Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, visionaries, businessmen and businesswomen have one thing in common – they read. Not just for book clubs or to get their mind off of work, but to improve their skills and knowledge. If you’re looking for the first step to becoming the next Oprah or Mark Zuckerberg, here are some books you should put on your must-read list.
Bill Gates recommends: Business Adventures, Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street
Who said financial journalism can’t be interesting? John Brooks takes real life narratives from the corporate world of Wall Street and turns them into entertaining, laugh-out-loud stories. From scandals (like the failure of the Edsel) to the incredibly fast rise of pre-Facebook tech companies, Business Adventures is applicable to one’s personal career and to the world of finance as a whole. And, thanks to Brooks’ writing style, it’s a fun read in addition to being an informative one.
Sheryl Sandberg recommends: Conscious Business
Studies have shown that men are more likely than women to act unethically at work, so if you’re worried about ethics getting in the way of your personal success – read this book! Fred Kofman’s book helps redefine what ethics in the workplace refers to while promoting that success emerges from acting upon one’s ethical values instead of ignoring them. Conscious Business connects responsibility and economic success in a natural way, helping readers find it in their day-to-day life along the way.
Oprah recommends: Discover the Power Within You
One of the more spiritual books on this list, Oprah called this one of her favorite books of the decade and it’s easy to see why. Eric Butterworth discusses how each individual has untapped potential and what needs to be done to reach it. Once this resource is unhidden, Butterworth claims we can become healthier, more confident, and more successful. He also writes about the important of helping others with their journeys, making the case for peer-to-peer mentorship at work.
Warren Buffett recommends: The Intelligent Investor
Considered a financial classic, The Intelligent Investor promotes the use of long-term strategies in value investing and provides readers with an understanding of how to realistically apply these principles. Yes, this read focuses mostly on the investment and financial worlds, but you’ll be convinced to start making long-term plans by the time you finish this book. If these strategies have worked for the past few decades, they’ll work for you as well!
Mark Zuckerberg recommends: The End of Power
When the head of Facebook dedicated himself to reading one book every two weeks for a year, The End of Power by Moisés Naím was the first book he committed to completing. This read discusses power; how it moves, what to do with it, what not to do with it, and how you get it (or don’t). No matter what industry you work in, understanding the politics behind the function of power is an important skill. You can apply the lessons in The End of Power to the boardroom, the classroom, and everywhere else in between.
Richard Branson recommends: In-N-Out Burger
Yes, really! Stacy Perman’s look at In-N-Out Burger’s success and methods is worth reading about, especially if staying true to yourself is in your business mantra. Instead of focusing on how to “disrupt” the marketplace, Perman focuses on the benefits of family business and on how conservatism can be a smart business strategy. Plus, who doesn’t love a good reason to go buy a snack?