Top ten business and leadership books we recommend to leaders and CEOs
Top ten business and leadership books we recommend to leaders and CEOs.
This week, a CEO asked me, “What’s your number one book?”
That prompted me to put together a list of business books I regularly recommend to leaders and CEOs.
But if you’re looking for some fantastic business and leadership books to challenge and inspire your thinking as a leader, here’s a selection of books you may want to consider.
Ego Is The Enemy
While the other books aren’t necessarily in order, this is number one for a reason.
I would love every single leader that I work with to read this book. Why? Inside every one of us is an enemy that actively works against us – our ego.
We think that success lies in the outside world, yet we can’t achieve success because we sabotage ourselves all the time, and we don’t even know it.
I’ve seen many leaders undergo massive personal growth after reading this book.
Ego Is The Enemy – Ryan Holiday
So if your goal is to become more effective in 2023 – or get your team to be more effective, then Deep Work might be the book for you.
The Coaching Habit
Michael Bungay Stanier
If you need to turn from a manager focusing on actions into a manager as a coach focusing our results, this might be a great book to start that journey.
The author outlines seven essential questions you can use to get to the centre of any situation easily.
The Obstacle is the Way
Only one author appears twice in this list for a reason.
Despite the title, this isn’t a motivational book. Everyone gets stuck in life and comes across obstacles. But, rather than going around or ignoring them, a better approach is to understand that those obstacles are, in fact, opportunities to not come up against them again.
Whether you’re stuck or not, it provides a unique perspective.
Turning the Flywheel
I could have all of Jim Collin’s books on this list.
But the simplest, shortest is this one. It outlines the importance of building momentum in a business – how and why it matters.
Think of it as the opposite of growth hacking – but this book actually works.
If you’ve read this one – try Great by Choice.
The Power of Moments
Chip Heath and Dan Heath
When we consider things about our lives that are memorable, it might be weddings, parties, injuries, or experiences.
This book asks if we can curate short experiences that are memorable and insightful in the workplace.
Higher employee engagement, happiness and retention.
Turn the Ship Around
When David Marquet was awarded captaincy of his first vessel in the US Navy, much to his dismay, it was the worst-performing submarine.
This book explains how he transformed that into being the best ship in the Navy by converting from a leader–follower culture into a leader–leader culture.
He got all team members to take accountability for their actions and ownership over their results – something all leaders can learn from.
The Psychology of Money
We’re taught that doing well with money is about math. In actual fact, it’s about behaviour.
While this book is perhaps more targeted at the individual, it’s precisely the same in organisations.
Money decisions aren’t made in spreadsheets; they are made at dinner tables and boardrooms and are fuelled by ego, fear, greed, pride and envy.
I love how it simply outlines why and how to think differently about money.
Dr Henry Cloud
I saw Dr Cloud speak in the USA a few years ago, and reading this book further impressed me.
We’re always talking about new things we must start. New initiatives, new programs etc. But this counter view outlines just how critical ending things is.
Here’s an excerpt I love “Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them.”
You will never look at the cost of continuing in the same way again.
Whilst I love many of Pat’s books, especially The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team, The Advantage combines all of Pat’s books into one concise manual outlining why organisational health trumps everything else.
If you’ve heard of the Peter Drucker phrase “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”, this book explains why.