The Top 5 Books For Team Leaders, Managers and Facilitators



Here’s a question to think about:

How much are business books actually worth?

I would argue that often they’re worth a whole lot more than the sticker price.

Think about it this way: you can read a book for a few bucks, but the knowledge you gain may save you time, make you money and even skyrocket your career. Isn’t that amazing?

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s Seth Godin:

“A book is a bargain, still. A screaming bargain. You pay $15, $20, and you could have something that might change your life. You have something that reminds you, 20 years later, sitting on the shelf, of where you were when you read it. I LOVE buying books.”

–Seth Godin, on the Tim Ferriss Podcast

One of the common traits of successful people is that they spend the time to invest in themselves — in particular self-education through reading.

Business books offer some of the best value and educational ROI out there, and over the past ten years I’ve read hundreds of them — many on team building and leadership.

I put together a list of some of my favorites here:

1. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Five Dysfunctions

Disguised as an entertaining fable about a newly appointed CEO in a struggling startup, this book will show you the 5 most common dysfunctions of a team:

1) Absence of trust.
2) Fear of conflict.
3) Lack of commitment.
4) Avoidance of accountability.
5) Inattention to results.

This book, and it’s partner Field Guide: Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team are must-haves for every team leader.

2. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John Maxwell 

Laws of leadership

This is one of the best-selling leadership books of all time, and for good reason.

From the “Law of the Lid” (the idea that Leadership ability determines a person’s effectiveness) to the “The Law of Empowerment” (which says only secure leaders give power to others), this book is possibly the most easy-to-read, most actionable leadership book out there.

3. The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower Your Team by John Maxwell  

Laws of teamwork

Similar to the Laws of Leadership book above, this book is easy to read and packed with knowledge.

Some examples of the Laws of Teamwork:
The Law of the Big Picture: The goal is more important than the role.
The Law of the Chain: The strength of the team is impacted by its weakest link.
The Law of the Compass: Vision gives team members direction and confidence.

4. A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results by Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff

team of leaders

Let’s face it: most teams are at a loss when they’re without their leader. So how can you get your teams to take responsibility and get results?

This book is a great start.

Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff take the reader through their proven process of creating high-performing teams:

  • The Five-Stage Team Development Model
  • Best practices in team creation and process design
  • A Team Value Creation Tool that helps team members see what they are contributing
  • How to manage knowledge and training so your team can compete
  • Using Visual Management techniques to drive company culture

This is an incredible book with the potential to help you turn your organization around.

Here’s what Steven Covey had to say about A Team Of Leaders:

“Tremendous! A Team of Leaders is a superb guide for all those who work in teams and who aspire to perform at the very highest levels. Simultaneously filled with deep insight and practical applications, this wonderful book delivers both the why and how in producing literal ‘teams of leaders’ at every level. Highly recommended!”


5. The Team Building Activity Book by Venture Team Building

activity book

We’ve seen what’s out there on the market, and believe our offering is the best team building activity book available.

It’s designed to make it as easy as possible for you to lead fun, effective activities that are guaranteed to improve teamwork, problem solving, and communication.

If you’re tired of spending hours online researching activities to do with your team, The Team Building Activity Book has you covered:

  • Full activity notes, challenger briefs and challenge solutions.
  • Easy step-by-step instructions that anyone can follow and feel comfortable with.
  • Ice breaker activities for training workshops or team meetings.
  • Reviewing and debriefing: 30 active reviews, downloads and master question lists.
  • Ready to use workshop programmes for corporate groups, recruitment assessments, schools and sports teams.
  • Bonus downloads including:Review and Quote Cards, Learning Styles Questionnaire, Sample Risk Assessments.

Check it out here:


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5 Books for Team Leaders, Managers & Facilitators



  1. People go on about the range of information available now on the net, which is great however
    despite there being loads out there to read and improve your knowledge, the quality of
    information varies so much, and the barriers for entry are much lower.

    This gives way to many pepole who are quite frankly inexperienced in buisiness and a range of
    other feilds, being able to publish articles on buisiness practices, whilst claiming to be of
    a highly experienced background. This can often be quite dangerous as it causes a spread of
    misinfomation which could in the end be quite harmful to the person who ends up following the advice.

    What people seem to forget about books is that buisiness books (certainly not all though) have a lot
    more barriers to entry and often require hefty financial investment to publish, manufacture and market.

    This is why authors like Maxwell consistently provide content within their books which is better than most
    buisiness articles you will read out there. I would recommend anyone wanting to seriously read up on buisiness in general to read Laws o Leadership and Laws of teamwork cover to cover

    • Michael

      Thanks for commenting Tom! That’s a very good point about the low barrier to entry, and a good reason why rating systems and recommendations are so important.

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