A great business book can turn on an inspiration lightbulb, and we often ask our members what business books they have on their nightstand.
Such inspiration can be a tough commodity to come by these days. A quick poll or glance around a zoom call will reveal a general sense of fatigue with life as it stands right now, so it seemed like the perfect time to crack open some inspiring business books to recharge our mental batteries and get creative juices flowing.
Several of the books that came out on top in 2020 take a look behind the scenes of giant corporations such as Amazon, Instagram, Netflix and Uber. Some offer inspiration on how to run a great business, and some are an exposé on what not to do. They run the gambit from innovation to corporate responsibility to artificial intelligence.
Also below are the favorite business books as recommended by giants in the corporate world. It turns out that Bill Gates received his favorite business book of all time, Business Adventures, as a gift from Warren Buffet, who also ranks it as his number one. I’ve never gotten a gift from Warren, but I hear he hands out good business advice.
All-Time Favorites: Recommendations from C-Suite Notables
Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
Built to Last, by Jim Collins
This classic tops many “best” lists.
Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway) &
Bill Gates (Microsoft)
Business Adventures, by John Brooks
Ennie Lim (HoneyBee)
The Infinite Game &
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, both by Simon Sinek
Oscar Munoz (United Airlines)
Separated: Inside an American Tragedy, by Jacob Soboroff
Elon Musk (Tesla Motors, SpaceX)
Structures, by J.E. Gordon
Ginni Rometty (IBM)
Earning It, by Joann S. Lublin
Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook)
Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
Susan Wojcicki (YouTube)
Trailblazer, by Marc Benioff
Best of the Best
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz
These books found their way onto the must-read lists of many of the CEO’s listed here and rank high as some of the best business books of all time.
New Books Rising to the Top in 2020
Always Day One: How the Tech Titans Plan to Stay on Top Forever, by Alex Kantrowitz
Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments, by Stefan H. Thomke
Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution, by Robert Chesnut
Lead From the Future: How to Turn Visionary Thinking Into Breakthrough Growth, by Mark W. Johnson and Josh Suskewicz
No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram, by Sarah Frier
No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer
When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America's Obsession with Economic Efficiency, by Roger L. Martin
A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond, by Daniel Susskind