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The 5 Best Leadership Books I Read in 2019

I’m not sure who originally said “leaders are readers,” but there’s some truth to it. 

I try hard to schedule my week, so 1 day is reserved for introspection. That usually involves reading, writing, or dreaming. It doesn’t always work out, and my week gets full, but I try to prioritize learning and thinking time, and I would encourage you to do the same.

I read a bunch of great books this year, but I narrowed them down to my top 5. (I provided Amazon links)

1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

There seems to always be one book every year that stands out above the rest, and Atomic Habits was that book for me this year. It’s a book about changing behavior but it’s written in a very simple way. So much I could say, but this was a game changer for me. Amazon link

2. The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzaro

I believe every pastor should read this book. After I read it for myself I read it again with my staff, and it had a profound effect on our team. Peter talks honestly about the struggles leaders face beneath the surface of our public leadership. It packs a punch. Amazon link.

3. Heromaker by Dave Ferguson

I read this book in 2018, but read it again with our staff, and I loved it even more. You can listen to my interview with Dave on the podcast here. It has changed how we look for, develop, and empower leaders. This is great for teams to read together.Amazon link.

4. Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday

I listened to this audiobook on a road trip and really enjoyed it. It’s not a Christian book, but I love Ryan Holiday’s books, and this latest one is his best, in my opinion. It describes the struggle of most pastors I know. Amazon link.

5. Irresistible by Andy Stanley

This was another audiobook for me, and I listened to it twice because the first time was pretty disorienting. I know it’s controversial, and honestly I’m still torn on a few of Andy’s opinions, but overall, the second time through I agreed with most of it. If you haven’t read it I think it’s an important read, even if you don’t agree with him. Amazon link.

Other Nominees

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
Thirst by Scott Harrison

Also, I purchased Warren Wiesrsbe’s Expository Commentary set this year, and they have been my favorite commentaries I’ve ever used. Very practical and helpful for sermon building.

One last thing, If you haven’t tried audiobooks, you really should. I’ve been using audible for almost 2 years now and I love it. I know a lot of people think they won’t like audiobooks, and I felt that way too until I tried it. My only requirement is that it’s read by the author. Give it a try. Use this link for the audio version of my book Toxic Soul and Audible will give you a 30 day free trial.

I’m always looking for good books, so if you’ve read something recently that was a game changer for you, reply back and let me know what it was so I can check it out.


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Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs

By Jason Isaacs