If you are the CEO, one of the most important things you can do is read, and read constantly.

You have your leadership methods that stem from your own experiences, but reading offers new perspectives and ideas that will ultimately make you better at what you do. 

Here are six books that have had a lasting impact on how I run my own businesses; I recommend reading every one. As you read them, you’ll start to develop a more nuanced approach to your role, which will ultimately make you a better leader. And once you’ve finished the six books, don’t stop there. Keep reading, and keep learning.

“Scaling up” by Verne Harnish

This is a very practical guide to scaling your business. It focuses on the four major decisions every company must tackle: people, strategy, execution and cash. The book is intended to be hands-on, so for maximum impact, be prepared to fill out the worksheets and complete the exercises provided.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Awesomely Simply” by John Spence

John has read hundreds of business books and realized a lot of the concepts were presented in an unnecessarily complex manner. In his own book, he identifies the six key principles of business success, ranging from a vivid vision to an extreme customer focus. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni

This is quite a unique book, as the dysfunctions are presented through a narrative style. It is a fictional story of a new CEO taking over an executive team that is not operating cohesively, and walks you through how she significantly improves the dynamics. The book is especially valuable because it points out subtle warnings of dysfunction that are difficult to identify.

 

 

 

 

 

“To Sell is Human” by Daniel Pink

Even if your job title does not technically include the word “sales,” you spend a great deal of time selling. That is because selling is really about persuading others to take action. Daniel Pink is a prolific business psychology writer, and this book offers valuable insights into the inner-workings and dynamics of selling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Drive” by Daniel Pink

He is so prolific that he is on this list twice! In a similar vein, Drive is about the psychology of motivation. How can you get your employees to come into work everyday for intrinsic reasons? This is such an important book because Pink presents evidence that is contrary to many of our preconceived notions on motivation, such as the role that money plays.

 

 

 

 

 

“Turn the Ship Around!” by L. David Marquet

When David Marquet took on the role of commanding the USS Sante Fe, he inherited a crew that was ranked in last place. Through his leadership and “give-control empowerment,” his team quickly ranked as the best crew of its kind. You’ll notice Marquet is highly cited in other business books, and for good reason.

Amith Nagarajan is an entrepreneur who believes in combining purpose, passion and profit. Amith grew up in Silicon Valley and, in 1993, started Aptify, which is now part of Community Brands. Aptify is a purpose-driven company focused on providing technology and services to the not-for-profit sector around the globe. More recently, Amith founded Association Success Corporation, a group of businesses rooted in a shared purpose of helping associations achieve greater success. Association Success' companies include rasa.io (The AI Company for Associations) and AssociationSuccess.org (content and learning resources).

Amith Nagarajan is an entrepreneur who believes in combining purpose, passion and profit. Amith grew up in Silicon Valley and, in 1993, started Aptify, which is now part of Community Brands. Aptify is a purpose-driven company focused on providing technology and services to the not-for-profit sector around the globe. More recently, Amith founded Association Success Corporation, a group of businesses rooted in a shared purpose of helping associations achieve greater success. Association Success' companies include rasa.io (The AI Company for Associations) and AssociationSuccess.org (content and learning resources).

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