Are there key factors that are characteristic amongst all great leaders? Yes. Are all of these factors inherent, which the individuals were born with? Not at all. 

Many characteristics of great business leaders can be learned. And a great place to start is with a book. Want to become a great business leader? These are the qualities that you need to start fostering in your professional life. We’ve also included some recommendations for where you can start looking for inspiration. Enjoy! 

Taking Risks:

The best business managers are those who help their staff become leaders, not followers. Being a great leader is being bold and leading by example. After all, if you expect your team to follow their impulses and take calculated risks, then you need to be doing the same. 

Here are some books that we recommend starting off with: 

  • Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader, Herminia Ibarra
  • Turn The Ship Around, L. David Marquet

Servant Leadership: 

This is a business philosophy that you are likely familiar with. The idea is that great leaders put the needs of their employees before their own, and even before the needs of the company. By doing so, you will create a league of loyal followers who will be devoted to you and your business goals. 

Want to learn more about this leading business theory? Start here: 

  • The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership, James Hunter
  • The Case for Servant Leadership, Kent Keith


This sounds really simple, but there’s a lot packed into the concept of being a good communicator. Arguably, the biggest part is being a good listener. After all, your team needs to know that you understand their needs, and that you don’t just depend on them being devoted to your business. Emotional intelligence is also hugely important when it comes to being a good communicator and ultimately an effective leader.

These books can help you amp up your communication skills: 

  • Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results, Judith E. Glaser
  • Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance, Daniel Goleman, Richard E. Boyatzis & Annie McKee

Put These Insights into Action

The most effective leaders have a lot of things in common. One big thing is that they are always learning and looking for inspiration. Will just reading the books on this list turn you into a better leader or business person overnight? No. But continually being open to new ideas and applying these concepts to your every day certainly can.


Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash