Books / Leadership / Recommendations / Reviews / March 4, 2014

The Leadership Book You Should Read First

Leadership, entrepreneurship, business, and productivity are hot topics. Books covering these topics are written, published, and purchased as fast as the industry can handle. All this adds up to a plethora of great ideas being shared and re-shared. Unfortunately this flood has a sad side-effect. The best book on these subjects has been relegated to back-of-mind status.

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker is the leadership book off of which most of these others are based, whether or not they know it. Unlike many of the pep-talky, inspirational books that make you want to go all Matt Foley on the world, Drucker offers a no frills and eminently practical work on how to be genuinely great as a leader. He writes from an explicitly business perspective, but the vast majority of the book would apply directly to ministry too.

the-effective-executive-by-peter-druckerThe most remarkable thing about Drucker’s classic book is how many of his ideas can be seen as tweaked, re-worded, and watered down concepts in current business and leadership publications. Like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleThe Effective Executive has its fingerprints all over today’s best known leadership publications. I suspect many of today’s authors don’t even know of Drucker by name, but his impact is there. And Drucker’s book is better than any I’ve read in recent years.

The Effective Executive is the single best leadership book I’ve seen. For those who are overwhelmed by the number of choices and recommendations, just go with this one. Read it then read it again. Read it annually and put into practice what you find in it’s pages. You and your organization will be better for it and you will get most of the important bits from all those other leadership and business books.


Mar 04, 2014


I am curious if you have heard of Matt Perman’s What’s Best Next that dropped today? It might be ironic that you posted this the day his book dropped!


    Mar 04, 2014


    I’m excited about Matt’s book! And I’m guessing he would agree about Drucker.

      Mar 04, 2014

      I guess I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for the recommendation!

        Mar 05, 2014

        I can”t think of a better person to write the book Matt did than him. I’ve been looking forward to What’s Best Next since I heard he was writing it. Perman is a big fan of both David Allen and Peter Drucker, I believe, and is taking their genius and pointing people toward a “working as unto the Lord” model.

Apr 05, 2014

This sounds great. I will definitely pick a copy up. Thank you. My favorite book this year so far has been Business Storytelling for Dummies from Karen Dietz and Lori Silverman. I had never really considered the value of storytelling in business until reading this but it’s been a huge wake up call for me. It really is such a powerful tool and this book is just a fantastic resource. So well constructed and jam packed with step by step advice.

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