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Eight Impactful Books That May Change The Way You Lead Your Company

Books can be an invaluable source of information, experience, innovation, motivation and so much more. But for business leaders and entrepreneurs, books are immensely useful tools, whether they’re seeking guidance, looking for insight on a specific process or just trying to find a source of inspiration and creativity.

Here, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council share the books that have made the biggest impact on the way they lead their companies, and explain why they’d recommend these books to any entrepreneur looking to learn.

1. ‘Hit Refresh’

Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone by Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, was one of the most important books I’ve read. One thing I took from it is that, simply put, culture eats strategy for breakfast—which is something that’s directly portrayed in businesses I run. We have small teams who are passionate about what they do and can easily communicate with each other, with opinions and ideas heavily fleshed out and brought to life. Strategy to me is figuring out a way to execute something. Culture to me is about an environment that encourages learning, listening and working toward something greater, aligned with the company’s mission. – Sai Morar, Soleus IO LTD

2. ‘The Art Of Managing People Time And Money’

Reading the book The Art of Managing People Time & Money: Inspiration and Wisdom for Every Entrepreneur by Rich Russakoff was invaluable to my understanding of the traditional stages of business growth. Find, recruit and retain the best possible talent. Spend and save money wisely to ensure we maintain a healthy and sustainable business. Also, put my time in my “Zone of Genius,” which is business development, creating relationships and leadership. – Javon Frazier, Maestro Media

3. ‘The Infinite Game’

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek has had a major impact on me. Life and business aren’t a zero-sum game, and anyone who operates as if they are is at a huge disadvantage. The journey of successful people, especially entrepreneurs, is filled with ups and downs—and the more you maintain the mindset of abundance instead of scarcity, the more successful you’ll become. In this book, Simon Sinek shares the story of Walt Disney and his “Existential Flexibility,” a tremendously inspiring story of a wildly successful entrepreneur who approached life and business with this mindset. Disney courageously risked everything by disrupting his ho-hum status quo to further his “Just Cause.” This story changed my life—and I highly encourage everyone to get the full story in the book. – Karlo Tanjuakio, Kure

4. ‘Shoe Dog’

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight is an endless source of inspiration. It reminds me that every business is a struggle, and that the intersection of determination, relationships and luck is what builds great companies. All of the ingredients take years or decades to cultivate, and that’s okay. Whether knowingly or not, Knight makes the case that building a business—like life—is about the journey, not the destination. It’s a reminder that all entrepreneurs need on a pretty regular basis! – Maryana Grinshpun, Mammoth Projects

5. ‘The ONE Thing’

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller completely flipped the way we prioritize our work on its head. Instead of trying to get as much work as possible done each week, we shifted our thinking to completing the one most important thing each day that would drive the business forward. This has led to less stress for the team, as you always feel the momentum of doing impactful work, and the results spoke for themselves as we finally started to move the needle. – James Simpson, GoldFire Studios

6. ‘No Rules Rules’

I don’t particularly like business books, but No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer is one of the best books I’ve read. The whole book is eye-opening. The content is actionable and practical. As stated in the book, very few companies try new forms of leadership, and I find the Netflix culture inspiring with a people-centered approach. Netflix’s success is primarily due to a culture built on supreme talent density and fearless candor, enabling the organization to eliminate controls and red tape across all processes. The result is Netflix’s famous and utterly disruptive culture of “Freedom and Responsibility.” As inspiration and proof that it makes sense to be open-minded and carve your own path, this book is a must-read for anyone launching, managing and growing a startup. – Anik Decoste, MTTR

7. ‘Above The Line’

One book that made an impact on how I lead my company is Above the Line: How the Golden Rule Rules the Bottom Line by Steve Satterwhite. It’s all about how you lead best by empowering your people to become the best versions of themselves personally and professionally. It pushed me to create a culture built on support and collaboration as opposed to competition. You can lift everyone up at the same time and together, and champion a unified team and shared success over individual accomplishments. – Evan Nierman, Red Banyan

8. ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’

It’s an old book, but How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a marvelous book for entrepreneurs. After all, we must deal with people every day, whether it’s clients, vendors, employees, landlords or city officials. Things tend to go much easier if you can win these people over to your side early. The book offers simple strategies that anyone can use without needing to put in a lot of financial investment. Most of the strategies relate to courtesy and gratitude, both of which are sorely lacking in today’s world. It takes the approach that we, as entrepreneurs, are there to serve. Service builds honesty and integrity. We then create success because people want to do business with us. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

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