7 Great Books on Leadership

A sign of a great coach/leader is someone who constantly has a hunger to learn. Someone who wants to continually improve, never settling where they are. Our Upward Stars’ staff has chosen seven great books on leadership that will help you develop not just as a coach of young athletes, but as a leader in all aspects of your life.

  • “Lead …for God’s Sake!” by Todd Gongwer   Rarely can a book promoting strong leadership do so by using fictional characters. Gongwer does just that in this book, using a parable to help leaders delve deep into their own leadership, helping them analyze for themselves as to leaders do what they do.

  • “3D Coach” by Jeff Duke   A former assistant coach at Florida State under Bobby Bowden, Duke now works with FCA training coaches around the nation to become better developers of men and women. 3D Coach teaches the three levels of coaching to make an impact on athletes (fundamentals, psychology, and the heart). When a coach teaches to all three of these levels, he/she can have a greater impact on an athlete long-term, both on and off the court.

  • “The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual” by Jeff Janssen   Janssen is an expert at developing athletes in order to give their teams the most success possible. This book is actually a 10-week guide for coaches to go through with players they see as potential captains or leaders on the team. The book aims to give a simple step-by-step process for coaches and team leaders to develop themselves.

  • “Mindset by Carol Dweck   This book covers exactly what it says: mindsets. Not only will it help you as a coach to develop a mindset that will be beneficial to you and your team, it also helps you to understand the mindset of the very players on your team. Dweck is a psychologist from Stanford University, and uses this book to help readers achieve potential by developing a right mindset.

  • “Boundaries for Leaders” by Dr. Henry Cloud   A renowned clinical psychologist, Cloud gives not only great insights into the challenges of leadership, he also gives some great strategies for leading. Cloud asks probing questions for leaders such as how do they define their culture, and what does it mean to be “ridiculously in charge”?

  • “The Winning Attitude” by John Maxwell   Few in the leadership world have had as great an impact as John Maxwell. So many of his books can be impactful for leaders. In The Winning Attitude, Maxwell speaks to a hard reality: the only thing we really control is our attitude, unless we relinquish it to others. Maxwell speaks to the importance of attitude, because it can determine our happiness, acceptance, peace, and success.

  • “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon   Like Todd Gongwer, Jon Gordon does a great job using stories to drive home key points about leadership and attitude. The Energy Bus gives 10 rules to live by, such as “you are the driver of your bus”, and “no energy vampires allowed”, speaking to people who may seek to bring you down as you lead with positive energy. This book is simple and its lessons can be understood by everyone. A great book to read with your team.