25 Books You Should Read, According to a Few of the World's Most Successful People
Successful CEOs never stop learning. Personal growth is almost as important as hard work in building a winning business. Many entrepreneurs accomplish this through workshops, conferences, and even a few continuing education courses. However, for a busy entrepreneur, being away from the office for a few days can lead to other problems.
For that reason, it’s likely no surprise some of the top CEOs choose to boost their personal growth through reading a good book. Not only is it a great way to learn and grow, but it provides a way to relax after a long day.
Here are 25 books recommended by some of the top CEOs in the world to kick off your reading list.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos lists Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day among his favorite books, citing its ability to teach readers about life and regret.
As Morgan Stanley’s chairman and CEO, James Gorman finds inspiration in this story of determined amateurs who accomplished great things.
3. The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be
When Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg kicked off his goal to read a new book every two weeks, he started with this book, a study in how leadership has evolved over the past 100 years.
Although he’s no longer with us, Steve Jobs remains an inspiration. Among his favorite books was Clayton M. Christensen’s book on changing technology, which he said deeply influenced him.
Apple’s Tim Cook reportedly recommends this book to new hires and hands out copies to colleagues.
Former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison felt particularly inspired by Vincent Cronin’s biography on Napoleon, feeling inspired by the way a man of modest means accomplished great things.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer threw her support behind this book, which instructs readers on mastering charisma to win people over.
Among the books that Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh recommends is Search Inside Yourself, a guide to finding inner joy.
He may be the world’s top investor, but Warren Buffett spends most of his time reading. Among the many books on the billionaire’s to-read list is this one, which he says shaped his investment philosophy.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates read Business Adventures at Buffett’s recommendation and says the 1969 collection of Wall Street tales remains his favorite business book to date.
LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner learned the true meaning of compassion through this book from the Dalai Lama.
12. The Prince
Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman lists this Nicolo Machiavelli classic among his all-time favorites.
13. The Art of War
In his book Behind the Cloud, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff describes how he applied the concepts in The Art of War to beat competitors through the element of surprise.
When Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg released her book Lean In, Cisco’s John Chambers saw it as the perfect opportunity to encourage the promotion of women. He handed a copy to each of his senior managers.
In addition to her own book, Sandberg recommends this book, which centers around women’s roles and self-perception.
Former New York City mayor and business magnate Michael Bloomberg recommends How Will You Measure Your Life?—which explores the importance of mingling business and philosophy.
Another book on Jeff Bezos’s list is The Effective Executive, which helps with time management and decision making.
When Coca-Cola executive Muhtar Kent wants inspiration, he turns to this book, which bills itself as “a financial history of the world.”
HP CEO Meg Whitman makes this book required reading for HP’s hundreds of thousands of employees, believing its advice on setting and following strategy is crucial to success.
When she wants to inspire her staff, Lockheed Martin Corp’s Marillyn Hewson brings in The Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell.
Google’s Larry Page finds inspiration in stories about other successful leaders, including this one about AC current inventor Tesla.
Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey hands this book to new hires at Square and quotes from it often.
In addition to his business book recommendations, Bill Gates lists this classic as his all-time favorite, admiring its depiction of the intelligence of youth.
JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon has a long recommended reading list, but this book is at the top of the list.
25. Atlas Shrugged
More From Inc.
- 5 Ways to Stop Embarrassing Yourself When You Try to Network
- Now You Really Can Have a Nice Day
- Why You Should Think Big When It Comes to Networking