Summer Holidays Reading List for the Leader

Summer Holidays Reading List for the Leader 1

Recently a question from a client got me thinking.

We were talking about the forthcoming summer holidays. He asked me which books I can recommend for him to read over this quieter time. He was specifically thinking about newer books and fresh thinking. My first thought was Lance Secretan’s book, “The Bellwether Effect”. Not only did I meet Lance this past year; I also had the privilege of participating in a workshop led by him and saw him becoming a MacKay CEO Forum Chair colleague. At 80 years young he is going full tilt as world-class coach, consultant and author; a true inspiration to me. His latest book is challenging the status quo and a must read as far as I am concerned.

I asked the client what book he can recommend. He was quiet for a moment. Then he said that he thinks he needs to ”re-sharpen his saw”. He needs to start by revisiting the classic by Stephen R. Covey, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Another excellent choice!

This got me thinking. I was curious to know what others consider to be those “classics” and “fresh thinking” worthy of being on a summer reading list for leaders.

I turned to my colleagues in a small group of MacKay CEO Forum chairs. I asked them what was on their lists. Below you’ll see a consolidated list I compiled with the inputs of Kerry BrownKatie BennettBernie Kollman and Tim Kist. This is by no means a complete list; it is merely what came to mind first. It however does form a firm foundation for some solid summer reading at the cottage!

My challenge to you is to pick at least one book from each of the two lists below. Some are lighter than others, but they all are worthwhile! With these principles in your mind, you will be a much stronger leader when you return to your teams after the time of rest and reading!


  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey, 2000)
  • Good to Great (Jim Collins, 2001)
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Patrick Lencioni, 2002)
  • Execution: the discipline of getting things done (Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, 2002)
  • Getting Things Done (David Allen, 2003)
  • The Success Principles (Jack Canfield, 2004)
  • The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle, 2004)
  • Why Smart Executives Fail – Sydney Finkelstein, 2004
  • Never Eat Alone (Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz, 2005)
  • The Power of Full Engagement (Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, 2005)
  • Influence (Robert Cialdini, 2006)
  • Managing for Results (Peter Drucker, 2006)
  • Younger Next Year (Chris Cowley and Henry Lodge, 2007)
  • A New Earth (Eckhart Tolle, 2008)
  • The Myth of Multitasking (Dave Crenshaw, 2008)
  • The Speed of Trust (Stephen M.R. Covey, 2008)
  • Managing in a time of great change (Peter Drucker, 2009)
  • Start With Why (Simon Sinek, 2009)


  • Drive (Daniel H. Pink, 2011)
  • Bounce (Matthew Syed, 2011)
  • The Advantage (Patrick Lencioni, 2012)
  • Stepping Up (John Izzo, 2012)
  • The 12 Week Year (Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington, 2013)
  • The EQ Edge (Steven J. Stein and Howard E. Book, 2013
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Sheryl Sandberg, 2013)
  • Grit (Angela Duckworth, 2016)
  • The Bellwether Effect (Lance Secretan, 2018)
  • Dare to Lead (Brené Brown, 2018)
  • Surviving to Thriving (Steve Foran, 2019)

About Nico Human

Nico Human is a results-driven Canadian business management consultant, team building coach and inspirational speaker. He advises business leaders to improve leadership skills, maximize teamwork and achieve outstanding results, whilst maintaining life balance and finding meaning in what they do.

Leave a Comment