Essential Leadership Books

The following list of notable leadership books has been curated by Jeff Thoren, DVM, PCC, BCC. Books designated with an (*) compliment the AdvanceVET learning agenda and are most highly recommended.

All AdvanceVET participants will receive a complimentary copy of …

Each AdvanceVET participant is also invited to select an additional book from the list below or one of their own choosing to support them on their leadership development journey.

  • A Whole New Mind – From the Information Age to the Conceptual Age
    By Daniel H. Pink
  • Authentic Conversations – Moving from Manipulation to Truth and Commitment
    By Jamie Showkeir & Maren Showkeir
  • *Brave New Work – Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization?
    By Aaron Dignan
  • Building Conflict-Competent Teams
    By Craig E. Runde & Tim A. Flanagan
  • Community – The Structure of Belonging
    By Peter Block
  • *Dare to Lead – Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
    By Brene Brown
  • *Do Improvise – Less Push. More Pause. Better Results. A New Approach to Work (and Life)
    By Robert Poynton
  • *Extraordinary Groups – How Ordinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results
    By Geoff Bellman & Kathleen Ryan
  • Fierce Conversations – Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time
    By Susan Scott
  • Going Horizontal – Creating Non-Hierarchical Organizations One Practice at a Time
    By Samantha Slade
  • *Humanocracy – Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them
    By Gary Hamel & Michele Zanini
  • Humble Leadership – The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust
    By Edgar H. Schein & Peter A. Schein
  • *Leading with Dignity – How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People
    By Donna Hicks
  • Leading with Questions – How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask
    By Michael J. Marquardt
  • Mindset – The New Psychology of Success. How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential.
    By Carol S. Dweck
  • Nonviolent Communication – A Language of Life. Life-changing Tools for Healthy Relationships.
    By Marshall B. Rosenburg
  • Positivity – How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive
    By Barbara L. Fredrickson
  • Presence-Based Leadership – Complexity Practices for Clarity, Resilience, and Results That Matter
    By Doug Silsbee
  • Reinventing Organizations – A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness
    By Frederic Laloux
  • Reinventing Organizations – An Illustrated Invitation to Join the Conversation on Next-Stage Organizations
    By Frederic Laloux
  • *Search Inside Yourself – The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)
    By Chade-Meng Tan
  • The Art of Possibility – Transforming Professional and Personal Life
    By Rosamund Stone Zander & Ben Zander
  • *The Coaching Habit – Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
    By Michael Bungay Stanier
  • The Truth About Leadership – The No-Fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know
    By James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner
  • Turn the Ship Around! – A Story about Turning Followers into Leaders
    By L. David Marquet
  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – How Successful People Become Even More Successful
    By Marshall Goldsmith
  • Who Do We Choose to Be? – Facing Reality. Claiming Leadership. Restoring Sanity.
    By Margaret J. Wheatley


  1. I want ALL the books! I greatly appreciate you providing a fantastic resource for leadership books. I feel that the more access to these types of tools/resources will ensure our growth as leaders and help us create a positive future in this industry. Thanks @jeff_thoren If there was one book from this list that you would want everyone to read, which would it be?

    1. That’s a tough question @mlbrwn656! if I had to pick one, I might go with “Search Inside Yourself.” Since effectively influencing others involves first having a strong sense of self-awareness and well developed emotional intelligence, this book would be a great foundation to build on. If I get to pick two, I’d add “Brave New Work” which paints a picture for how our workplaces need to change to be more relevant and humane.

  2. The Art of Possibility really spoke to me. I listened to it as an audiobook and it was read by the authors. Confession time: I have a mental block reading non-fiction! Perhaps it is years of ‘having to read’ for classes. But I digress. The stories told by the authors were engaging and brought home their lessons in a positive manner that brightened my outlook on non-fiction reading and leadership. “What if” was added to my vernacular and way of looking at life.

    1. It’s a great book @shopper8707! Ben and Roz were also featured in a corporate video, Leadership: An Art of Possibility, which you would also likely enjoy. If there is an in-person meeting for AdvanceVET it might be fun to watch the video together as a group.

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