12 Books all Female Leaders Should Read
April 13, 2018 0

12 Books All Female Leaders Should Read

If you know me, you know that I’m extremely committed to my love affair with podcasts. I follow about 12 podcasts very closely, one of them being “Happier with Gretchen Rubin”. Towards the end of last year Gretchen and her sister and co-host, Liz, introduced the idea of 18 for 18. Essentially, 18 for 18 is a list of 18 items that you want to do or things you want to accomplish in 2018.


One of my 18 is to read one leadership book per month. I created this list of 12 Books All Female Leaders Should Read when I first set my goal and I have been diligently working through each book as the year progresses. So far, I’m keeping pace! I hope that you enjoy these as much as I have so far.


Good Boss, Bad Boss How to Be the Best and Learn From the Worst… by Robert I. Sutton, PhD

This easy read is full of useful tips for a new manager. Sutton spends a lot of time describing to the reader the characteristics of a good boss AND the characteristics of a bad boss. He even spends time counseling those who believe they might be a bad boss and using reformative exercises to show them how to begin being a good boss. Sutton also guides readers through how to show appreciation for good bosses and how to survive a bad boss.


Nice Girls (Still) Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel, Phd

Frankel takes an anecdotal approach to discussing with the reader proof that nice girls don’t get the corner office. Each page and story reflect real-life scenarios women find themselves in at work. From dealing with good ole boy clubs to how to negotiate a pay raise, this book covers all the sticky situations we women find ourselves in at work. While reminding the reader of the all-too-common perceptions of females in many workplaces, Frankel offers sound advice about overcoming road blocks to success.




Radical Candor: Be a Kick Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

Scott does a phenomenal job of weaving in personal anecdotes with head-turning truth bombs. Her point is clear: being a great boss requires becoming someone who is not afraid of hard conversations, and someone who delivers these conversations in a radically candid way. She pulls no punches in convicting the reader of our own fears and bias in the workplace.




Crucial Conversations, Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

The authors of Crucial Conversations give practical advice for leaders about how to go from noticing when things are out of sync to immediately doing something about it. They are very clear that awkward, hard, and down-right bad situations will arise in your life and you will have 3 options: you can avoid them altogether, you can face them and handle them poorly, or you can face them and handle them well. Reading Crucial Conversations and implementing their strategy gets you one step closer to handle these situations well.




The Next Generation of Women Leaders, What You Need to Lead but Won’t Learn in Business School by Selena Rezvani

This book, told from the perspective of thirty high-powered women leaders, tells their stories, their successes and misfires, and how to get ahead in today’s world. Full of real insight for a rising leader, enjoy the candid experience from some of industry’s most high-powered females.




Breaking into the Boys’ Club, 8 Ways for Women to Get Ahead in Business by Molly Shepard, Jane K. Stimmler, and Peter Dean

The authors take a no-holds-barred approach to answer the question, “why aren’t women better represented in the C-suites in America?”. With a heavy mix of strategic steps women should take, case studies, and down-right good advice, the authors provide women with a step-by-step guide that promises to propel our careers forward.





Her Place at the Table: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success by Deborah M. Kolb, Judith Williams, and Carol Frohlinger

Her Place at the Table centers around 5 key actions for leadership success that women should take to secure their place among companies’ executive leaders. Full of actionable advice for individuals, the book also offers a section specifically for business owners or organization leaders that illustrates steps to take to support women leaders in their ranks.




Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business by Pat Heim, Tammy Hughes, and Susan K. Golant

Hardball focuses on women executives who have been passed up for promotions in favor of male co-workers time and again. The authors stress to readers the importance of understanding the competitive culture of men, and therefore the likely culture of the organizations they are working within. The authors promise that by embracing this culture, and focusing on the things that are important to our superiors, we are sure to “win”, which is all that matters after all.



Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

Inspired by a conversation with a Marine Corps General, Sinek takes on the values of servant leadership and why this style increases efficiency, morale, and production in teams. Sinek weaves in tales of well-known business giants and tells their stories with each example compounding on the next to push the reader into understanding: a successful team is built from the bottom up with each team member needing to feel appreciated and cared for by those at the very top. Teams without mutual trust and respect flowing in and out of all layers are sure to fail.





The First-Time Manager by Loren B. Balker, Jim McCormick, and Gary S. Topchik

The First-Time Manager gives quick advice for a novice manager. The authors key in to discuss what makes an effective manager so great, and how to become one as quickly as possible and with few career casualties along the way.



Trust Rules: How the World’s Best Manager Create Great Places to Work by Bob Lee

Lee breaks down best management practices into 16 steps that managers can follow each day. Lee’s book is full of energy and readers cannot help but feel motivated to create a great work environment for their employees after reading this book. Easy to read and easy to implement, Trust Rules hits the mark.



EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey

The king of money management strikes well with this step-by-step guide to take your business where you want it to go. The best thing about Ramey’s book is his commonsense approach to small business ownership and management. In this new age of entrepreneurism, Ramsey urges readers to find their balance of excitement and analytics in their small businesses.


Let me know what you think of this list and if you’ve already read any of my recommended books. You can find me in our free Facebook Group She Leads Inner Circle ! I can’t wait to see you in there!

DeeAnna Heavilin
DeeAnna Heavilin

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