The best books on how to become a global business leader

The Books I Picked & Why

Adventures of a Bystander

By Peter F. Drucker

Adventures of a Bystander

Why this book?

Peter F. Drucker is the most famous and influential management thinker of the 20th century. He grew up in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which fell at the end of the First World War. His classic education, his knowledge of history, his broad horizons, his understanding of business processes make him unique among management thinkers. He outshines them all. And he is an outstanding, captivating writer. Anyone who wants to learn and understand about management must read this book. I have read it three times. I mourn this late friend.


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Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise

By Horst Schulze, Dean Merrill

Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise

Why this book?

Horst Schulze started as a bellboy and became the best hotelier in the world. He is the one who created the leading hotel chain Ritz Carlton. He won the Baldridge Quality Award twice. No one else has achieved that. But what's really interesting about this book is not the result, but the way he got there: how did he achieve this great goal? 

Anyone involved in service can learn extremely valuable lessons from this book. And in the process, you will also get to know Horst Schulze as a person. Because at the core of him lies the secret of success; he is a role model and leader.


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My Adventures in Marketing: The Autobiography of Philip Kotler

By Philip Kotler

My Adventures in Marketing: The Autobiography of Philip Kotler

Why this book?

Modern business management without marketing is unthinkable. Marketing is Philip Kotler, and Philip Kotler is marketing. The two are inextricably linked. The descendant of Ukrainian immigrants has shaped the world of marketing like no one else. In this book, he tells not only his personal story, but also the story of marketing. So when you read it, you kill two birds with one stone. You get to know an extremely versatile contemporary and you learn all about a very important management discipline.


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Herman the German: Just Lucky I Guess

By Gerhard Neumann

Herman the German: Just Lucky I Guess

Why this book?

In my life I have only met two real adventurers. One of them was Gerhard Neumann, a.k.a. Herman the German. Since his mother was Jewish, he left Nazi Germany and went to China. There he made his way as an engineer for the Flying Tigers and achieved technical miracles. He fled across Asia to escape Mao Tse Tung. Only a few years later, he became CEO of General Electric Aircraft Engines, the global market leader. Neumann developed both the best-selling military and commercial jet engines. But he always remained an adventurer. In the Death Valley, he flew supersonically below sea level. In Mexico, his plane crashed, but he survived. As a sailor, he got into distress at sea and survived. And he had a motto that I've adopted myself in business: Feel unsafe!


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Principles: Life and Work

By Ray Dalio

Principles: Life and Work

Why this book?

Ray Dalio is well known as the founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates and a successful investor. He has systematically worked his way up. This career pattern is not unusual for successful people and not the main reason why I recommend this book. What impressed me much more was the clarity with which he formulated his principles and, above all, the stringency with which he then implemented these principles. This requires an unusual discipline and perseverance that I, myself an entrepreneur, envy Ray Dalio for. Anyone who manages to apply this method will be successful.


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