Top Five CEO Books That Every Leader Should Read

It’s no secret that many of the world’s most inspiring and effective leaders attribute a large amount of their success to their continued investment in their education.

In fact, Warren Buffett was once asked about the key to success, he pointed to a stack of books nearby and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

Buffet takes this to the extreme, reading between 600 to 1000 pages per day, however, he’s not alone.

Bill Gates, claims to read around 50 books per year, while Mark Zuckerberg averages one new book per fortnight.

While you may not be ready to dedicate hours a day to reading like these ultra-successful leaders, even 30 minutes a day can make a big difference over time.

So, whether reading is already an ingrained habit for you, or you’re just getting started, here’s a list of 5 books that every CEO should start with:

Understand the mindset that leads to success

– Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Written by psychology researcher Carol S. Dweck, PhD, this insightful read uncovers the differences between two core mind-sets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. Through analysis of research and real-life accounts, Dweck examines the two mindsets and discusses how the growth mindset, leads to a more successful and fulfilling life.

Mindset The New Psychology of Success - Top 5 CEO books for every leader

How to lead with Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

– The New Leaders by Daniel Goleman

As business reinvents itself at broadband speed, what makes leaders effective has inevitably been transformed. Old assumptions and old modes no longer hold; a new style of leadership that works has emerged amidst the chaos of change.

Bestselling author Daniel Goleman argues that emotionally intelligent leaders are now ‘must-haves’ for business today. But many readers have been left with, So now what do I do? The New Leaders answers that question by laying out the map for transforming leadership in individuals, in teams and organisations.

The New Leaders by Daniel Goleman - Top 5 CEO books for every leader

Learn why executive teams fail to deliver

– The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencione

In keeping with the parable style, in The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni begins by telling the fable of a woman who, as CEO of a struggling Silicon Valley firm, took control of a dysfunctional executive committee and helped its members succeed as a team.

Story time over, Lencioni offers explicit instructions for overcoming the human behavioral tendencies that he says corrupt teams (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results). Succinct yet sympathetic, this guide is essential for those struggling with the inherent difficulties of leading a group.

The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team - Top 5 CEO books for every leader

Why some leaders succeed whilst others fail over time

– Give and Take by Adam Grant

For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.

Using his own pioneering research as Wharton’s youngest tenured professor, Adam Grant shows that these styles have a surprising impact on success. Combining cutting-edge evidence with captivating stories, Grant shows how one of America’s best networkers developed his connections, why the creative genius behind one of the most popular shows in television history toiled for years in anonymity, how a basketball executive responsible for multiple draft busts transformed his franchise into a winner, and how we could have anticipated Enron’s demise four years before the company collapsed – without ever looking at a single number.

Give and Take by Adam Grant - Top 5 CEO Books for Leaders

The structure for continued personal success

– The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

This is a book you will cherish for a lifetime, for within its pages Deepak Chopra offers a life-altering perspective on the attainment of success. Filled with timeless wisdom, the essence of his teachings is distilled into seven simple, yet powerful principles that can easily be applied to create success and abundance in all areas of your life.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success - One of the top 5 books for every CEO

These five books are just a small selection of many on our ever-growing reading list!

In the comments below, we’d love to know – what books do you recommend to a leader who is committed to personal growth? Is there a particular book that has changed your life?


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