The world’s leading entrepreneurs and executives usually have at least one common denominator – they’re always looking to learn and grow. While Consuming content while working long days and balancing personal responsibilities doesn’t exactly leave much disposable time for reading a book, but the best make it happen. And when reading just isn’t possible, all of the books below are available as audiobooks on sites like Audible.com.
When seeking content as a leader or entrepreneur, it’s important to pull a well-rounded set of materials. Balance business theories with stories from the veterans and morale-boosters with info on personal health.
Startupland details the story of the Zendesk’s rise from a 3 person team in a small apartment to a global enterprise software vendor. You’ll see through the lens of Co-Founder & CEO, Mikkel Strane, as he leads his company through challenge after challenge. His story is a departarture from the normal San Francisco VC backed startup in a fancy new industry. Rather, it’s one of grit and resilience as his team created the foremost solution for customer support.
2) Grit, the Power of Passion and Perseverance
We have an entire post dedicated to grit and how to establish grit within your organization. Grit is a measure of one’s resilience and fortitude as they navigate challenging environments and situations.
Angela Duckworth, author of Grit, reviews her findings after working with National Spelling Bee, West Point cadets, NFL coaches, business leaders, parents, and more. Angela also explains how grit can trump talent, IQ, or physical advantages and the science behind it.
3) Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup
Bill Amulet wrote Disciplined Entrepreneurship with the goal of changing the notion that entrepreneurship can’t be taught. His practical 24-step guide to designing and launching a startup educates the reader while sharing lessons on how to improve instincts, creativity, work ethic, and especially focus.
Bill serves as the managing director over the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and is a professor for the MIT Sloan School of Management and Executive Education.
Since the book provides plenty of illustrations, we recommend a hard copy which can be purchased here.
4) Hacking Growth
Your guide to growth hacking, Co-authored by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown. This book shares a battle-tested framework for driving revenue using actionable, data-driven processes. Hacking Growth pulls from both B2B and B2C settings, so there’s something for everyone to learn here.
5) The Hard Thing About the Hard Things
Ben Horowitz, former CEO of LoudCloud and now a prominent VC, narrates his arduous journey of leading his company through ever-changing economic and competitive climates. Now the operator for a firm that champions founder CEO’s, Ben’s story is a guide of both what to do and what not to do as a business leader.
6) Sun Tzu’s The Art of War
Over two-thousand years ago, Chinese military general Sun Tzu authored the 13 chapters of The Art of War. Despite being written in a completely different time and space, the timeless teachings have direct application in the modern day business world. Sun Tzu’s text describes how leaders should strategize, allocate resources, evaluate strengths/weaknesses, and ultimately execute plans.
7) Never Split the Difference
Who better to take advice on negotiation and conflict resolution that from than a FBI hostage negotiator? Well that’s exactly what Chris Voss compiles in Never Split the Difference. Regardless of profession, everyone negotiates in the workplace and at home.
8) From Impossible to Inevitable
Jason Lemkin, founder of Saastr and former CEO of EchoSign, co-authored this practical guide to growth with Aaron Ross. The book blends personal success and stories of other wildly successful companies like Salesforce.com, Zenefits, and others. From Impossible to Inevitable is a actionable playbook for founders and sales leaders to achieve product-market fit and build processes for scalable growth.
Get the hard copy and get ready to take some notes. You’ll have a hard time putting this one down.