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top books for successful leadership

Looking for a new read in 2021? We’ve compiled a list of five highly-rated books you can dive right into – and come out a leader!


The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

A follow-up to The One Minute Manager, this book published in 2015 touches on three ways to strengthen your leadership and management skills. It provides the “WHY” to one-minute goals, one-minute praisings, and one-minute re-directs as effective management tools to improve your team’s performance.

What kind of manager would you say you are? This book will help you open your eyes to the type of manager you should be.

Preview the book here.


The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

Our team at ROLINC has adopted many principles from this New York Times bestseller. As this book suggests, identifying three main skills amongst your team creates a cohesive culture with singular motivation and mindset. ROLINC bases its culture on P.I.E. – passion, integrity, and empathy.

It’s been viewed as a step-by-step guidebook to creating happy, focused teams wanting to succeed, together.

                  “While successful culture can look and feel like magic, the truth is that it’s not. Culture is a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal. It’s not something you are. It’s something you do.”

View purchasing options on Amazon.


The Vision-Driven Leader: 10 Questions to Focus Your Efforts, Organize Your Team, and Scale Your Business by Michael Hyatt

Are you a manager, or are you a LEADER? How does having a vision make you a better leader? Not in the short-term, but in the ideally long life of your company.

Without listing out the 10 questions offered in this amazing read that uses real-life organizations that either failed or rose to the top, the ultimate answer is….you have to put the work in. Believe in your vision and work toward it by answering what your vision is in all areas; then put in the hours to make it happen.

Preview The Vision Driven Leader here.


Extreme Ownership: How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Even if you are not the financial owner of an organization, as a leader, you must take ownership of yourself and your team. Your personal ownership of your team is the key to winning over losing, succeeding over failing.

Two US Navy SEALs recount a thrilling, gripping, and sometimes tragic narrative of their time leading a task unit during an extremely challenging mission. The authors came out knowing that their leadership is ultimately what would drive the success of their mission – and that their principles can be used by leaders in all industries.

Check out this #1 New York Times bestseller here.


The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

This sequel to Extreme Ownership finds the authoring duo looking at the true yin and yang of leadership. There are often fine nuances to being an accurate leader – and sometimes it’s about being a follower. Sometimes it’s about stepping away and letting your team run on its own, while other scenarios require what some would call “micro-managing”.

How do we know what to do in each situation? Through their experiences as US Navy SEALs in training and combat, Willink and Babin take their experiences to aspects of everyday leadership and how to be who your team needs you to be.

                  “[E]very leader must:
  • Take Extreme Ownership of everything that impacts their mission, yet utilize Decentralize Command by giving ownership to their team.
  • Care deeply about their people and their individual success and livelihoods, yet look out for the good of the overall team and above all accomplish the strategic mission.
  • Exhibit the most important quality in a leader―humility, but also be willing to speak up and push back against questionable decisions that could hurt the team and the mission.”

Get a glimpse of this read here.


If you want to make 2021 YOUR year as a leader, it’s up to you to make it happen. These books will get you in the right mindset and give you tools for a successful career, now and in 20 years from now.


Looking for staffing tips as a hiring manager? Reach out to one of our ROLINC Staffing branches to speak with our knowledgeable team on how to bring the team you want to lead to the next level with the right hire.



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