With summer unofficially underway here in the United States, you might soon find yourself with some extra time on your hands either as the normal pace of business slows down or as you take a vacation from the office. As a result, summer is a fantastic time to take a breath, recharge, and carve out time for personal and professional development, like enhancing your leadership skills.

We know that leaders are made, not born. And, we know that the best way to acquire leadership skills is through real-world experience. But, we also know that it can be helpful — and truly inspirational — to read first-hand accounts of trials, tribulations, and successes from great leaders who have boldly gone before us and are eager to share their stories.

So, before you head to the beach or the pool, be sure to pick up a book (or two) from our list of Recommended Summer Reading for Leaders below.

To compile our summer reading list, we polled our team members, clients, and master trainers. These are the books that they’ve turned to over and over again throughout their careers for inspiration. These are the books they consistently recommend to colleagues looking to enhance their leadership skills.

Be ready to be  motivated, energized, and inspired. Click on the book cover to read a full description or purchase on Amazon. Happy reading!



“Marshall Goldsmith is one of the world’s foremost experts at helping people get better. In this new book, he provides a rich set of new, practical, life tested ideas, concepts and frameworks that will help those of us who want to change, be the best that we can be, and be the person we want to be.” — Hubert Joly, CEO, Best Buy


“Novak, chairman and CEO of YUM! Brands, offers powerful and sincere directives for creating a cohesive, success-oriented corporate culture… Much of it could have felt familiar, but it’s presented with clarity, contagious enthusiasm, organization, and accessibility… Business people at all levels will find something of value.” — Publishers Weekly



“Randy provides a frank and candid set of observations about leadership that will prove valuable to leaders and non-leaders alike.” — Peter Hargraves, Principal, Sputnik Architecture Inc.



“Leaders read Jon Gordon’s books because his message is unfailingly positive. Now he explains that powerful force and how to cultivate it in your own organization. Read this book.” — Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy

Eat More Ice Cream! challenges you like no other leadership book. Interweaving scientific findings, business case studies, law enforcement experiences, and historical leadership examples into short, succinct practical stories.



“This book is awesome. How Tony and Zappos grew to $1 billion in gross revenue in 10 years is just the beginning. From fundraising to finding happiness, from actual emails to checklists, it covers it all. Intensely personal and intensely practical.” — Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek



“Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read.” — Bill Gates

“I’ve seen talented leaders unwittingly make the biggest mistakes of their careers simply because they don’t understand the complexities and pitfalls of their own strengths. The Leadership Gap offers terrific insight and valuable wisdom for high achievers who want to understand the tendencies that stand between them and meaningful success.” — Sydney Finkelstein, author of Superbosses and Why Smart Executives Fail

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