At this page, find several high quality biographies or autobiographies that I have personally found to be clear, easy to digest, and extremely helpful to me as I developed as a leader.  It is inspiring to read about some of the extraordinary men and women who have come before us and shown us by their example what can be accomplished with good leadership.  Getting a sense of how these people viewed the world, faced great challenges, and overcame difficult odds can be both entertaining, as well as instructive.

* note/disclaimer:  I am an affiliate of for these books, so I would receive a small compensation  for any purchases you made on Amazon when going via the links provided.  You certainly don’t have to go via these links, but I appreciate it and thank you if you do.  The only way a book will ever appear here is if I have read, understood, used, and found it to be very helpful as a leadership tool.  Consequently the selection here will be fairly slim, but I hope eminently satisfying!  Let me know what you think…


Alvin York


This well-written biography of the famous World War I hero traces the path of Alvin York from his childhood in the hill country of east Tennessee, though his service in the Great War, to his post-war life dedicated to serving others.  Author Douglas Mastriano puts you right beside York during his moments of crisis as he struggles to reconcile his faith with the imperatives of military service, undergoes his initial trials in military life, and particularly, demonstrates his incredible bravery and leadership under fire in the Meuse-Argonne region of France.

[imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”border” bordercolor=”#000000″ bordersize=”5px” stylecolor=”” align=”left” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””]Photo not available[/imageframe]On the 8th of October, 1918, York’s unit is on the attack but gets into a position that is exposed and pinned down.   As if his life was building up to this moment, the trust he had developed with his fellow Soldiers though his proven competence, commitment to duty, and faith, enabled him to lead a small team of Soldiers in a bold counter-attack that routed the German position and captured over 130 prisoners, an action for which he was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, America’s highest award for valor.  Mastriano combines exhaustive research of both American and German archives with detailed forensic analysis of evidence on the ground to validate York’s exploits and shed light on their magnitude.

As a leadership study, Alvin York  demonstrates how the power of personal example combined with proven skill made him an informal but influential leader even before promotion to the rank of sergeant.  After his rise to fame, York shows himself to be a true servant-leader by dedicating his life to improving the lives of the people in his community.

Recently published in 2014, this book is already recipient of several  prestigious awards, and deservedly so.  An excellent read for aspiring leaders.




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