The best books for thinking leaders

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a bestselling business author, top-rated leadership speaker, and unconsultant who helps individuals and organizations think more critically, lead more effectively, and make better decisions. Prior to writing American Icon, I spent 20 years as a business reporter, covering the high-tech, biotech, and automotive industries for newspapers in California and Michigan. After that, I quit my job in order to help CEOs understand and implement the game-changing leadership I described in it. In 2017, I published my second book, Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer the Competition by Challenging Everything and started my own company, Red Team Thinking, to train organizations in this revolutionary approach to decision-making because I believe that who thinks wins.


I wrote...

Book cover of American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company

What is my book about?

American Icon tells the inspiring story of one of the greatest turnarounds in business history. In 2006, as Ford careened towards bankruptcy, Bill Ford stepped aside as CEO and brought in Boeing President Alan Mulally to save his company. Mulally used his outsider’s perspective and unconventional management style to uncover the roots of Ford’s problems, rally his team, and save the company against the backdrop of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. As the other American automakers went bankrupt and were bailed out by taxpayers, Ford saved itself.

This book offers a new model of leadership that has already saved not one, but two, iconic corporations. It has become a manual for CEOs and other leaders around the world who want to build a winning culture.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations

Bryce G. Hoffman Why did I love this book?

The Logic of Failure explores why leaders make bad decisions – and how to make better ones. Whenever I am asked for a book recommendation, this is always the first one I mention because I have learned so much from it, and what I have learned has helped me make better decisions every single day. This is an amazing, evidence-based effort to understand the root causes of failure and the pathways to success. It will help you understand how your plans can fail so that you can ensure they succeed.

By Dietrich Dorner,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Logic of Failure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why do we make mistakes? Are there certain errors common to failure, whether in a complex enterprise or daily life? In this truly indispensable book, Dietrich Doerner identifies what he calls the logic of failure",certain tendencies in our patterns of thought that, while appropriate to an older, simpler world, prove disastrous for the complex world we live in now. Working with imaginative and often hilarious computer simulations, he analyzes the roots of catastrophe, showing city planners in the very act of creating gridlock and disaster, or public health authorities setting the scene for starvation. The Logic of Failure is a…


Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Bryce G. Hoffman Why did I love this book?

Thinking, Fast and Slow is a master class on how the brain works – and how it doesn’t. I have found no better introduction to the field of cognitive science and human decision-making. Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman will teach you how we make decisions and how you can make better ones. You will gain an awareness of the many cognitive biases and mental heuristics that skew our thinking so that you can identify them and overcome them in yourself.

By Daniel Kahneman,

Why should I read it?

41 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast,…


Book cover of The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization

Bryce G. Hoffman Why did I love this book?

This book is chock-full of valuable ideas and insights that you can use as a leader to create a learning organization, better understand why you think the way you do, and learn how to think more critically and deeply about the challenges and opportunities you face. This book opened my eyes to the mental models we construct – consciously or unconsciously – and how these frame our thinking. It also contains one of my favorite maxims: The easy way out usually leads back in.

By Peter M. Senge,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Fifth Discipline as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the seminal management books of the past 75 years, The Fifth Discipline is an international multi-million-copy bestseller. Written in an engaging and accessible way, with diagrams and illustrations, it will change the way you think and therefore way you and your team grows and develop. In the long run, the only sustainable source of competitive advantage is your organisation's ability to learn faster than its competitors....

'Senge explains why the learning organization matters, provides an unvarnished summary of his management principals, offers some basic tools for practicing it, and shows what it's like to operate under this system.…


Book cover of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions

Bryce G. Hoffman Why did I love this book?

This is another great book that will help you understand how we make decisions and how we can make better ones. Klein and Kahneman are famous frenemies, with Klein giving far more credit to our ability to make good snap decisions. This work was the inspiration for Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, but Klein’s book offers much better examples and much deeper insights for those who want to learn to make better decisions, particularly in high-stress, time-constrained situations.

By Gary A. Klein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sources of Power as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A modern classic about how people really make decisions: drawing on prior experience, using a combination of intuition and analysis.

Since its publication twenty years ago, Sources of Power has been enormously influential. The book has sold more than 50,000 copies, has been translated into six languages, has been cited in professional journals that range from Journal of Marketing Research to Journal of Nursing, and is mentioned by Malcolm Gladwell in Blink. Author Gary Klein has collaborated with Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and served on a team that redesigned the White House Situation Room to support more effective decision making.…


Book cover of Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future

Bryce G. Hoffman Why did I love this book?

If you read one book on AI, make sure it is this one. Machine, Platform, Crowd cuts through the hype and science fiction that surrounds the artificial intelligence revolution to uncover the real opportunities created by this rapidly evolving technology. This book has shaped my own thinking about AI, which I now see as a force multiplier for human decision-makers, rather than as a replacement for them. It will help you better understand the challenges and opportunities this creates for you and your organization as well.

By Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Machine, Platform, Crowd as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We live in strange times. A machine plays the strategy game Go better than any human; upstarts like Apple and Google destroy industry stalwarts such as Nokia; ideas from the crowd are repeatedly more innovative than those from corporate research laboratories.

Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson know what it takes to master this digital-powered shift: we must rethink the integration of minds and machines, of products and platforms, and of the core and the crowd. The balance now favours the second element of the pair, with massive implications for how we run our companies and live our lives. McAfee and…


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Wealth Odyssey: The Essential Road Map for Your Financial Journey Where Is It You Are Really Trying to Go with Money?

By Larry R. Frank Sr., Maxwell Limanowski (editor), Peter Sander (editor)

Book cover of Wealth Odyssey: The Essential Road Map for Your Financial Journey Where Is It You Are Really Trying to Go with Money?

Larry R. Frank Sr. Author Of Wealth Odyssey: The Essential Road Map for Your Financial Journey Where Is It You Are Really Trying to Go with Money?

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Father Grandfather Business founder Planner and thinker Income and longevity researcher

Larry's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

What are you trying to do with your money?

Few of us take the time to analyze our financial needs and goals to answer that pressing question. In Wealth Odyssey, author Larry R. Frank Sr. uses his extensive financial background to provide a universal road map that will help you determine the wealth you need to support your chosen lifestyle.

Frank discusses such topics as the wealth rule, the earning-spending-saving formula, using debt wisely, and 
risk management. 

Wealth Odyssey is authored to be timeless; it does not matter what the market has done, or will do. This is a practical, no-nonsense guide that will help you develop a personal definition of wealth and create an effective strategy for long-term financial success.

Wealth Odyssey: The Essential Road Map for Your Financial Journey Where Is It You Are Really Trying to Go with Money?

By Larry R. Frank Sr., Maxwell Limanowski (editor), Peter Sander (editor)

What is this book about?

"Frank, a Certified Financial Planner in California, offers a concise, precise guide to "prudent thinking" about personal finances, along with simple tools to estimate how much is required for a comfortable retirement." "A sound guide designed to help people make sensible plans for a successful retirement" - Kirkus book review "First let me tell you Larry Frank knows his stuff. He has a procedure that many will find worth taking the time to implement.” " The book is full of good advice." - Armchair interviews "Larry Frank Sr, gives you a guidebook or "road map" for your financial goals or…


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Interested in decision making, information technology, and intuition?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about decision making, information technology, and intuition.

Decision Making Explore 81 books about decision making
Information Technology Explore 39 books about information technology
Intuition Explore 16 books about intuition