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35 Inspiring Books that every Aspiring CEO MUST Read

Updated on August 26, 2016
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Besides writing, Felishiya Fiamma is also into choreography & web development. She currently speaks Hindi, English, Spanish & little French.

Not all, but yes, most of the books have great impact on our mind. While reading a fictional novel such as the Harry Potter series, it takes you to a different world and fantasy, where you feel like you too are there along with the characters of the novel and everything is happening right there, in front of you.

Similarly, that's what these books, which I am going to mention next, do with you. They make you realize different phases of life, that you lost somewhere in the race of reaching at the top. You must have heard most of the names or might have already read them. Most of the books that I am going to mention is also the favorites of the world's top CEOs such as Mark Zucerberg (Facebook), Jeff Bezos ( and so on.


1. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

This is one of the most highly appreciated books based on post-war Britain. It has also won the Man Booker Prize and added in the list of "Books you cannot live without" by the Guardian.

2. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Based on the Olympics and focusing on the game rowing, the book acquired great success because of its inspirational non-fictional story. It has been awarded as the New York Times bestseller and also received recognition from the American Booksellers Association and American Library Association.

3. The End of Power by Moisés Naím

The book is intensely focused on the business life, where it is directed towards the fact that, though it is easier to get success, but it is extremely difficult to control others and keep it alive, when you finally have it.

4. The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

The book is said to be one of the best books ever written about business. It has also been awarded with the Global Business Book Award and acknowledged as the "Business Book of the Year".

5. Competing Against Time by George Stalk

The book comes up with great examples of the famous companies that teach us, how to be productive and how to use time as money and bring quality and innovation in work life.

6. Business Adventures by John Brooks

The book talks about the financial and corporate life in America with a great sense of humor. It is a great medium of learning the way to tackle day to day financial problems and failures.

7. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

The book refers to the business psychology on how to deal with every day's work life and maintain a healthy communication by designing flawless objects that prove to be highly useful for the users without any chances of complain.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates | Source

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

The book received huge popularity because of its thoughtful guide about how to checklist in business work to maintain the right flow of the daily activities.

9. The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

The book is a beautiful description of falling of the old traditional world and empire and the rising of new world, mainly centered on science, technology and the arts.

10. Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization

The novel talks about the effective team work that can enhance the overall productivity and profitability of an organization. The author, in this book, has referred to the team as a tribe.

11. Napoleon by Vincent Cronin

The book is a biography of the French military leader named Napoleon Bonaparte. Rather than talking about his war and combat skills, Vincent has directed the attention towards a man's personality and his relationships with others.

12. The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane

Who says, "People are born charismatic"? Here is a complete guide from the author, Olivia, who has explained in detail the fundamental rules to add charisma to one's personality so as to stimulate one's growth in corporate life.

13. Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

The book is a medium to enhance the productivity of the Googlers (people working at Google). Chade has smartly put up his point in this book that is helpful in growing a better leader out of an individual and keeping them happy and peace even at the time of hectic work.

14. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

The book is dedicated to stock and stockholders. It discusses the negative as well as the positive side of investment and also explains security tips and right manner of investing money.


15. The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler

As the name suggests, the book revolves around the people's happiness, which comes from their state of mind rather than their external conditions. The book has become the international bestseller.

16. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

The novel throws light on the perception of a prince on how he sees the world and understands that the glory and survival are the ultimate means to achieve success. But it is not too late when his perception starts to ruin his preservation.

17. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Though a historical book, yet it has greatly influenced the modern business tactics, military thinking and legal strategy. It describes the people's weakness and strength and how to handle critical situations without losing anything.

18. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

The book demonstrates the need of doing only the things that are absolutely right and will benefit the organization in the long run giving fruitful results.

19. How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon

The book is an inspirational treasure to help the people to achieve the fulfilling life. It is not specified to any single profession; in fact, it targets all the people doing different jobs to help them achieve the righteous path to fulfillment.

20. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

The book throws light on those professionals, especially industrialists, who leave behind their nation and fortunes to adopt new regulations, which ultimately result in the collapse of vital industries. Ayn Rand received the award of the Best Selling Author for the same.

21. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by Alan G. Lafley and Roger Martin

The book explains the right style of implementing a strategy, how to plan it, why it is important and how we should start. The business thinkers, in the book, make use of the most impacting corporate turnarounds to achieve their goal and prove themselves.


22. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point, in this book, is a metaphor given to those critical moment at which everything is at its highest and has reached to the boiling point. The book talks about the generation of ideas and products and their rising popularity.

23. My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla by Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla has explained the importance of the invention of human's life. He says that invention brings the progressive development of human's brain and help him to rule over the material world.

24. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Though the novel is not related to the business and corporate world, yet it has been one of the most favorite books for many CEOs. The novel throws light on the complex issues related to teenagers, their identity, innocence, loss and belonging

25. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman

The book explicitly talks about globalization in its own style. It says that assume the world to be flat where each of the competitors possess equal opportunity to surpass others. It depicts the major requirement to remain competitive in the global market.

26. The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson

The book is called as the mirror of mankind as it explains the modern men's perception about money and what they should actually be worried about. The book has magnified the need realizing one's values, mentality and weaknesses.

27. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Illustrating the word passion, the book reflects the struggles related to doubt, faith and judgement. After its publication, many people acclaimed the novel as the best achievement of spirituality and mortality in the literature world.

28. To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition by Harper Lee

The book is one of the best work of American literature. It deals with the issues related to compassion, courage and gender roles in the American society. The book is also a part of the school syllabus and teaches a lesson of tolerance and criticizes prejudice.

The Accidental Billionaires is a book about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook
The Accidental Billionaires is a book about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

29. Brown at 10 by Anthony Seldon and Guy Lodge

The book is dedicated to the legacy of Gordon Brown and his troubled era. It also talks about the major role played by Brown in persuading the leaders, across the world, to focus on the global banking crisis.

30. The Aeneid by Virgil

The Aeneid is a Greek poem that deals with the political and social changes in the Rome. It is a legendary story of a Trojan named Aeneas. A must read poem to understand the true meaning of bravery and dedication.

31. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The book is said to be one of the greatest victory of the German literature. The book explores the connection between the post-war generations and the generation that suffered and took part in the abomination.

32. The Tender Bar: A Memoir by J. R. Moehringer

The book is dedicated to the act of self-exploration and the love for drink and the assumption of the bar as a pretty escape from heartbreak and failure.

33. Life by Keith Richards and James Fox

The book is an autobiography of the Rolling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards. The book talks about his struggle, founding of the Rolling Stones and involvement with the drugs.

34. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

The book is a worldwide famous bestselling book. It explores one's state of mind and how a person can start their journey with a positive thinking which will lead them to better results.

35. The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de’ Medici by Catherine Fletcher

The novel is dramatic non-fictional tale of a prince and how he deals with betrayal, assassination and spies. It depicts the life of Alessandro de' Medici, the duke of Florence and also brings similarity to the today's world, where most of the people are two-faced.

These are just a few books out of thousands. When there is no one or when you are feeling low, Books are the best friends glued to you.

Feel free to give an idea about other books that you think is comparatively amazing and must be in the list. I know I have cut the list only to 35, there are plenty of more...



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