What are the best “leadership books” for tweens and teens to read?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.
Ender’s Game is a classic. Not only does the book make for enjoyable reading at the surface level, but it also is littered with hidden leadership lessons. As a leader, Ender faces many challenges: isolation, confrontation, and more. He must gain the support and reverence of his subordinates who were formerly peers.
“Getting Unstuck: A Guide to Discovering your Next Career Path” provides a practical, hands-on road map for moving past your career or personal life impasse, recognize patterns of meaning in your life, and take action for change.
I love the E-Myth because it helps early entrepreneurs understand there is so much more to owning a business than knowing how to do something well. Teach them early that great leaders must also manage and create the vision for the team and you’ll develop a well-rounded young adult.
I made sure “The Coolest Startups in America” was written in a colloquial fun way that is easily accessible for teens and tweens. With over 70 startups profiled from across diverse industries, there’s something for everyone in the book that will resonate to get young adults excited about startups. Furthermore, the book covers important startups trends and terminology too.
Learning how other people lead and operate can help young readers understand how other people think. This in turn will help them adapt their communication style. “The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success” by Les Mckeown is awesome for that.
Authored by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Kent Healy, Chicken Soup for the Soul has a book with personal advice from teens and some well-known folks such as Brenda Song and Donald Trump Jr. Each story is written from an experienced teen with lessons they learned along their journey and each story is unique because of the various jobs and roles each teen has.
“The Other 90%: How to Unlock Your Vast Untapped Potential for Leadership and Life” by Robert K. Cooper is a must-read for all leaders, regardless of age. It grasps the core roots of understanding yourself and others and leading to your fullest potential, as both an entrepreneur and a human being.
The best way to learn about leadership is to read in-depth stories about leaders. Livingston interviewed founders of fascinating companies like Google, Firefox, Yahoo! and PayPal. What’s unique about this book is that Livingston transcribes the conversations –some are 20 pages! Young entrepreneurs will learn how to start a company and see a well-developed perspective of challenges they’ll face.
I highly recommend Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It is not necessarily geared towards tweens and teens, but the advice is definitely applicable. Case studies of people who have been extremely successful in their careers are invaluable leadership tools.
When I was a teenager, I thought being a leader meant “being the boss” and telling everyone what to do. It wasn’t until college that I had some true leadership roles and had to learn the hard way what leadership is really about. There is no book better to start your journey of learning true leadership than Dale Carnegie’s. The sooner they start learning those lessons, the better they’ll be.
The book I highly recommend for teens and tweens is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.” It was written by Sean Covey, son of world-renowned author Stephen Covey, who wrote the wildly successful book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” This book offers tips and advice on topics such as how to deal with peer pressure, how to become motivated and how to deal with success and failure.
“Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs With Big Ideas!” is a good book by the Toren brothers that inspires teens and younger kids to take steps toward becoming leaders in the entrepreneurial world.
I recommend “Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!” by Anthony Robbins. He started when he was young and inspires others to take control of their lives and break through objections to become successful. It’s a great book by a great author, and anyone can start applying the principles — at any age.