10 Titles for Every Community Leader’s Reading List

by Patricia Hill

Do you ever feel like you are being watched? If you’re in a leadership role—be it in industry, as an entrepreneur, or in a community organization—the reality is that you are. Those around you look to you for guidance, inspiration, ideas and energy. To make the best possible impact, both in your personal and professional life, tap into the following titles:


Enhance Your Engagement

They say it’s lonely at the top, but good leadership stems from great interpersonal relationships. To hone your one-on-one interactions, check into these reads:

1. The Friendship Formula: How to Say Goodbye to Loneliness and Discover Deeper Connection by Kyler Shumway

When they say it’s lonely at the top, this often proves to be true for anyone in a leadership role. However, this book will help you develop deeper, more satisfying and more meaningful relationships.

2. Winning Words, Winning Life: Fast Track to Life Success by Victoria Draper

Words have a surprising influence on how we think and feel—and in how we make others think and feel. Draper looks into how powerful words can be in this inspiring book that Forbes says might have you reframe how you describe things, both in your mind and verbally.

3. The Mindfulness Toolbox for Relationships: 50 Practical Tips, Tools & Handouts for Building Compassionate Connections by Donald Altman

Forming connections comes down to meeting people where they are and understanding their point of view—which can be very challenging when they are coming from different perspectives. However, this book can help you do just that.

4. A Tribe Called Bliss: Break Through Superficial Friendships, Create Real Connections, Reach Your Highest Potential by Lori Harder

This one is geared toward women, but anyone who wants deeper, more meaningful relationships can benefit from this worthwhile read. REQUEST IT FROM THE LIBRARY



Lift Up Your Leadership

Whether you’ve recently entered into a leadership role or have lifelong leadership experience, anyone can benefit from working on their leadership skills.

5. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

One of the many titles by Brené Brown who writes insightful and transparent books about leadership in all realms of life, and as life coach Morag Barrett explains, you can’t go wrong with any of her titles. REQUEST IT FROM THE LIBRARY

6. Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam

More free time and less time working can equate to better productivity, yet it’s a struggle most leaders come up against often enough. To garner better control of your boundaries, read this one. REQUEST IT FROM THE LIBRARY

7. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

This book is a classic every leader should read. From how to model behavior to how to initiate change, this one has been around and will be around, thanks to its timeless content. REQUEST IT FROM THE LIBRARY



Spark Change and Innovation

What is leadership without the ability to spark change? Whether in individuals, your organization, or the broader community, these books will have you shaking things up for the better.

8. Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed by Frances Westley

Innovative thinking is the key to change, and Westley’s read can help you unlock your own tools for innovation. REQUEST IT FROM THE LIBRARY

9. Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World by Geoff Mulgan

Big Mind details how different forms of intelligence—minds and digital minds—can come together to innovate change. REQUEST IT FROM THE LIBRARY


10. Be Bold: Create a Career with Impact by Cheryl L. Dorsey

Written with younger leaders in mind, this book aims to inspire and equip the next generation for shaping positive change.

Those in positions of leadership have a responsibility to themselves and to their followers to foster their abilities. Doing so can deepen relationships, broaden skills, spark change and lead to a more fulfilling life. To make the most of your leadership role, pick up a few of these important titles.


Patricia Hill knew she wanted to be a teacher from the time she was in elementary school. Along with a few of her colleagues, she created EducatorTools.info to offer helpful resources and inspiration to both established and aspiring educators.

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