Question: What one book helped shape your business and yourself personally as a CEO?
"The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey
"I picked up this book because I thought it would teach me to be more efficient; I was surprised by the focus on values like integrity, empathy, fairness and service. It was inspiring to be asked to focus more on my inner development in order to become more productive. Since reading it, I've definitely seen how the values Covey advocates for have impacted my leadership style for the better."
"The One Minute Manager" by Kenneth Blanchard
"This book helped me completely rethink my management style, especially with remote workers. All the principles that the author describes are critical for successfully running a remote company: encouraging employees to think on their own, refraining from micromanaging, giving praise and quickly correcting problems. Everyone should read this book and then work on fixing their own managerial style."
"How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
"This book is not about tactics for tricking people into liking you; it's about understanding how to be a better person, listener and communicator. This book was recommended by my brother and it's taught me to be more amenable, patient and empathetic. I've learned how to communicate more efficiently and more effectively while being a more pleasant person. It's integral for success in business."
"Choose Yourself" by James Altucher
"In "Choose Yourself," James teaches entrepreneurs how to build a successful business in a world where all industries have been disrupted and the only constant is change. The book made me realize that the middlemen are being pushed out of the picture. New digital tools and platforms have emerged to make it possible for everyone to create content and make millions of dollars without “help.”"
"The Hard Thing About Hard Things" by Ben Horowitz
"A must-read for any startup entrepreneur, "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" scrupulously describes how to lead teams through obstacles. The book offers plenty of practical advice like the importance of sharing bad news with your teammates and encouraging teammates to share bad news with you in order to improve. The collection of candid anecdotes from the author is valuable to any CEO."
"The Geography of Thought" by Richard E. Nisbett
"While this book focuses on how Asians and Westerners think differently (and why), its implications are much wider. All business now is global, and understanding how people in other cultures make decisions and think is critical to success. In running my own international business, I have referenced this book time and again. I recommend it for anyone trying to understand how to work better with others."
"Traction" by Gino Wickman
"This book truly helps entrepreneurs change their perspectives and pushes them to get over the many obstacles that business will throw at them. Traction makes strengthening your business understandable and achievable with six digestible, to-the-point tips that apply to any industry. Wickman leads business leaders to a more open mind while simultaneously focusing them in on what's truly important."
"The Four Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferriss
"This book really helped me ask myself the question, "How can I best use my time for maximum output?" It goes against the traditional thinking that you've got to work more hours to produce more results. Instead, focus on working smarter, not necessarily harder. You'll also think about areas of your business that need to outsourced, thus freeing up your life and helping you focus on your strengths."
"The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries
"This book changed my perception of building full products, which I believed was by creating features and then testing to see if people wanted the product. That's very costly and offers no real lessons if they don't use it. "The Lean Startup" forced me to challenge all of my assumptions, release versions of products before they're ready (and feel a bit embarrassed by how bare the product is) and let users dictate the product. It was revolutionary!"
"Screw Business As Usual" By Richard Branson
"This book helped provide perspectives on how to think outside of the box, and to let go of many of the conventional ways that businesses and individuals function. Aside from a personal profit and gain, your business should also benefit society, communities and the planet. You’ll notice that in doing so, your business will be fueled from multiple avenues of good."
"Good to Great" by Jim Collins
"This book takes a scientific approach to what makes companies boom. Through analysis they create a model for this type of success; while it focuses on corporate businesses, the lessons apply to all organizations. The type of leadership, the culture you are able to create and the relentless focus necessary to be great apply specifically to young startups getting the right people on the bus as they grow."
"Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi
"As young entrepreneurs we often take on many roles, willing our companies to greater heights with this belief that we must get it done on our own. Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone" teaches you otherwise and reminds us that business is human. Therefore, we must work to nurture relationships and provide value to our network. I now always ask myself, "How can I provide value to others?""
"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand
"Atlas Shrugged is not a how-to business book, but rather a story of what it really takes to run a business on a personal level -- relentlessness, passion and determination. It is the tale of those who eat, sleep and breathe for their cause, and who move mountains to make their visions come to life. If you read it and hate it, you don't have what it takes to be an entrepreneur."