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Three Books Every Leader Should Read

By August 28, 2013January 21st, 20142 Comments

It’s been said that not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.

The man who spoke those words knew a thing or two about leadership. Harry Truman wasn’t just a reader—he was one of the greatest leaders our country has seen over the past century. His wisdom, determination, and leadership skills helped hasten the end of World War II and bring the United States and its Allies to victory.

If Truman’s maxim is true—and I believe it is—what three books should every leader read?


The Bible

Often, we spend hours and hours reading through the NY Times’ Bestseller List, while forgetting that the world’s greatest manual on leadership and business is collecting dust on our end tables.

God’s Word is the greatest instruction guide for every problem we face. Recently, I was facing a perplexing business question, so my first thought was to head to Google and see what the major business publications and websites had to offer. But God pricked my heart and reminded me that HE was the One who has all the answers if I but ask. God directed me to spend some time reading through the book of Proverbs, and lo and behold, a few hours later, I hit Proverbs 14 and got the exact answer to the question I had.

Recommended reads to get you started: Proverbs, Nehemiah

Biographies and Memoirs

A leader should always be learning from the strengths and weaknesses of others. Study the lives of other successful men and women, and not just people in your field of industry or influence.

Recommended reads to get you started: Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy, Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God: The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest by David McCasland

Inspirational Fiction

What???? Fiction??? A leader should read FICTION? Absolutely yes. Why should you read fiction? So you can be inspired to dream about not just what is….but what CAN BE. Fiction helps the wings of your imagination soar.

Granted, I’m not talking about $0.99 chick-lit on the shelf of your Christian book store. I’m talking about fiction that will grow you, help you mature, and inspire you. Fiction like this will also give you new ideas, edify your soul and help character develop in your life.

Recommended reads to get you started: Secrets of Heathersleigh Hall Series by Michael Phillips

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Aaress Lawless

Aaress enjoys helping small businesses and ministries, having budget travel adventures with friends, and blogging about life lessons on Instagram.


  • Catherine says:

    Hey Aaress! I’d love a list of your favorite fiction! I’ve enjoyed Melanie’s recommendations!

    • Sure, Catherine!

      My favorite fiction novels are actually all written by one man, Michael Phillips. All of these are historical fiction, with a large emphasis on the character of God and life as a Christian.

      The books below are all installments of a series, so I’ll just list the name of the first book in each series.

      Wild Grows the Heather in Devon (The Secrets of Heathersleigh Hall series)

      The Heather Hills of Stonewycke (The Stonewycke Trilogy & The Stonewycke Legacy series)

      The Eleventh Hour (The Secrets of the Rose series)

      My Father’s World (The Journals of Corrie Belle Hollister series)

      Dream of Freedom (American Dreams series)

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