11 Books on Thought Leadership that will Change your World

There are more than one million people who have come across the words “thought leader” somewhere in their LinkedIn profile. Thought leadership is talked about incessantly, but rarely defined clearly. Do thought leaders need to be controversial, famous, or experts in their fields?

Are thought leaders simply those million people on LinkedIn? Are they compelling geniuses like Albert Einstein or unconventional business leaders like Elon Musk? Are your college professors thought leaders as well?

Maybe a though leader comprises a bit of all the above. However, expertise in a specific subject area is the most significant hallmark of a thought leader. More important than any particular person’s popularity is the quality of their engagement. So, you don’t necessarily need to be a well- known influencer to be a thought leader, but you do need to be able to provoke a conversation. And what better way to do that than be well-read? The following are our top favorite books on thought leadership that will enable you to hone your perspective and take the lead!

1. RARE LEADERSHIP: 4 UNCOMMON HABITS FOR INCREASING TRUST, JOY, AND ENGAGEMENT IN THE PEOPLE YOU LEAD 

Author E. James Wilder argues in this book that emotional and mental maturity is at the forefront when considering healthy thought leaders. By incorporating cutting-edge brain science, robust theology, and decades of experience consulting and counseling, the author helps readers grasp what cultivating emotional maturity really means, both in yourself and those around you, as well as how to promote a robust group identity, and how to keep relationships bigger than the problems they face while increasing productivity, employing joy, engagement, and mutual trust.

Wilder draws from his learning experiences in the plethora of countries he taught in, and his academic expertise, having a Ph.D. in psychology and M.A. in theology. This book is highly recommended if you want to live life fully instead of merely surviving.

2. SELF-LEADERSHIP

This book is all about leading yourself to success and ensuring other people Self-Leadershipfollow suit. It is authored by the international thought leader, Andrew Bryant, who specializes in self-leadership as the most influential tool in developing leaders. He takes a particular interest in Asia. It is also co-authored by Ana Kazan, who is a researcher and a university professor in Brazil.  She incorporates tips from organizational psychology and leadership. The essence of the book is that leading one’s self is the path one should take if one wants to become a responsible leader, one who is more confident, engaged, and productive in life.

3. BEING SEEN AND BEING HEARD AS A THOUGHT LEADER

This book addresses the most dramatic human transformation that the earth has ever experienced, which is the transition from an industrial to a social age. Technology is becoming more advanced by the day, and even replacing human errors in some cases. This shift is such that it can either get you out of business or boost you and your business in such a way that you can become a recognized and successful thought leader. With so many voices available online, how will you set yourself apart and help people with their pressure points? How will you get them to hear and trust you? Read this book to know more about these secrets.

4. HARDER THAN I THOUGHT: ADVENTURES OF A TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY LEADER

Using a fictional narrative that highlights the increasingly complex job of a chief executive in authentic circumstances, this book serves as a practical guide by allowing you a first-hand sneak-peek into Jim Barton’s story. The character may be fictitious, but this book will walk you through the very real challenges you will face if you want to become a top executive in today’s world. It is a must-read if you want to turn fiction into reality and overcome challenges readily.

5. GROWING KINGDOM WISDOM

Author Tom Yeakley is a Staff Equipper with the Navigators, working towards building emerging leaders and assisting them to thrive in leadership and life. The book centers around how wisdom becomes even more critical with the number of responsibilities you take on. And yet, wisdom appears ever more elusive in a world where short-term successes form values. Kingdom wisdom–the type of wisdom pursued and admired by Solomon and other wise leaders in the Scriptures–is mapped out in this book to set you on a course for real impact in your leadership, the kind of impact that will show in the lives of those you mentor and lead.

6. READY TO BE A THOUGHT LEADER?

The author Denise Brosseau is the founder and CEO of Thought Leadership Lab, where she works with entrepreneurs and executives who wish to build their credibility, visibility, and thought leadership to augment their professional success. Her clients comprise of leaders from Genentech, Apple, and Morgan Stanley, as well as startup CEOs, partners in professional service firms, and nonprofit executives. This book is the “how-to guide” to becoming a go-to expert. The author shows readers how to develop and use the gift of materializing innovative thoughts as she maps the path from a successful executive, professional, or civic leader to a respected thought leader.

Using the author’s proven seven-step process―and starting from anywhere they are in their careers―readers can set a course for the most significant impact in their field. These guidelines, along with stories, tips, and success secrets from those who have successfully made the transition to high-profile thought leaders, allow readers to develop and maintain a long-term plan and start putting it into action today, even if they only have fifteen minutes to spare.

7. THE THOUGHT LEADER FORMULA

Do you want to expand your career and take your business to the next level? You’re not sure exactly where to start, but you wish to be recognized. You might have superb ideas, but you weren’t born with knowledge regarding how to sell them. Well, no one is; it takes a lot of study, practice, and years of effort. Luckily for you, the author has combined these aspects in her book. The truth is, there’s no difference between branding a company and branding a person. It takes a shift in mindset: you are the company. Robin Farmanfarmaian takes you from zero to blastoff. Take a deep dive through the mechanics of thought leadership; learn the foundations that will create an impact; read about how Robin transformed herself into a brand, and then establish your why—your fundamental truth—to build your launching pad for success.

The author is a speaker and entrepreneur as well, who believes that technology can empower patients and make a positive impact on the health and medical field. This position drives her to provide education and resources to leaders, entrepreneurs, physicians, healthcare professionals, and innovators to impact medicine and healthcare positively.

8. YOU THOUGHT ALL LEADERS WERE THE SAME...UNTIL THIS HAPPENED

Have you ever deliberated why some leaders are more successful than others? Have you ever thought to yourself, “How did that guy get promoted?” Then you are not alone. Even though there are many books about leadership, very few make the topic accessible to everyone. This book does just that, and you become the expert. You will gain insight from research-based principles as well as the instincts of young and seasoned leaders alike. At every turn, you’ll be able to visualize yourself in these stories, perhaps as the leader and the follower. What adventure will you choose?

The author Dr. Bob Habib is a higher education professional serving as an administrator, instructional designer, and professor. After serving over twenty-one years in the U.S. Army, he took his leadership experiences to the classroom as a teacher and has continued developing leaders at all levels in virtually every industry.

9. TRAILBLAZERS: LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM 12 THOUGHT LEADERS

This book reveals how leaders develop and move markets when others say it’s unmanageable. Readers discover what twelve very dissimilar, yet highly successful, leaders did to attain massive global success despite encountering countless hindrances, adversity, and critics during their journeys. Based on in-depth, recorded interviews, their stories are not only inspiring but also focus on how they pushed onward when it seemed like quitting was the only option left. Leaders will learn from the valuable tips and wisdom shared in this book—including the seven key characteristics all super successful and innovative leaders possess—and use them to blaze their successful trail in both business and life immediately. The author Tony Rubleski has authored the bestselling Mind Capture book series. He is also a highly sought-after keynote speaker, strategic business coach, and a global event promoter.

10. IT’S THE MANAGER

While the world’s workplace has been going through an extraordinary and historical change, the practice of management has been stuck in time for more than thirty years. The new workforce, in particular the younger generations, wants their work to have a profound mission and purpose, and they don’t wish to be old-style command-and-control bosses. They want coaches who will inspire them, communicate with them frequently, and improve their strengths.

Who is the most imperative person in your organization to lead your teams through these changes? Decades of global Gallup research reveal that it is your managers. They are responsible for making or breaking your organization’s success. When you have great managers, they can maximize the potential of every team member, and you will see organic revenue and profit growth. It is important to note that you will also give every one of your employees what they most want today: a great job and a great life. This is the future of work.

The book includes exclusive content from Gallup Access, Gallup’s new workplace platform, and tools, and solutions for businesses. Your book also comes with a code for the CliftonStrengths assessment, which reveals your top five strengths. The author Jim Clifton is the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, while Jim Harter, the co-author, is a Chief Scientist for Gallup, one who has led more than a thousand studies of workplace effectiveness.

11. THE POWER OF THOUGHTFUL LEADERSHIP: 101 MINUTES

As leaders-leaders of organizations, business units, teams, and families, we are all being called upon to do more, with less, and quicker. We are often overwhelmed, continually running on a leadership treadmill to stay in place and keep pace with today’s demands.

This book is the answer to this frenzy. It is a chance to invest the time to think through how you’re leading and what you’re doing before you do it, to be more productive. It provides the readers a chance to sit still, be present, reflect, think beyond their own needs and wants, focus on the big picture, and get out of the weeds. Moreover, it allows them to look in the hard places, quiet the voices in their head, follow their gut and intuition, and lead as their best selves in order to achieve the most excellent results.

Lisa Kohn is an accomplished leadership consultant, executive coach, author, and keynote speaker with a strong business background and a creative approach, while Robyn McLeod is an innovative and seasoned consulting and coaching professional specializing in leadership and organizational development, and strategic thinking.

Whatever thought leadership is to you, it unquestionably plays a role in most organizations’ marketing stratagems. The more weight you can provide your thoughts with actionable advice and data, the more inclined people will be to follow your lead. And the  more attuned you are to your thoughts, the better your chances of succeeding, whether at work, or a new venture you want to start. Make sure to grab these books to grasp as much information about thought leadership as you can. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michael Stickler is a highly gifted author, philanthropist, horseman and internationally sought-after conference speaker. His all-time bestselling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the Principal of Leadership Books and writes for many international publications.
His 2017 Best Selling book release, Cliven Bundy American Patriot, reveals the truth of what is known as the “Bunkerville Stand Off.”
And, now his 2019 book Life Without Reservation, is charging up the best sellers list!
For the first in his long career he is working on his first fiction book Ghost Patriot to be released in 2021.

You may also contact Mike at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements. 

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