Three Books on Leadership

Three Books on Leadership for Coaches

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is about recommend reading …

I love to read, I always have and have such a large collection of books that I’ve now run out of shelf space.

Reading is the greatest gift I believe you can give to a young person and one of the most important to succeed in life. It’s not because you are giving them knowledge alone, but you are inspiring them to learn for themselves. All great leaders and coaches I know adapt and learning to adapt is a skill that can be learned at an early age, reading is one such way.

“Adaptability is the greatest ability”

As part of my mentoring program with coaches, performance directors and executives I have recommended reading lists on each module. I have so many I have read and can recommend on various topics, but today will share the top three on a key topic – Leadership. Put these on your list, hard copy or as audio for your drive to and from work.


Ok, I’m going to cheat a little on my first answer –

The Leader’s Bookshelf by James Stavridis and R. Manning Ancell

I love this book, it’s one I keep close by and refer to often. It’s not just simply a list of great books, but a collection of perspectives by some great military minds on each one. I found it a brilliant read for a number of reasons. My first thought was – which of these have I not read! Secondly, I was fascinated by the authors opinion on each of the books.

Alone it’s a great book, but as a starting point for more reading, it’s gold.


The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh

This is one of the classic books on leadership that has withstood the test of time. I’m partial to Bill Walsh having heard so many stories first hand during my time at the San Francisco 49ers from Keena Turner, Guy McIntyre and Harry Edwards about Bill Walsh and Eddie DeBartolo and how they overcame so many obstacles and challenges like any good team. The context itself is quite poignant as Bill Walsh passed before it’s natural conclusion. The title alone gives you a great insight into the focus of the book and I’ve met very few sports coaches who haven’t read it, but it’s a must read for all in in the corporate sector too.


When people talk about ‘The Process’, well this is where it all started.


Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

I’ve often found learning from outside my direct sphere of interest more inspiring than sport, military or business. Learning from a different domain has the effect of avoiding any preconceived bias you might have and getting the message to you in a way that can often hit home in a more profound way. Team of Rivals does this. As we all know, success needs people with different perspectives to be truly sustainable. This book is different from the rest but gives you a new perspective on the genius of Lincoln, especially in light of the personal tragedies he had to overcome at the same time.

Learning from a different domain has the effect of avoiding any preconceived bias you might have


Send me an email to info@fergusconnolly.comwith your top three.

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