Here’s my list of the best leadership books that I read in 2017. Last year I went through 11 books aimed at helping people grow in their leadership skills and understanding. Normally I pick a top three, but this year I’ve decided to turn that into a top four.

What Would Google Do?

I loved this book. Very challenging and creative thinking on how you should break out of traditional thinking, and explore how the internet allows you to revolutionise whatever product or industry you’re in business with. The authors give a series of ideas on how to build user networks that can help your work. And then they talk through different industries (education, insurance, health, government, etc) to think through how Web 2.0 ideas can be applied, to revolutionise customer experience and satisfaction.

The Ideal Team Player

Another leadership fable book from Patrick Lencioini (he of Five Dysfunctions of a Team fame) takes the reader through his latest team building insight. This one is to help you make good decisions on team recruitment, and avoid making the costly personnel decisions that stem from bringing people who are not good team players. It’s a quick read, and the simple message of recruiting people who are Humble, Hungry (ambitious for the team) and Smart (emotionally sensitive, i.e. smart in how they get along with other people) is great wisdom for any leader to heed.

Tools of Titans

Tim Ferris has been interviewing “high performers” for years to learn the secrets of their success, and this massive tome contains all the best wisdom he’s picked up along the way. Split into three sections, its advice is aimed squarely toward helping you become healthy, wealthy and wise, and without necessarily having to stick to the early to bed and early to rise traditional mantra…

Start With Why

This has been around for a while, but I finally got around to reading Simon Sinek’s debut book, and I wasn’t disappointed. If you’ve seen the TED talk of the same name then you’ve seen 70% of the content, but this is still worth reading for the extra detail in thinking through how you communicate what you’re doing. Great organisations start with why they are doing something, and only after that move into describing the what and the how.

So those are the four best leadership books I read in 2017. What was on your list?

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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