Top 3 Business Books Every CEO Should Read

Over the years I have read numerous books on various aspects of business, (as I am sure you have too). In the last 5 years, 3 books have been published that I believe every CEO should read. Each covers a deeply fundamental concept that as a leader, it can be easy to overlook or just not realize. If you want to insure that your leadership perspective is as sharp as it can be, I really recommend these books:

start with why leadership CEOStart with Why – Simon Sinek

If you haven’t already read this one, do so now.  As a leader, it will be the best read you’ve had in a while because it will help you understand why people will follow you or not – they need to know “why” they should. Sinek talks about how we are constantly told “how” and “what” someone is doing but until we get to the “why” of the matter, we don’t care. He goes into the science behind it and he does a great job of addressing it in his 20 minute TED talk.  As a leader, if you learn how to communicate the why of the matter, you’ll be amazed at the difference in the results.


strengths based leadershipStrengths Based Leadership – Tom Rath and Barry Conchie

Not only does every leader need a “go to” tool for assessing talent, they need to know how to evaluate leadership potential. Strengths Based Leadership takes the StrengthsFinders Tool and sheds light on which of the four leadership domains we lead from – Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking – and we each have a strength in at least one of these, as do our leadership team members. By knowing this, we can build more effective teams and utilize everyone’s strengths. This is an excellent tool to help grow your people.


Daniel Pink to sell is humanTo Sell is Human – Daniel Pink

This is a great book that demystifies the “selling” perceptions that we all have. Literally, everything we do is selling, we just don’t call it that. And since as the CEO your role is to grow the company, selling is critical. Pink helps illuminate “why” it’s okay to sell. It’s not a dirty word, it’s the way the universe operates. Rather than seeing it as a bad word, or being afraid of it, Pink talks about how we can embrace selling and by doing so, have more success in everything.


I am committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and providing resources for them to do so. Reading to develop new levels of understanding is an important piece of this. I have a “Book Recommendations” page on my site with additional books in a variety of areas I believe are really beneficial for entrepreneurs and business leaders. The books in this post are my current top 3 of recent years. What are yours? What books would you add to the list?