The most recommended business leaders books

Who picked these books? Meet our 89 experts.

89 authors created a book list connected to business leaders, and here are their favorite business leader books.
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Book cover of Can You Keep a Secret?

Victoria Browne Author Of Gut Feeling

From my list on vacation reads about love and friendship.

Why am I passionate about this?

Romance and chick-lit books hooked me as a young adult. It was this genre that inspired me to write. Since publishing my first book Gut Feeling in 2012 I’ve since written three chick-lit novels and a holiday rom-com screenplay. The fiction world of perfectly unperfect romance never fails.   

Victoria's book list on vacation reads about love and friendship

Victoria Browne Why did Victoria love this book?

This was the book that inspired me to write chick lit and romance novels. After reading Can You Keep a Secret?, I went on to read every book Kinsella wrote. Timeless. But there’s something about this one that is special. A touch of excitement us romance readers love when a bigshot highflyer falls in love with the normal girl on the street. Classic.

By Sophie Kinsella,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Can You Keep a Secret? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hilarious romantic comedy from NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR Sophie Kinsella . . . soon to be a major motion picture!

Emma is like every girl in the world. She has a few little secrets.

Secrets from her mother:
1. I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom to Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching TV.

... From her boyfriend:
2. I'm a size twelve. Not a size eight, like Connor thinks.
3. I've always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

... From her colleagues:
4. When Artemis really annoys me…


Book cover of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal

Evan I. Schwartz Author Of The Last Lone Inventor: A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television

From my list on cautionary tales about world-changing technology.

Why am I passionate about this?

Starting college in 1982, just as the personal computer became TIME’s first non-human “person of the year,” I got fascinated by how such a powerful technology could change the world and what other marvels might be next. After all, whenever a new thing arrives, humans make choices of how to use it, and those choices alter life on planet Earth in unforeseen ways. I majored in computer science and became a tech journalist, writing for BusinessWeek, WIRED, and MIT Technology Review. I set out to write the little-known story of how a prior screen, television, was born, wondering whether it would turn into a cautionary tale.

Evan's book list on cautionary tales about world-changing technology

Evan I. Schwartz Why did Evan love this book?

As with the creation of 2001, this 2009 book was written simultaneously with a screenplay, by Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network. As author Ben Mezrich admits up front, entire scenes and stretches of dialog are made up, making this account of Mark Zuckerberg’s real experiences conjuring Facebook as a student at Harvard more like a work of fiction. While the book is wildly entertaining, it falls way short as a cautionary tale about the social media platform that would end up doing damage to our democracy as a petri dish of misinformation and manipulation. Only at the very end of the 2010 movie do we receive notes of alarm, thanks to the film’s closing song. “Now that you know who you are,” the Beatles sing in "Baby You’re a Rich Man", “what do you want to be?” It suggests that Facebook’s business plan…

By Ben Mezrich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Accidental Billionaires as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller and inspiration for the Oscar-winning movie, The Social Network

Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg - an awkward maths prodigy and a painfully shy computer genius - were never going to fit in at elite, polished Harvard. Yet that all changed when master-hacker Mark crashed the university's entire computer system by creating a rateable database of female students. Narrowly escaping expulsion, the two misfits refocused the site into something less controversial - 'The Facebook' - and watched as it spread like wildfire across campuses around the country, and their popularity exploded in the process.

Yet amidst…


Book cover of Trump: The Art of the Deal

Richard Dresser Author Of It Happened Here

From my list on to read when fascism is creeping in the window.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m President of the Writers Guild Initiative, with a mission of giving a voice to populations not being heard (LGBT asylum seekers, exonerated death row prisoners, Dreamers, etc.). In our writing workshops I see how marginalized communities are deprived of their rights and how insidiously minority rule is seizing power. Fascism depends on demonizing the Other, which was weaponized during the Trump years and is exploding on the right. This issue animates my life and work as a writer, mentor, speaker, and teacher. In the USA, democracy is hanging by a thread. My book takes a deep dive into what this means for an American family over the next fifteen years.

Richard's book list on to read when fascism is creeping in the window

Richard Dresser Why did Richard love this book?

This is the first book that credits Donald Trump as “author,” and it may well be one of the few books he has ever read. The actual “writing” was performed by Tony Schwartz, with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding his nose. This is the sacred text that introduced the term “truthful hyperbole” (lying) which later metastasized into the Big Lie, as the author slithered inexorably from real estate conman (six bankruptcies) to reality show host to, naturally, leader of the formerly free world. Tony Schwartz’s decades of mea culpas can’t erase the hideous trajectory launched by The Art of the Deal, which author Trump called his second favorite book after The Bible, and set him on his course toward overthrowing American democracy. 

By Donald J. Trump, Tony Schwartz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

President Donald J. Trump lays out his professional and personal worldview in this classic work—a firsthand account of the rise of America’s foremost deal-maker.

“I like thinking big. I always have. To me it’s very simple: If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”—Donald J. Trump

Here is Trump in action—how he runs his organization and how he runs his life—as he meets the people he needs to meet, chats with family and friends, clashes with enemies, and challenges conventional thinking. But even a maverick plays by rules, and Trump has formulated time-tested guidelines for…


Book cover of How to Be a Founder: How Entrepreneurs can Identify, Fund and Launch their Best Ideas

Simon Court Author Of Founder's Legacy: 50 Game-Changing Leadership Lessons for Building a Great Business

From my list on books for founders trying to be in the 10% of businesses that succeed.

Why am I passionate about this?

For the last 25 years, I have been a coach to business founders, leaders, and leadership teams. My work has taken me to every continent from my base in London. A lot of my work is done behind closed doors, but I have been instrumental in building two unicorns in the last decade. I’m a founder myself and have always been fascinated by what it takes to succeed as a founder. I have a powerful conviction that learning to lead is the heart of it. The books I love are either based on real-world research or deeply practical and based on hands-on experience. Practice trumps theory every time in my world!

Simon's book list on books for founders trying to be in the 10% of businesses that succeed

Simon Court Why did Simon love this book?

I know the work that Entrepreneur First does and some young founders who have benefitted from their work and built successful businesses. This book is read by the founders as they talk about entrepreneurship, the start-up phase and co-founding.

I found the sections on understanding and using your ‘edge’ especially interesting, and this leads to some smart thinking about how to choose the right co-founder. The book stops at the point where the business is about to take off; keep that in mind.

By Alice Bentinck, Matt Clifford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Be a Founder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*WINNER OF THE STARTUP/SCALEUP BUSINESS BOOK AWARD 2023* An essential guide to equip the next generation of founders with the mindset and tools they need to take the leap to become globally successful entrepreneurs. Featuring a foreword by Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, this fascinating handbook inspires potential founders and provides essential guidance and advice for people who want to create their own start-up and build a successful company. This book answers the question "how do I get started?" It takes the reader from making the decision to plunge into entrepreneurship, through the process of choosing and developing an idea…


Book cover of 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas

Deena Lee Davis Author Of Class A Felony

From my list on that I couldn't put down.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was in third grade, I received a note from a boy that stated, “I like you. Terry.” I learned that just a few words were necessary to convey emotion and that every word in a story needs to have purpose. I earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Indiana University and remembered Terry’s note. These are my favorite books. They get to the point and take me on an adventure. I’ve studied them and written my debut novel in such fashion. In addition to my novel, I’ve published many non-fiction human interest stories, short prose, and poems. I credit any awards or recognition I have received to four words from Terry.  

Deena's book list on that I couldn't put down

Deena Lee Davis Why did Deena love this book?

Madeleine is a nine-year-old girl with big dreams to sing jazz at the Cat’s Pajamas, and she’ll let nothing stop her from attaining this goal. This book simply cannot be put down. As the time crept toward 2 A.M., the tension built. I laughed and I loved and rooted for Madeleine to make her debut.  

By Marie-Helene Bertino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An enchanting novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters as they search for love, music, and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia.
 
Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, rebellious nine-year-old who also happens to be an aspiring jazz singer. Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, she doesn’t realize that on the eve of Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia's legendary jazz club The Cat's Pajamas,…


Book cover of Good Company

Brian Unell Author Of Everyday Leadership: You Will Make A Difference

From my list on leadership you can use at home, work, and in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a recovering Big 5 consultant and healthcare administrator, while others portray me as a transformational healthcare executive who has a passion for cultivating talent and driving change to enable sustainable results. I am a visionary and collaborative team builder and servant leader who views issues/opportunities from all perspectives, turns data into information, the complex into simple, and chaos into focus. I have led transformational consulting projects, a $180M technology implementation, and a team of 1,500 people. I enjoy serving on non-profit boards, mentoring others, and co-leading a team of four at home with my wife, Hilary.  

Brian's book list on leadership you can use at home, work, and in life

Brian Unell Why did Brian love this book?

In Good Company, Arthur Blank, one of the founders of Home Depot, shares his views on leadership, hiring, his biggest mistakes, and how creating a culture of putting the customer first in everything you do can drive tremendous business results, brand loyalty, and customer satisfaction. 

Pick it up to understand how 2” can make a massive difference.

By Arthur M Blank,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Good Company as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A WALL STREET JOURNAL AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER

Featuring an introduction by President Jimmy Carter

The Home Depot cofounder and owner of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and MLS's Atlanta United shares a vision and a roadmap for values-based business.

Arthur M. Blank believes that for good companies, purpose and profit can-and should-go hand in hand. And he should know. Together with cofounder Bernie Marcus, Blank built The Home Depot from an idea and a dream to a $50 billion-dollar company, the leading home improvement retailer in the world. And even while opening a new store every 42 hours, they never…


Book cover of Sam Walton, Made in America: My Story

Derek Lidow Author Of The Entrepreneurs: The Relentless Quest for Value

From my list on most truthful about how entrepreneurship works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have had the unique experience of having been a successful CEO of a global publicly traded semiconductor company, a founder and CEO of an innovative and valuable startup, and now as a teacher and scholar of entrepreneurship and innovation. I’m a Professor of the Practice at Princeton University where I teach and write about being a successful entrepreneur. My three books on the subject are: Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises; Building on Bedrock: What Sam Walton, Walt Disney, and Other Great Self-Made Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Building Valuable Companies; and THE ENTREPRENEURS: The Relentless Quest for Value

Derek's book list on most truthful about how entrepreneurship works

Derek Lidow Why did Derek love this book?

Most memoirs written by entrepreneurs are highly filtered stories about why they are so great. Sam Walton’s memoir is the most realistic, honest, and useful description of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur, a family man, and somebody who cares about their employees and community. You cannot go wrong using Sam Walton as your role model.

By Sam Walton, John Huey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sam Walton, Made in America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet a genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America's heartland: Sam Walton, who parlayed a single dime store in a hardscrabble cotton town into Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world.  The undisputed merchant king of the late twentieth century, Sam never lost the common touch.  Here, finally, inimitable words.  Genuinely modest, but always sure if his ambitions and achievements.  Sam shares his thinking in a candid, straight-from-the-shoulder style.

In a story rich with anecdotes and the "rules of the road" of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, and optimism…


Book cover of No Limit: The Rise and Fall of Bob Stupak and Las Vegas' Stratosphere Tower

Mark Bollman Author Of Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind the Neon

From my list on people who challenged Las Vegas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been playing card games since childhood, and have had a parallel interest in the mathematics behind the games for nearly as long. While I didn’t visit Las Vegas in person until 2000, the stories of how that city was built around the gaming industry quickly came to fascinate me. Digging into the details of the people who have made that city what it is and have come to make their way in the desert has been a fascinating sidelight that has enhanced my recent work writing books on gambling mathematics.

Mark's book list on people who challenged Las Vegas

Mark Bollman Why did Mark love this book?

No list of Las Vegas entrepreneurs is complete without Bob Stupak, the marketing mastermind who successfully sold many tourists on a visit to Vegas World, a small casino at the far northern end of the Las Vegas Strip. 

The self-described maverick challenged the more established Las Vegas casinos throughout his career, culminating in the building of the Stratosphere Tower which now anchors the Las Vegas skyline. His story mingling success and failure is skillfully told here by a titan of Nevada journalism.

By John L. Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No Limit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Of all the modern Las Vegas casino operators, none had more flair than Bob Stupak. The self-proclaimed "Polish Maverick" rose from humble origins as the son of a Pittsburgh boss gambler to head one of the largest privately owned casinos in Las Vegas, the infamous Vegas World. Stupak parlayed a small slot joint into a $100 million-a-year gambling operation by manipulating the local and national media with outrageous stunts and promotions. His headline-grabbing handiwork is now the stuff of Las Vegas legend.

Remember Vegas World's VIP Vacation? Stupak's cleverly worded advertisements flooded millions of mailboxes around the country and appeared…


Book cover of Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life

Carlos A. Zuluaga Author Of The Wisdom Factor: Reducing the Control of Bias, Threat, and Fear while Building a Better World

From my list on inspiring personal growth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been passionate about continuous learning and understanding why people act the way they do. The books I recommend cover the topic of continuous growth across different states and areas of life. 

Carlos' book list on inspiring personal growth

Carlos A. Zuluaga Why did Carlos love this book?

I started following Guy Kawasaki because of some of his ideas on communication, work, writing, etc. Wise Guy is an easy-to-read book in which Guy Kawasaki shares some of the things he has learned across different areas of life (work, relationships, mentorship, etc.). 

I really enjoy the personal stories shared in the book, which have led the author to grow both personally and professionally. It also made me reflect on my personal stories and how they have contributed to the person I am today. 

By Guy Kawasaki,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wise Guy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Silicon Valley icon and bestselling author Guy Kawasaki shares the unlikely stories of his life and the lessons we can draw from them.

Guy Kawasaki has been a fixture in the tech world since he was part of Apple's original Macintosh team in the 1980s. He's widely respected as a source of wisdom about entrepreneurship, venture capital, marketing, and business evangelism, which he's shared in bestselling books such as The Art of the Start and Enchantment. But before all that, he was just a middle-class kid in Hawaii, a grandson of Japanese immigrants, who loved football and got a C+…


Book cover of My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store

Ian MacAllen Author Of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American

From my list on when you’re hungering for history.

Why am I passionate about this?

My wife and I were at a red sauce joint in the West Village of Manhattan drinking a bit of wine when we posed the question: who invented all this? We knew Italian American food didn’t look all that much like the food we ate in Italy. Later, at home, I started Googling for answers. None were satisfactory. I read a few books before finding myself at the New York Public library sleuthing through JSTOR. After examining my notes, I said to myself, “oh, I guess I’m writing a book.”

Ian's book list on when you’re hungering for history

Ian MacAllen Why did Ian love this book?

Corner grocery stores are everywhere in New York City, but most of the time we never really think very hard about them. Ben Ryder Howe on the other hand, drew on his own experience running the family bodega. The store he ran was on the border between a rapidly gentrifying section of Brooklyn and a neighborhood with public housing. The changing customer base meant his store shelves began to gentrify like the neighborhood around him, but as he soon learned, too many changes too quickly are bad for business. Part memoir, part researched journalism, Ryder Howe provides a fascinating look into a New York City staple. 

By Ben Ryder Howe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Korean Deli as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It starts with a gift, when Ben Ryder Howe's wife, the daughter of Korean immigrants, decides to repay her parents' self-sacrifice by buying them a store. Howe, an editor at the rarefied Paris Review, agrees to go along. Things soon become a lot more complicated. After the business struggles, Howe finds himself living in the basement of his in-laws' Staten Island home, commuting to the Paris Review offices in George Plimpton's Upper East Side townhouse by day, and heading to Brooklyn at night to slice cold cuts and peddle lottery tickets. "My Korean Deli" follows the store's tumultuous life span,…