Books These Successful Executives Say Inspired Them the Most (6 to 10)
6. "Great by Choice" by Jim Collins
"I am not always a big fan of business books, but in the world where there are a lot of fads, I love this book as it drives home good old fashioned fundamentals. The lessons are timeless: Perform steadily over time (while the current fad is a quest to create the next Uber), be prepared for the unexpected (while everyone is chasing growth) and test things before you roll out (while the existing VC wisdom to roll out quickly and be the first mover). Working in a fast moving digital marketing industry, which is subject to fads, this book helps me steady the ship and focus on building an organization that can serve our clients successfully over time. [It] underlines the fact that the difference between success and failure is not that of market opportunity, it is that of leadership and actions one takes every day that will enable us to survive and thrive."
--Sastry Rachakonda, CEO of iQuanti, a data-driven digital marketing company.
7. "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" by Edmund Morris
"An amazing biography on one of the most impressive presidents--and people--in American history. In their words 'It is, in effect, the biography of seven men--a naturalist, a writer, a lover, a hunter, a ranchman, a soldier, and a politician--who merged at age forty-two to become the youngest President in our history. Rarely has any public figure exercised such a charismatic hold on the popular imagination.' As a founder, it is beyond inspiring to read about someone who is both so passionate and personable. If that doesn't get you excited to go out and build something, I don't know what will."
--Joel Milton, CEO of Baker, a customer engagement platform for cannabis dispensaries.
8. "The Success Principles" (revised version) by Jack Canfield
This New York Times bestseller had me from the foreword. Besides the fact that Jack's book has been around for a while--a good sign that it had a purpose to be written in the first place--I found the 67 principles, individually penned by some of the most successful people in the world... priceless. Unlike some success books I have read, this one actually helped me 'see' the invisible line to follow in order to get to where I desired to be, from the place I was at the moment. Practical, yet captivating, [it] is a must-read for anyone wishing to maximize their potential, and reach for the stars."
--Michael Tyrrell, author, composer and producer of Wholetones, a healing frequency music project aiming to help people improve their health, sleep, creativity, productivity at work and wellbeing.
9. "The Assault on Reason" by Al Gore
"[It] gave me a deeper understanding (and interest) in the inner-workings of the human brain as it relates to fear...and the why (and how) we are led to make impulsive and often irrational decisions...oftentimes not in our best interest. In the early chapters, Gore uses science to walk us through the biology of the brain and how the human experience (over the course of time) has been hard-wired to elicit anxiety over uncertainty, scarcity and fear. Gore's discussion then turns to the ways in which the media (and marketers) use these hard wired response mechanisms to manipulate our decision making through strategic image placement, colors, sounds and more. Reading this laid much of the groundwork for my strong interest in marketing, which helped shape me as a business owner. Some of the basic principles outlined by Gore have had a direct influence in my decisions about product development, UI/UX design and the overall messaging used by our company to market our business."
--Bill Jula, cofounder of Opportunity, a platform for professional networking, employment and lead generation.
10. "Confidence: How Winning and Losing Streaks Begin and End" by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
"She studied companies, individuals and sports teams that had winning and losing streaks. And what she found was pretty simple. Those that hit a winning streak did so because they didn't give up. They had the confidence to keep on trying, and trying, and trying until they won. As an entrepreneur, you lose more than you win. Having confidence in the face of a devastating loss will give you the strength to try again. And if you keep trying, you will eventually succeed."
--AlexAnndra Ontra, cofounder of Shufflrr, a presentation management platform.