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Nine books every entrepreneur should read to become a better leader

by Ana Lopez
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There are countless successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the world today, each with a wealth of information and experience to share. Fortunately, many of them have written books detailing their most powerful thoughts, ideas, and lessons. The hard part comes in choosing which one to read.

For the members of Council for Young Entrepreneurs, the following nine books were some of the most impactful for their companies. Below, they discuss these books and why they believe every entrepreneur should read them to become better leaders for their teams.

1. ‘Smarter Faster Better: the transformative power of true productivity’

Everyone on my team is required to read Smarter Faster Better: the transformative power of true productivity by Charles Duhigg during their first month with us. I recommend this book to any entrepreneur because it outlines the data, stories, and anecdotes behind building a results-driven organization and team culture. I regularly reread the chapters on mental models, goal setting, and focus to realign my personal priorities and improve 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 his purpose and the value he brings to the world before effectively communicating this to his team and clients. The book is 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 in establishing corporate culture and brand practices. – Isabel Shee, TO GROW

3. ‘The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential’

by John Maxwell The 5 levels of leadership provides a concise and clear framework for understanding and improving leadership skills. It is especially helpful for entrepreneurs as it allows them to assess their current level of leadership and understand the steps required to move to the next level. It also provides useful guidance and real-world examples on how to effectively manage teams and lead people, which is essential for entrepreneurs starting and running a business. – John Hall, Calendar

4. “Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success”

Smart cuts by Shane Snow is an interesting talk that talks about ways people used innovative thinking and momentum to accelerate their careers and success. It is an unconventional way of working that encourages ‘lateral thinking’. Leaders can also cultivate this kind of mindset within their teams. That way you create an environment with people looking for new ways to achieve success for themselves and the company. There is more of a tendency towards experimentation and innovation, which are big drivers for 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 bestseller 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 offers 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 with 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 budding entrepreneur looking to build a team from scratch. The book is great for all aspects of startup, but especially for leadership and how to build a high-performing, loyal team. When I started I had no idea how to convince good people to join my team and be a part of my dream. Then I read this book in which the author talks extensively about this topic. The biggest takeaway for me was that you need to build trust and security with the people you’ll be working with and be open about sharing your vision in as much detail as possible without any uncertainties. That’s exactly what I did and it’s been five years. My core team stays with me and is now getting more loyal and stronger every day. – Vibhav Singh, XTEN AV LLC

7. “Silent: 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 as an important book 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 give them more opportunities and make use of talent that is hidden everywhere. It also helps you look within yourself and realize the value of your introspective qualities. I’ve learned that by understanding my personal strengths, I can become a better leader for my company. – Syed Balky, WPB Beginner

8. ‘The streamlined start-up’

I think every aspiring entrepreneur should read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. It helps you become familiar with the problems that new ventures can encounter and how to come up with viable solutions. The book will also tell you how to perfect your products or services through testing and continuous improvement so that you can become a viable solution in your respective niche. This helps not only new ventures, but also existing companies like mine to explore new ways to improve and grow in a respective industry. In addition, reading this book will teach you how to manage your resources and respond to customer feedback. Overall, it’s an excellent book for any entrepreneur looking to start a successful business. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable shapes

9. ‘The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Fail And What To Do About It’

Revisiting the email myth by Michael E. Gerber is a must-read book for any entrepreneur, whether starting a new business or running a mature business. It’s full of actionable advice and does a great job of dissolving 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 that will give you a rubric for success. – Jack Perkins, CFO hub

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