No matter how many years of experience you have in your field, there is always more you can learn. Whether it’s from people you meet in line at Starbucks, your Uber driver, friends and colleagues, or a great book. You can take something away from every interaction.
I’ve met some incredible entrepreneurs, and whenever I can, I’ll ask them their favorite books to add to my mental list — I’m a huge fan of Audible and I’ll try and listen to at least one book a week. I highly recommend it.
One CEO, whom I am lucky enough to call a friend, Dan Price, has made headlines in the past year over his decision to raise his company’s minimum wage. I respect him a lot as a leader and mentor, and we share many of the same values, so when I compiled this list, I asked Dan for some of his favorites as well.
Asterisks next to the one’s I read every year.
Must-read this year:
- *The Hard Things About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz
- *Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek
- *Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger
- The Big Short, by Michael Lewis
- Good to Great, by Jim Collins
- Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton
- *The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
- The Power of Full Engagement, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
- *Pitch Anything: an Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal, by Oren Klaff
- The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell
- *The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup, by Noam Wasserman
Leadership and general business:
- Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
- David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell
- Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell
- Built to Last, by Jim Collins
- Tribal Leadership, by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright
- Navigating the Growth Curve, by James Fisher
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
- The Speed of Trust, by Stephen R. Covey
- *Five Temptations of a CEO, by Patrick Lencioni
- The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande
- Leadership and Self Deception, by The Arbinger Institute
- The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, by Don Miguel Ruiz
Per a recommendation from Marcia Maizel-Clarke, the founder of one of my favorite creative companies, Dogeared, I’ve included the Ruiz book because she believes it to be so life changing that she gives copies to her team. She said, “I love the energy and simplicity of his thinking to focus on personal development, communication, and relationships — personally and professionally.”
I’m a huge believer in sharing great leadership books with your team — being a leader means fostering the growth of your team however you can.
Some recommendations from Dan Price:
- The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor
- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, by Marshall Goldsmith
- Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- The Art of Happiness, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder
- Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson
- Difficult Conversations, by Douglas Stone
- Spin Selling, by Neil Rackham
- Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play, by Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig
- The New Science of Selling and Persuasion, by William Brooks
- Raving Fans, by Ken Blanchard
- Setting the Table, by Danny Meyer
- Make It So: Leadership Lessons From Star Trek: the Next Generation, by Wess Roberts and Bill Ross
- Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, by Verne Harnish
Nina Ojeda is the founder and CEO of go-to-market agency, The Avenue West. When she’s not in the trenches with founders or hanging out with her rescue dogs, she’s probably writing.