10 books every CEO needs to read before stepping into a new endeavour


In order for any organisation to succeed, it must have a strong management system in place that takes cares of all of its short-term and long-term objectives. And it’s a CEO’s responsibility to deploy that strong system by making well-thought out and informed decisions. While it is only obvious that any person chosen for this role must be adept at what they do, there is no harm in investing some time in exercising your brain. After all, the more you learn, the more you become aware of opportunities and ready for challenges that come your way.

It does not matter if you are new to this role or have been doing this for years, there is always something new to learn. Being a CEO isn't easy, but having the knowledge and skills that you gain by reading good books can enhance your capabilities immensely.

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Here are 10 books that every CEO must read to equip themselves with the right lessons and management principles before stepping into a new endeavour:

Start with Why

Authored by Simon Sinek, Start with Why is a compilation of real life stories of the world’s greatest leaders. The book takes you on a journey that unfolds the vision and characteristics of a good leader with each chapter.

Personal History

Personal History is an autobiography by Katharine Graham, one of the first and only women to have played the role of a CEO for a Fortune 100 company. This book is a great asset for those who feel stuck in the puddle of self-doubt, and illuminates the struggles and concealed secrets of being an unforgettable leader.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz has undertaken the least talked about arena in the management world - The psychology and mental well-being of the leader himself. It is a must-read to get an insight into your own thoughts and analyse your steps for greater good.

The Goal

Written by Eliyahu Goldratt, the book provides an insight into a CEO’s mindset. The book helps you identify, unlock and get acquainted to the solutions for the primary constraints one might face while running a business.

Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman, in this book, has very skilfully explained how self-awareness is the most neglected yet substantial trait of good leadership. It talks about the five components of EQ - self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills and internal motivation.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Authored by Dale Carnegie, this book is one of the best motivational books for leaders of all times. This book shows you how honest communication and appreciation, and not manipulation, are the greatest asses to win over hearts of your audience.

How to have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People

Written by one of the most influential human relations manager, Leslie T. Giblin, this book guides you to the art of interaction and effective management for running a successful business. Each chapter of this book elaborates the key management goals - cooperation, security and goodwill, and how one can dwell a win-win situation when communicating with others.

CEO Flow

CEO Flow is a gem authored by Aaron Ross. He has based this book on his own personal experiences he gained in technology companies. He explains how trusting your employees with critical responsibilities can bring your business success and you, peace of mind.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies make the Leap and Others Don’t

Authored by Jim Collins, this book helps you identify and understand business characteristics and management skills to gain more profit and bring long-term success. This management book also describes companies’ transition from being good companies to great companies, and why some companies fail to make a successful transition

10. Decisive: How to make Better Choices in Life and Work

While making mistakes is an inevitable characteristic of being human, Chip and Dan Heath’s Decisive helps you recognise and prevent making bad decisions with an easy-to-follow framework.

If you read these 10 books and follow the insights and lessons shared by some of the prominent personalities in the business world in their writing, you will be well armed and better prepared to be a great CEO.


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