The world’s most successful people are avid readers. Books provide insight, inspiration and perspective. Here are five the world’s best CEOs are reading:
Book #1: The End of Power, Moisés Naím
The End of Power is an intriguing book that summarizes how power is waning within individuals and institutions today. The main theme is that in the 21st century, it is becoming easier to gain power, but more difficult to keep it – and use it to influence others. When Mark Zuckerberg began his “Year of Books” challenge in 2015 (where he decided to read a new book every two weeks), he started with The End of Power, published in 2014.
Book #2: Competing Against Time, George Stalk
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook recommends Competing Against Time to his colleagues. It discusses how time management is a key source of competitive advantage. Today, time can be regarded as the fourth dimension of competitiveness, and it’s becoming increasingly important that companies have flexible systems.
With detailed examples from companies such as Federal Express, Ford, Milliken, Honda, Deere, Toyota, Sun Microsystems, Wal-Mart, Citicorp, Harley-Davidson and Mitsubishi, the authors describe how a shorter time frame can make the critical difference between success and failure.
Time-based companies are offering greater varieties of products and services, at lower costs, and with quicker delivery times than their competitors. Moreover, the authors show that by refocusing organizations on responsiveness, companies are discovering that long-held assumptions about the behavior of costs and customers are false:
- Costs do not increase when lead times are cut; they decline.
- Costs do not go up with greater investment in quality; they decrease.
- Costs do not go up when product variety is increased; they go down.
Book #3: The Charisma Myth, Olivia Fox Cabane
In The Charisma Myth, Cabane argues against the myth that charisma is an inborn quality. She posits that charisma can be learned. You don’t need to change your personality to be more charismatic; you can engage in behaviors that fit with your current personality.
Book #4: Portfolios of the Poor
Portfolios of the Poor is a collaboration that gives an account of the frugal lives of nearly 40 percent of the world’s population. Despite this adversity, these people strategically manage money and are able to find solutions to their financial problems. Portfolios of the Poor contains interviews with impoverished people living in small villages. Their stories are not only surprising, but also inspirational.
Book #5: The Art of Happiness
Imagine a book that teaches one how to find peace amidst everyday anger, loss and anxiety. The CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, calls
The Art of Happiness such a book. Through it, he learned the meaning of compassion and uses the book to uphold his management philosophy.
Through conversations, stories and meditations, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat negative emotions. Now in its 10th edition, this classic book explores many facets of everyday life, including relationships, loss and the pursuit of wealth, to illustrate how to ride through life's obstacles.
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