Here are the best leadership biographies of the 14 that I read in 2017. Remember these were not necessarily published in 2017 (though some were); it’s just that I got around to reading them in 2017.


iCon: Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is endlessly studied as an example of a leader who created a series of outstanding products, and for good reason. Despite his obvious flaws, there is still so much we can learn from his creativity, attention to detail, and refusal to compromise on quality when delivering a vision. This book was published way back in 2005, before even the iPhone and iPad came out, but there is so much to learn about leadership from here.


Lean In

Sheryl Sandberg is Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, and prior to that worked as a Vice President at Google. Her TED talk on Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders has been viewed over 7 million times. This book explores the theme of that talk further, and also has lots of wisdom on coaching individuals and leading teams within a high pressure environment.


Klopp: Bring the Noise

Perhaps I’m biased as a Liverpool fan, but this brilliant biography on Jurgen Klopp has lots of material on strategy and team building. It mainly covers Klopp’s time as head coach at Mainz and then Borussia Dortmund in Germany, but then has a couple of chapters on the beginning of his time with Liverpool.


Honourable mentions also go to Goodbye Bafana, a part biography on Nelson Mandela by his former jailor, and then also Politics, a reflection from Nick Clegg on his five years as UK Deputy Prime Minister. But the above three are the best leadership biographies I read in 2017.

Mark Williamson works as a director of One Rock. He’s an experienced leadership trainer, author of biographies on John Wesley and William Wilberforce, and is also passionate about praying for London. He enjoys good films, good food, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markonerock.

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