succeed by Kelly Palmer and David Blake

Diving into specific companies, Kelly Palmer and David Blake prove that it is vital that companies begin emphasizing learning and expertise in a transitioning workspace.

8. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Promoting the importance of being a non-conformist in the corporate world, Adam Grant analyzes multiple different examples of non-conformity that prove that being original has powerful impacts in the workplace.


9. Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues by Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni focuses on the story of Jeff Shanley attempting to save his uncle’s company by finding the three best virtues of team players.


10. Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord

Turning against traditional HR (annual performance reviews, employee empowerment, etc.), Patty McCord encourages a new path for creating a workplace culture of high performance and profitability.

11. Leading with Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People by Donna Hicks, Ph.D

Due to a lack of knowledge about dignity, Donna Hicks asserts that if companies fail to respect dignity in the workforce, conflict and distrust will begin. Hicks defines practical pathways to creating a culture of dignity.

12. The Positive Organization by Robert E. Quinn

Too many companies waste their employee’s potential, and Robert E. Quinn proves that by defying convention, employees can feel more engaged and fully supported in their work.



13. Becoming by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama’s autobiography that has taken the world by storm. Insightful, powerful, and intimate portrayal of the former First Lady.

14. The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen

Defining an Everyday Genius, Mary-Elaine Jacobsen advises gifted adults from self-sabotage and protecting their capabilities in the workforce and beyond.

15. The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Understanding the mystery of experiences and our capabilities of memory, Chip and Dan Heath explore the reasoning behind brief encounters that can change entire lives.

16. Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke

Annie Duke advocates for letting go of certainty and focusing on the possibilities. This shift in thinking allows for calmer and more perceptive thinking and decision-making in your life.

17. I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver

Dealing with multiple roles and unpredictable moments in her life, Maria Shriver shares quotes, meditations, and prayers that will provide guidance at any point in life.

18. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

Daniel H. Pink shows that timing is really a science, and by pulling sources in psychology, biology, and economics, he proves that you can live a richer, more engaged life with his theory.

19. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

In the last century, famine, plague, and war formerly plagued nations, showing the fragility of humankind against these three tyrants, but recently, we have been able to curb their effects. Viewed as unchallengeable and unstoppable, Harari explains that humankind has been able to make them manageable – but what will take their destructive places?