All of us constantly look for inspiration, and what can be a better source than some inspirational literature. Leaders are responsible for the success or the failure of the organisation and if they effectively manage the people, culture and work in the organisation, no one can stop the organisation from achieving heights. Not only is it a great way to learn and grow, but it provides a way to relax after a long day.


Here are 12 books recommended by some of the top CEOs in the world to kick off your reading list.

1. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey hands “The Checklist Manifesto” to new hires at Square and quotes from it often.

2. Competing Against Time by George Stalk

Apple’s Tim Cook reportedly recommends “Competing Against Time” to new hires and hands out copies to colleagues.

3. My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla

Google’s Larry Page finds inspiration in “My Inventions” about other successful leaders, including this one about AC current inventor Tesla.

4. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Christensen

Although he’s no longer with us, Steve Jobs remains an inspiration. Among his favourite books was “The Innovator’s Dilemma” on changing technology, which he said deeply influenced him.

5. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos lists Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Remains of the Day” among his favourite books, citing its ability to teach readers about life and regret.

6. The End of Power by Moises Naim

When Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg kicked off his goal to read a new book every two weeks, he started with “The End of Power“, a study in how leadership has evolved over the past 100 years.

7. Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

Among the books that Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh recommends is “Search Inside Yourself, a guide to finding inner joy.

8. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

In his book Behind the Cloud, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff describes how he applied the concepts in “The Art of War to beat competitors through the element of surprise.

9. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

He may be the world’s top investor, but Warren Buffett spends most of his time reading. Among the many books on the billionaire’s to-read list is “The Intelligent Investor“, which he says shaped his investment philosophy.

10. Business Adventures by John Brooks

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates read “Business Adventures” at Buffett’s recommendation and says the 1969 collection of Wall Street tales remains his favourite business book to date.

11. Napoleon by Vincent Cronin

Former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison felt particularly inspired by Vincent Cronin’s biography on “Napoleon“, feeling inspired by the way a man of modest means accomplished great things.

12. The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama

LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner learned the true meaning of compassion through “The Art of Happiness” from the Dalai Lama.

About Author

Biplab Ghosh

Biplab lives his life around technology and is particularly keen to explore the intersection of technology and human behaviour. Always looking for new ideas, and ways that can make things simpler. He is a geek with the flair for travel and has great passion for music and theatres.

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