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Nine Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read In Order To Become A Better Leader

There are countless successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the world today, each with a wealth of information and experience to share. Thankfully, many of them have written books that detail their most powerful thoughts, ideas and lessons. The difficult part comes in choosing which ones to read.

For the members of Young Entrepreneur Council, the following nine books have been some of the most impactful for their businesses. Below, they discuss these books and why they believe every entrepreneur should read them in order to become better leaders for their teams.

1. ‘Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power Of Real Productivity’

Every person on my team is required to read Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg during their first month working with us. I recommend this book to every entrepreneur because it outlines the data, stories and anecdotes behind building a results-oriented organization and team culture. I frequently reread the chapters on mental models, goal-setting and focus to realign my personal priorities and enhance my team’s productivity. – Christopher Tarantino, Epicenter Innovation

2. ‘Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action’

My favorite leadership book is Start with Why by Simon Sinek because it shows that in order to build a successful business, a leader must clearly understand their purpose and the value they bring to the world before effectively communicating it to their team and customers. The book talks about the power of purchasing psychology and how customers don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. This is an extremely powerful book when establishing company culture and branding practices. – Isabelle Shee, GROW

3. ‘The 5 Levels Of Leadership: Proven Steps To Maximize Your Potential’

John Maxwell’s The 5 Levels of Leadership offers a concise and clear framework for comprehending and enhancing leadership abilities. It is particularly helpful for entrepreneurs because it enables them to assess their current level of leadership and comprehend the steps required to advance to the next level. It also offers helpful guidance and examples from real-world situations on how to manage teams and lead people effectively, which is essential for business owners who are starting and running a company. – John Hall, Calendar

4. ‘Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, And Icons Accelerate Success’

Smartcuts by Shane Snow is an interesting read that covers ways in which people leveraged innovative thinking and momentum to accelerate their careers and success. It’s an unconventional way of operating that encourages “lateral thinking.” Leaders can cultivate this kind of mindset within their teams as well. That way, you foster an environment with people who are looking at new ways of driving success for themselves and the business. There’s more bias toward experimentation and innovation, which are huge drivers of long-term success. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress

5. ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us’

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink is a bestselling book that explores the science of motivation and how it applies to the workplace. The book argues that traditional incentives, such as bonuses and promotions, are not always effective in motivating employees and that a more holistic approach is needed. From my perspective, the book provides valuable insights for creating a work environment that fosters creativity, innovation and productivity. It suggests that the key to motivating employees is to tap into their innate sense of autonomy, mastery and purpose. By providing employees autonomy over their work, opportunities to develop their skills and a sense of purpose, entrepreneurs can create a culture of engagement and motivation. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day

6. ‘Zero To One: Notes On Startups, Or How To Build The Future’

Zero To One by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters is a must-read book for any entrepreneur starting out and looking to build a team from scratch. The book is great for all aspects of starting up but in particular for leadership and how you can build a high-performing, loyal team. When I was starting up, I had no idea how to convince good people to join my team and be a part of my dream. That’s when I read this book where the author talks in depth about this topic. The biggest takeaway for me was that you need to build trust and security with the people whom you are going to work with and be open about sharing your vision in as much detail as possible without any insecurities. That’s exactly what I did and it’s been five years. My core team remains with me, now growing more loyal and stronger every day. – Vibhav Singh, XTEN-AV LLC

7. ‘Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking’

I find Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain to be an important book that all leaders should read. It helps you look beyond the traditional idea of what creative and “good” employees look like and helps you appreciate the quieter members of your team. You’ll give them more opportunities and make use of talent that’s hidden everywhere. It also helps you look within yourself and realize the value of your introspective qualities. I learned that by understanding my personal strengths, I am able to become a better leader for my company. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

8. ‘The Lean Startup’

I think every aspiring entrepreneur should read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. It helps you get familiar with the problems new ventures may come across and how to come up with viable solutions. The book will also tell you how you can perfect your products or services through testing and continuous improvements so you can become a viable solution in your respective niche. This not only helps new ventures but also existing businesses like mine explore new ways to improve and grow in a respective industry. Moreover, by reading this book, you’ll learn about managing your resources and catering to customer feedback. Overall, it’s an excellent read for every entrepreneur out there who is looking to build a successful business. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

9. ‘The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What To Do About It’

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber is a must-read book for any entrepreneur, whether starting a new business or running a mature company. It is full of actionable advice and does a great job of dispelling what Gerber calls “The Entrepreneurial Myth,” or that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs. Running a successful business requires more than technical skills and a good idea, and this is one of the few books out there that will provide you with a rubric for success. – Jack Perkins, CFO Hub


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