5 books that changed the lives of successful CEOs

We all know the advantages of reading a book but more often than not, a book loses out to our phones. The reason is simple – reading with a purpose demands your undivided attention, time and utmost personal discipline. Committing to read is a difficult habit but the perks you earn are absolutely unparalleled.

So, while you coax yourself to read more, we will help you decide what to read with this list of 5 great books that helped 5 successful CEOs get where they are today. So, take your pick, and create a shortcut for yourself.

Book 1: Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Purpose: Boost your creativity

This book not only helps you formulate good ideas but also teaches you the best ways to present them so as to get maximum buy-ins. It also assists you to overcome self-doubt and teaches you to encourage others to be less sure, in a good way.

“It [the book] reaffirmed the importance of taking thoughtful risks, using lessons learned to iterate and improve along the way, and being willing to write your own playbook.”

-Steph Korey, Founder & CEO, Away Travel

Book 2: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Purpose: Gain empathy

Acclaimed author, Steinbeck, considers this fiction to be his best work. It is not often that fictions are recommended to hone leadership traits, but this book is an exception. A tale of two families with intertwined destinies is an excellent testament of human conditions. Reading this will help leaders to relate better to customers, team members, managers and other important people.

“It taught me we’re all looking for acceptance—which I think has made me more empathetic.”

-Mike Burnstein, Co-founder of running apparel brand Janji.

Book 3: Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

Purpose: Become more honest without risking backfire

Being your authentic self at work might not appear to be diplomatically correct but speaking exactly what you think gives your voice a genuineness that is extremely rare. This book explains why speaking your mind is very important and teaches you to do it in the right manner.

“Show that you care, because people will listen and react differently to your feedback when they know it’s coming from a caring place”

-Sylvia Vaquer, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of digital agency SocioFabrica.

Book 4: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Purpose: Want to start your own venture

Business schools teach you ample but when its time to start your own business, it is not enough. Author of this book, Ben Horowitz is the co-founder of a Venture Capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and shares a tell all story about starting and running his own startup with details that are missing from business school curriculums.

“This book reminds you that you aren’t crazy and everything you’re experiencing is normal,”

-Jessica O. Matthews, Uncharted Power, Founder and CEO

Book 5: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Purpose: Need inspiration

True success stories offer real inspiration and what better than the story of an online bookstore transforming to one of the world’s most influential and valued companies! Bones reveals the real story of how Amazon became what it is today, along with a deep scrutiny of the legendary Jeff Bezos. The book also offers great lessons about beating competition, locating market gaps and running successful teams.

“The ultimate entrepreneurial story”      -Rodney Williams, Founder & CEO, Lisnr

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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