17 Best Books for Entrepreneurs and Leaders

Leaders are readers. We've all heard that truth, but actually putting this truth to practice can be the difference between wasting time and real success. Here are some of my favorite must read business books for entrepreneurs and leaders. 

Good to Great from Jim Collins

Good to Great is the book every entrepreneur or leader must read. Jim Collins wanted to answer one key question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" He and a team of researchers worked to discover what made the best companies great. 

"How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?"


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Steven R. Covey

The seven habits is a comprehensive program based on developing an awareness of how perceptions and assumptions hinder success---in business as well as personal relationships. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was a groundbreaker when it was first published in 1990, and it continues to be a business bestseller with more than 10 million copies sold for good reason, this is a must read for any leader. 
 


Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington 

Breaking Busy not only walks you through how to manage your time, but how to change your mindset. I waffled on listing it because I wrote it, but why not? I believe in it and want you to learn from my lessons! 

You'll learn how to:

  • Escape the tyranny of the urgent
  • Make decisions with confidence
  • Develop strategies for effective communication 

Check out the free resources in the toolkit here. 


EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey

Whether you’re sitting at the CEO’s desk, the middle manager’s cubicle, or a card table in your living-room-based startup, EntreLeadership provides the practical, step-by-step guidance to grow your business where you want it to go. Dave opens up his championship playbook for business to show you how to:

• Inspire your team to take ownership and love what they do
• Handle money to set your business up for success
• Reach every goal you set


The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership by Jenni Catron


In The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership, Catron shows you:

Why first learning to lead yourself is a critical foundation of influence
What it takes to lead in the midst of chaos
The indispensable role of humility in leading well
How authentic leadership emerges from a commitment deep within

Theses four dimensions will shatter your limitations, expand your influence, and equip you to serve others in seeing great dreams become reality. 


The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

This brilliant book dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business.
 The author walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed.

This book was an absolutely game changer for me personally. 
 


The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin

Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt—until they commit to beating the right Dip for the right reasons. 
Whether you’re a graphic designer, a sales rep, an athlete, or an aspiring CEO, this fun little book will help you figure out if you’re in a Dip that’s worthy of your time, effort, and talents. If you are, The Dip will inspire you to hang tough. If not, it will help you find the courage to quit—so you can be number one at something else. 


Rework by Jason Fried

Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you'll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don't need outside investors, and why you're better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don't need to be a workaholic. You don't need to staff up. You don't need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don't even need an office. According to the author those are all just excuses.

This is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs they hate, victims of "downsizing," and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable guidance in these pages.


Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Health

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas?

In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors  tackle head-on these questions. 

Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas–and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.


The path to your life's work is difficult and risky, even scary, which is why few finish the journey. This is a book about discovering your life's work, that treasure of immeasurable worth we all long for. It's about the task you were born to do. 

As Jeff Goins explains, the search begins with passion but does not end there. Only when our interests connect with the needs of the world do we begin living for a larger purpose. Those who experience this intersection experience something exceptional and enviable. Though it is rare, such a life is attainable by anyone brave enough to try. 


Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Caldini

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings is a must have on every bookshelf. 


You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. 


Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself--and the world around you--forever. 

With StrengthsFinder 2.0 you get:

* A new and upgraded edition of the StrengthsFinder assessment
* A personalized Strengths Discovery and Action-Planning Guide for applying your strengths in the next week, month, and year
* A more customized version of your top five theme report
* 50 Ideas for Action (10 strategies for building on each of your top five themes) 


Any person or organization can explain what they do; some can explain how they are different or better; but very few can clearly articulate why. WHY is not about money or profit – those are results. WHY is the thing that inspires us and inspires those around us. 
 
Leaders who inspire all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way – and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does.

Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired – and it all starts with WHY.


Just as a bank account protects you during a financial crunch, a Career Savings Account™ protects you during a career crunch. You need a CSA because you’ll eventually face at least one of these major transitions:

   •  You will hit a Career Ceiling and get stuck, requiring sharp skills to free yourself. 
   •  You will experience a Career Bump and unexpectedly lose your job, requiring strong relationships to survive. 
   •  You will make a Career Jump to a new role, requiring solid character to push through uncertainty and chaos. 
   •  You will get a surprise Career Opportunity, requiring dedicated hustle to take advantage of it. 


An organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified.  Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave. Lencioni’s first non-fiction book provides leaders with a groundbreaking, approachable model for achieving organizational health.

The Advantage provides a foundational construct for conducting business in a new way—one that maximizes human potential and aligns the organization around a common set of principles.


Businesses are built by growing relationships with customers. Culture is created by the stories those relationships tell. Two of the most important differentiators of a business are its talent and its culture. Talent energized by a compelling culture will drive organizational success and provide innovative growth opportunities for both the business and the individual. 

Based on her more than thirty years at Chick-fil-A, most of which have been spent as Vice President, Corporate Talent, Dee Ann Turner shares how Chick-fil-A has built a devoted talent and fan base that spans generations. It's My Pleasure tells powerful stories and provides practical applications on how to develop extraordinary talent able to build and/or stimulate a company's culture.


The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki 

Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, small-business owner, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit leader, there's no shortage of advice on topics such as innovating, recruiting, fund raising, and branding. In fact, there are so many books, articles, websites, blogs, webinars, and conferences that many startups get paralyzed, or they focus on the wrong priorities and go broke before they succeed. 


The Art of the Start 2.0 solves that problem by distilling Guy Kawasaki's decades of experience as one of the most hardworking and irreverent strategists in the business world. 
 


There you go, with this list you can not go wrong. Books for leaders and books for entrepreneurs both have one thing in common- they will help you succeed! 

Enjoy!