Summer is finally here and for most leaders, it's one of the rare times they can work slowly, reflect on the year so far, and have enough time to read a good book.
If you don’t know which book to pack in your travel bag, we have a few recommendations.
From strategy, to leadership, to personal growth, our list includes books about different topics and themes to help you find the one you need.
Strategy & Business
For leaders who are spending the summer thinking about strategy development and execution, we recommend these books to provide practical insights, avoid pitfalls, and craft effective strategies.
Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
A book that delves into the essence of effective strategy. It exposes common misconceptions and pitfalls that lead to developing a weak strategy, as well as how to respond appropriately to unexpected events.The book offers practical insights, case studies, and recommends timeless tools, to guide you in crafting effective strategies.
This book is for you if you're seeking to enhance your strategic thinking and overcome common misconceptions, this book is for you.
The Art of Strategy by Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff
A book about strategy that combines a methodical approach with real life examples (not just in business, but also in sports, pop culture, and others). It uses the concept of Game Theory (the study of mathematical models of strategic interactions among rational agents) to explain how you can understand your competitors, and make more informed decisions.
This book is for you if you are looking to understand competitors, make informed decisions, and apply strategic concepts beyond the business realm.
The Culture Map by Erin Meyer
A must-read if you work in a globally distributed organization, or have clients all over the world. She covers the different ways each culture approaches communication, persuasion, leadership, performance evaluation, sharing negative feedback, decision-making, principles of trust, disagreement, and scheduling, so you can build successful cross-cultural business relationships.
This book is for you if you are facing challenges in communication, persuasion, and decision-making due to cultural differences.
Leadership & Management
Whether you're a seasoned manager or a new leader, these books provide practical advice and solutions for team management, trust-building, and effective leadership.
High Output Management by Andy Grove
One of our all-time favorites. This guide on how to manage and lead teams, regardless of their size. Grove’s philosophy is that building and leading teams transcends different times and industries, and his book provides insightful ideas on how to be an efficient manager, and an inspiring leader. This book has been often described as a crash course on management, and we always recommend it to new managers.
This book is for you if you're aiming to become a more efficient manager and an inspiring leader.
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
A book about the common issues that arise from working in a team. It explains each challenge in detail, and provides solutions. This book is focused on the philosophy that trust is the number one factor around healthy team dynamics. We recommend it if you’re looking for advice on the ‘soft’ side of management, and how to enhance connection and communication in your team.
This book is for you if you're facing (or want to avoid facing) challenges in team dynamics, trust, and communication and seeking valuable advice to enhance connection.
As a leader, investing in personal development can boost your well-being and performance, ultimately leading to better outcomes for your team and organization.
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
A positive psychology book that explains why happiness fuels success, and not the other way around. To Achor, events like finally getting the promotion you were waiting for won’t make you happy, but how you process the world, how you face crises, and how you perceive your little goals and habits, will. It’s a practical book on how to develop this mindset, more especially so in the workplace, because happiness helps you perform better.
This book is for you if you're seeking ways to develop a positive mindset and improve your performance at work.
Shoe Dog is a memoir by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike.
The memoir describes his entrepreneurial journey, focusing on Nikes’ early years, and the challenges he faced in building and scaling the company into a global brand. From Knight’s challenge in working full-time as an accountant while developing Nike, to his conflicts with Japanese importers, and the many other obstacles he had to face, Shoe Dog is a tale of resilience, and determination. We recommend it if you’re looking for an inspiring read.
This book is for you if you're looking for an inspiring memoir of resilience and determination from a successful entrepreneur.
Scaling & Growth
Are you spending your summer planning how you will scale your organization or navigate growth? These books offer strategies and insights to drive success.
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
This book is all about learning how to create products that are unique and valuable, by innovating without necessarily having to invent something from scratch. It’s about how most progress takes place through continuous improvements, and shares insights on how entrepreneurs can make it in America’s tech industry.
This book is for you if you're pondering how to create unique and valuable products or make strides in the tech industry.
The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
This book dives into the numerous challenges of running a startup or scaleup - the ones people don’t learn in business school. From describing accurately what it is like to lead during the IPO stage, to how to make tough decisions (such as firing a friend), the author understands the loneliness that comes with leadership and shares practical advice to overcome these challenges.
This book is for you if you're facing or want to avoid facing the challenges of leading a startup or scaleup and seeking practical advice to overcome obstacles.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Learn all about the lean methodology for startups. It covers how to succeed under uncertainty, and how to adapt and adjust to prevent the many pitfalls that often get to startups. It emphasizes the importance of experimentation, customer feedback, and continuous improvements to avoid startup failure.
This book is for you if you're aiming to succeed in a fast-changing market and avoid common pitfalls through experimentation and customer feedback.
We hope that you’ll learn a lot reading these books during the summer break, and come back with new concepts and ideas to get ready to take on the last quarter of the year with your team!