5 Must-Read Business Books As Recommended By Top Business Leaders (#NationalBookLoversDay)

The 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman once said that “all leaders are readers.” Today, August 9, is National Book Lovers Day. And in celebration of this unofficial holiday, we’re sharing 5 business books with you. These are the book that made a strong impact on the lives of some of the world’s top business leaders.

Whether you’re a start-up owner, a CEO of an established company, or someone simply aspiring to create your own business someday, here are life-changing business books you should seriously consider reading.

1. “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni

A modern parable about a fictional CEO named Kathryn Petersen, Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team gives readers a closer look into why organizations fail - and, more importantly, how to overcome those obstacles.

As the co-founder of Fuzzy Pet Health, Eric Palm knows it’s important to strengthen team members in order to achieve real success as a business.

“This book has really guided me with insights and best practices for building teams,” Palm said. “The most important thing we can do to drive growth at this stage of our company's evolution is to learn how to effectively work together.”

Fuzzy Pet Health is a virtual pet healthcare company that helps connect pet parents to veterinarians so they can avoid trips to the emergency room.

2. “The Speed of Trust: The One That Changes Everything” by Stephen M. R. Covey

According to author Stephen M. R. Covey, The Speed of Trust discusses how trust is “the most overlooked, misunderstood, underutilized asset to enable performance.”

Zoom Video Communications CEO Eric S. Yuan considers himself a huge fan of this bestselling book.

"The big thing I learned from this book is that especially for start-up companies, speed is everything,” pointed out Yuan. “You’re competing with the legacy companies and quite often you have to make tough, critical decisions.”

3. “The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living” by Dalai Lama

Written by the 14th Dalai Lama together with psychiatrist Dr. Howard Cutler, The Art of Happiness teaches that life’s purpose is happiness and that it's actually possible to achieve a “deep and abiding source of inner peace” despite of all the challenges we face every day.

During his speech at a Wharton graduation ceremony, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner taught about the importance of compassion. According to him, he was 30 when he first encountered this book - and it has since changed his perspective as a business leader.

“It’s about the teachings of the Dalai Lama. That’s how I first learned the difference between empathy and compassion.” he reflected.

Weiner also emphasized in his message:

“Managing compassionately is not just a better way to build a team, it’s a better way to build a company.”

4. “The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers” by Ben Horowitz

Touted by readers as one of the most honest and practical business books ever written, Ben Horowitz’ The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business provides expert counsel into creating startups from scratch - and how to solve the many problems you will encounter along the way. In the book, the author uses humor and even lyrics from rap songs to illustrate his points and teach important lessons.

“As a leader, it's easy to feel like no one has ever made the mistakes you've made,” confessed Uncharted Power CEO and founder Jessica O. Matthews. “This book reminds you that you aren't crazy and everything you're experiencing is normal.”

5. “Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street” by John Brooks

In a July 2014 blog, Bill Gates described John Brooks’ Business Adventures as “the best business book” he has ever read.

Back in 1991, Warren Buffet recommended this book to the Microsoft co-founder when they met for the first time. Fast forward to the present, the long out-of-print classic remains as Gates’ favorite book of all time.

“Brooks’s work is a great reminder that the rules for running a strong business and creating value haven’t changed,” the billionaire-philanthropist wrote. “For one thing, there’s an essential human factor in every business endeavor. It doesn’t matter if you have a perfect product, production plan, and marketing pitch; you’ll still need the right people to lead and implement those plans.”

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