Home I’m Sick of 2020! Start Reading My 2021 List to Feel Better

I’m Sick of 2020! Start Reading My 2021 List to Feel Better

As business leaders, successfully navigating during normal times can be challenging enough. During times of crisis like we find ourselves in today, maneuvering business can be downright daunting. We are all sick of 2020. Start your reading list, and feel better before 2021.

What do your leadership skills look like right now?

There is no better time than now to work on yourself as a leader, and there is no greater way to do so than by standing on the shoulders of giants.  As such, here are my picks for the Top 6 Inspirational Leadership Books to begin your reading for 2021 — to inspire and grow your leadership abilities to handle the challenges of today.

1. Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business by John Mackey

As a follow-up to Conscious Capitalism, best-selling author, and visionary Whole Foods leader John Mackey and his co-authors present a powerful argument for why conscious leaders are more needed today than ever before. They lay out what conscious leadership actually is, and how one can become a conscious leader.

This highly anticipated release features a renowned executive sharing the principles, vision, and mindset for how leaders today can drive positive change in society through intentional conscious leadership.

book conscious leadership

2. You Don’t Have to Be Ruthless to Win: The Art of Badass Selfless Service by Jonathan Keyser

Topping the charts at #1 on the WSJ Bestseller list, this brave and raw new book takes you inside the ferocious world of commercial real estate brokerage, where you see the author transition from a ruthless, money-hungry broker to a selfless leader at the helm of a rapidly growing, industry-disrupting brokerage firm.

But this book isn’t really about Jonathan Keyser—it’s about how you as the reader can adopt this same counterintuitive strategy to create extraordinary, long-term success in your own business.

reading list 2021

3. Friday Forward: Inspiration & Motivation to End Your Week Stronger Than It Started by Robert Glazer

Leadership depends on your ability to connect with and inspire others. This book from Entrepreneur and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author Robert Glazer offers actionable advice on how to do just that. Friday Forward takes the 52 most impactful stories from Glazer’s inspirational newsletter of the same name, which reaches more than 100,000 readers in more than 60 countries.

From stories of struggling entrepreneurs who turned things around to new hires rising to the occasion, Glazer’s latest book can give you the push you need to make an impact in your own network.

book friday forward

4. Life Gives to the Giver: Musings on Wellness, Success, Marketing and Being an Entrepreneur by Joe Polish

Joe Polish has been called the “world’s best connector,” and for good reason. The once ponytailed, dead-broke, drug-addicted carpet cleaner became a millionaire by the age of 30 and then went on to establish the world’s two highest-level marketing groups.

From advice on marketing and selling to thoughts on wellness and recovery, Life Gives to the Giver: Musings on Wellness, Success, Marketing and Being an Entrepreneur is packed with both wisdom and witticism, providing those who wish to succeed in business-and-life, a treasure trove that can help guide them exactly where they want to go.

book life gives to the giver

5. Leading Without Authority: How the New Power of Co-Elevation Can Break Down Silos, Transform Teams, and Reinvent Collaboration

Keith Ferrazzi, entrepreneur, coach, and author of the game-changing book Never Eat Alone, presents a daring, research-backed model of collaborative work. Ferrazzi details a new principle, co-elevation, that enables employees at all levels of an organization to connect with colleagues, collaborate freely, and inspir5 their shared growth.

Leaders can learn how to use co-elevation in their own organizations to help their teams build trust, manage stress, and improve performance across the entire company.

book leading without authority

6. Giftology: The Art & Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Client Retention by John Ruhlin

Radical generosity is the against-the-grain secret weapon of real influencers, and it will allow you to boost referrals, retention rates, and ROI like few other strategies. Through poignant personal stories and data-backed evidence, author and successful entrepreneur John Ruhlin breaks down how anyone can master the magic of Giftology and reap the rewards of an expanding business and fruitful relationships, professional and personal alike.

book gift ology


2020 has brought many unexpected challenges, and it certainly has not been easy for businesses and business leaders. 202o has made me wonder what I had to complain about before? I am certainly more grateful for the good things that happen.

Reading has always been an escape for me — and doubly so now. More than ever before we want to learn more, rapidly,  and apply that learning to survive in this economy.

But, 2020 has also provided extraordinary opportunities for committed leaders to self-reinvent and become better versions of themselves.

Don’t miss out on these game-changing books that will enhance and improve your leadership skills — even before 2021.

Top Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Deanna Ritchie
Former Editor

Deanna was an editor at ReadWrite until early 2024. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind, Editor in Chief for Calendar, editor at Entrepreneur media, and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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