9 Best Leadership Books For Coaches

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LEADERSHIP COACHING BOOKS

Are you looking to improve your coaching skills on leadership? Or you’re someone who just landed a leadership role? Hold on! You’re just a few seconds away from discovering mind-blowing books for leadership coaches.

Leadership roles aren’t as shiny as they seem from the outside. It’s a whole lot of responsibility on a person, and you’ve to be very careful while handling people. All this requires a lot of knowledge, wisdom, and experience. The job of a leadership coach is also difficult. You will have to demonstrate authority and establish yourself in a capable position of coaching the leader.

It might take years to discover the right method while experiencing so, why not use the experience of the gurus in this field through their worthy books?

To prevent you from getting lost in the pool of books available, we’ve gathered the top leadership books for coaches.

Without any ado, Let’s begin.

1. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

No matter what stage of leadership your clients are in, this book is for you. Take it as a toolbox having all the essentials for becoming a great coach and leader. As the name suggests this book consists of 21 fundamental laws of leadership. This book is New York Times best-seller written by John C. Maxwell, who is a leadership coach himself.

It perfectly teaches the law influence, process, navigation, respect, connection, and many other principles that are relevant to coaches and leaders. The great thing about these laws is that they are not time-bound, and can be perfectly applicable today. The most appealing thing is the practical stories from the personal experiences of the author as well as other famous leaders. The stories involve various walks of life including mainstream politics, business, sports, religion, and the military.

Combining the wisdom and lessons of all those leaders makes it a masterpiece for new upcoming chiefs. All the tried and tested principles are there for you to use and become a great coach and leader.

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2. The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

“The Coaching Habit” is the best-selling coaching book of this century. This book combined with the first book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” is pretty much enough for you to become a great leadership coach.

The Coaching Habit teaches s a simple yet effective way to coach others and get the desired results. The best thing is that this book doesn’t have any complex theories or frameworks. The strategy is as simple as asking questions. Now, this doesn’t mean to keep on asking questions that are irrelevant and useless. Then, what to ask?

That’s where ‘The coaching habits’ book comes in. The book consists of seven core questions to ask and get to the root of the problem. Not only does it give us seven magical questions but also the way and time to ask them.

Besides teaching about questions, the book also helps to fundamentally build good coaching habits. The cherry on top is that its techniques are powerful yet simple and easy to implement for everyone. All in all, it is a practical coaching book and by following it you will get to better understand and support your clients.

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3. Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore

Saying that “Coaching For Performance” is one of the very first leadership coaching books wouldn’t be wrong. In fact, its author, Sir John Whitmore is considered a pioneer in the executive coaching industry.

This isn’t just an ordinary book as it has transformed the whole organization’s culture and relationship. As a result, dynamics between employees and the organization were revolutionized.

The author’s approach to leadership was quite different from the traditional one, however, he has perfectly proved his point. The book explains why coaching is essential in today’s time and how it can make a difference in the team and overall organization performance once key strategies and methods are implemented.

The main purpose here is to enable each employee to be the best version of themselves. For this, leaders have to motivate and encourage workers to learn and improve themselves, eventually, resulting in more productivity, and growth on an individual level as well as in a team. The detailed framework, practical exercises, and real-life examples make this book ideal for coaches and leaders.

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4. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Imposter syndrome, have you heard this term? Most probably yes. Actually, chances are you might have gone through it, or you’re constantly struggling with it. This is a challenge for many people in today’s world, and we’ve got the solution for you which is nothing else but “The Gifts of Imperfection” written by the best-selling author Brene Brown.

The reason why your clients have asked for your coaching assistance is probably that they have something holding them back from achieving success. Often those are limiting beliefs primarily caused by comparing yourself to others. Brene Brown in an incredible way has explained how each individual is different from the other. According to her – everyone has his or her own capabilities and imperfections, and that’s the beauty of it. She has even burst the myth of perfectionism in her book. It’s a trap, don’t fall for it.

The book teaches how to fully accept your flaws by following 10 rules for living what Brené calls “a wholehearted life.” It inspires readers to be authentic, courageous, compassionate, connecting, and these are truly the fundamental qualities of any leader or coach.

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5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

To become an effective leader and coach you need to become an effective person. You have to work on yourself to establish some great habits. While most people have this confusion about where to start, Stephen R. Covey has made the process smoother in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

This book is made by gathering experiences and observing the practice of influential people. The purpose is to find out what those people are doing differently that made them succeed. Some habits were common among them, and those were mentioned in this book.

Here are the habits that, according to Stephen R. Covey, can turn around your whole life:

  • Be proactive
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Put first things first
  • Think win/win
  • Seek to understand first, before making yourself understood
  • Learn to synergize
  • Sharpen the saw

Developing these habits takes time and effort. The more you practice them the more habitual you become. Adopt these habits to improve your overall life and finally become an effective leader.

Ultimately the book teaches how to become more self-aware, productive, imaginative, and independent. It also prompts some very effective and empowering questions that you can take away and use in the coaching sessions.

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6. She Thinks Like a Boss by Jemma Roedel

The writer Jemma Roedel, being passionate about women’s growth, has described wonderfully how women can become effective leaders by growing their skills. She outlines how to make the most of your individual abilities and minimize your limitations as well as discusses what distinguishes successful women in the workplace from unsuccessful ones.

This book covers the basics of management and leadership and everything you need to get started. The focus of the book is working on yourself and developing self-esteem while overcoming your fears and self-doubts.

Once you become self-confident there’s no going back. Nothing can stop you from moving ahead. Once you become an inspiration for your team members, you can easily lead them towards growth and prosperity.

The thing differentiating this book from the rest is that it’s written from an entirely women’s perspective. It gives the reader an understanding of how women lead differently from men, and how they can effectively communicate, negotiate and guide a team. That makes this book exceptionally great for coaches who are working with female leaders.

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7. Start With Why by Simon Sinek


The author Simon Sinek trains organizations and leaders to inspire others. One of the effective ways he described is to inspire people by using your why. The book provides you a framework to build organization and lead movements based on discovering the ‘why’.

This single word in a sentence can change your whole perspective on coaching and leadership and life. This ‘why’ can become a driving force for you and your clients, co-workers, and employees. Knowing the why can make things a lot easier not only for leaders but also for the people who follow them.

Simon Sinek found that the most influential leaders in the world all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way – and that is the opposite of how everyone else behaves. This powerful concept, which Sinek refers to as The Golden Circle, offers a foundation upon which organizations, movements, and individuals may be inspired. And WHY is where it all begins.

As you know, asking questions that start with why is important to identify the real purpose of a client in a coaching session. Besides that, the author also emphasizes the questions of how and what, which help to develop and establish the process.

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8. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

“Extreme Ownership” can be another great addition to your leadership coaching books collection. The two of its authors Jocko Willink and Leif Babin are well known for their accomplishments in both military and business sectors. Their first-hand experiences are summed up in this book.

The book provides great guidelines for people in leadership positions. From building high-performing teams and then leading them to achieve success to becoming fully accountable for your actions, this book shows how these principles can be implemented in modern business.

The book also recognizes the importance of constant self-improvement, so you can become the best version of yourself. It also guides you to interact with others in a better manner in order to achieve the goal of team success.

Lastly, the book emphasizes taking responsibility for your life. Hold yourself accountable for the things happening, so, you have the control to change the situation for the better rather than looking for external help.

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9. How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Having a good connection with your team members, or clients is a must in order to become a great leader or a coach. The book “How To Win Friends & Influence People” written by the well-known author Dale Carnegie reveals the best tactics to build unbreakable connections, which will drive people toward mutual interests. Carnegie shows us that getting along with others is a skill, not a talent and we can get better at it through deliberate practice.

Although the book was written in 1936 its methods are still very relevant today. The author talks about 30 timeless principles divided into four categories – Fundamental Techniques in Handling People, Six Ways to Make People Like You, How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking, and How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Rousing Resentment.

The principles outline negative aspects of criticism and complaining and signify the importance of demonstrating positivity, interest, appreciation, and belief. It also teaches how to become a good listener and make others feel important, and these are the key values of every leader or coach.

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Related: Best Leadership Coaching Questions

Final Words:

Although some of the books listed in this article were written a long time ago, the strategies and methods of great leadership remain the same. Reading these gems will certainly harness your both coaching and leadership abilities as well as curate your personal and professional life in the right direction. After going through at least some of these books, you can feel confident that you have the best leadership knowledge to convey to your clients.