Even at the pinnacle of your career, there will always be more to learn. Fortunately, the resources today are nearly limitless. With a book, anyone can inherit generations of groundbreaking thinking—or explore contemporary business developments as they unfold. At Ivy Exec, knowledge is gospel. Our team reviews the latest information on everything related to career advancement, from mastering the job search to trailblazing a new income stream. This is our list of essential reading for CEOs and business leaders in the modern age.
Ivy Exec Reviews Books on Business Leadership
“Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t”
By Jim Collins
Jim Collins is the award-winning Stanford professor who authored “Good to Great” in 2001, selling over 4 million copies worldwide. Drawing on 40 years of research, the book examines 11 companies that more than tripled their cumulative market returns over a 15-year period. Collins examines what made these businesses successful and reveals patterns that set the course for a company’s success. Although some of these businesses have since slipped from their pedestal, the book’s underlying analysis endures as an investigation into the companies as they once operated. It’s a staple on business school syllabuses across the world.
“The Charisma Myth”
By Olivia Fox Cabane
Measuring the results is key to fine-tuning your performance. But how do you quantify charisma? Using a controlled lab, Olivia Fox Cabane and a team of researchers unravel the code to personal magnetism. “The Charisma Myth” marries a scientific approach with personal narrative to create a book that’s as insightful as it is spellbinding. This is a must-read for cultivating relationships at work and inspiring your team.
“Data Science for Executives”
By Nir Kaldero
In the era of “big data,” machine learning and AI are the new frontier. Even companies outside the tech industry are becoming data- or model-driven to sharpen their competitive edge. The author of “Data Science for Executives,” Nir Kaldero argues that companies need to adapt to the evolving landscape in the next one to three years—or risk becoming obsolete. Though pressing, the transition doesn’t have to be painful. According to Kaldero, leveraging AI will open up new opportunities to improve every level of an organization—and maximize your earnings.
“Break the Wheel”
By Jay Acunzo
Jay Acunzo challenges the cycle of “one size fits all” business advice that’s haunted board rooms for decades. In its place, he delivers the creative doctrine business leaders need to think and act for themselves. A powerful writer, Acunzo also makes business strategy passionate and engaging, in addition to providing practical insight. If you want to revitalize your practice, “Break the Wheel” will be a liberating experience.
“Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success”
By G. Richard Shell
Wharton School professor Richard Shell flouts convention and challenges readers to define success on their own terms. By reflecting on their personal strengths and goals, leaders can discover purpose and become more self-aware, empathetic, and motivated. Shell lays the groundwork to help people find internal clarity and instill meaningful change.
“Barbarians at the Gate”
By Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
“Barbarians at the Gate” is one of the most influential pieces of investigative journalism to date and a #1 bestseller with The New York Times. Award-winning authors Bryan Burrough and John Heylar inject humor into a dramatic account of the largest leveraged buyout in U.S. history. Between junk bonds, double-crossing, and catastrophic market losses, the RJR Nabisco collapse serves as a cautionary tale for leaders in every sector. The 2009 edition also includes an afterword from the authors that reflects on the 20th anniversary of the event.
“Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It”
By Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz
Former FBI lead negotiator Chris Voss and business journalist Tahl Raz co-author the new, evidence-backed guidelines to masterful negotiation. Citing techniques that were used on life-or-death cases, the authors break down their approach to tone, framing, and interpretation to achieve the best possible outcome in any conflict. From salary negotiations to company acquisitions, this book will help you through every aspect of your career.
“The Intelligent Investor”
By Benjamin Graham
Commonly lauded as “the father of value investing” and “dean of Wall Street,” Benjamin Graham records his meticulous approach to the stock market in “The Intelligent Investor.” As a graduate of Columbia University, Graham is one of the most enduring influences in the financial sector. If you want to make smarter financial decisions (and who doesn’t?), this book should top your summer reading list.
“The Infinite Game”
By Simon Sinek
In “The Infinite Game,” Simon Sinek asks the reader to evaluate their mindset: Do they think about professional success with restrictive, finite terms? Or do they appreciate the ebb and flow that occurs gradually as conditions change? To build a legacy, Sinek argues, you need to appreciate the long-term impact of your decisions. He offers a series of concrete principles to help guide readers to more strategic business practices.
What books shaped you into the leader you are today? We want to hear from you! Send your recommendations to @IvyExec on Twitter.