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17 Books That Every Aspiring Founder And CEO Should Read

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17 Books That Every Aspiring Founder And CEO Should Read David Cancel 5x Founder 2x CEO @dcancel


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1 The Hard Thing About Hard Things By Ben Horowitz The only “real” business book. This book captures what it is like leading a startup.


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2 Made In America By Sam Walton The story of how Sam Walton created Wal-Mart and became the richest man in the world. I have stolen many concepts from this book including the concept of Servant Leadership. Read 3x.


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3 Seeking Wisdom By Peter Bevelin I can’t remember how I first found this book years ago, but it’s been on my nightstand ever since. I continuously read this book finding new gems each time.


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4 Zingerman’s Guide To Giving Great Service By Ari Weinzeig If you care about creating a great customer experience read this book.


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5 Managing Oneself By Peter Drucker Buy this tiny book by Peter Drucker and re-read it every five years.


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6 Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry By Marc Benioff & Carlye Adler The story of Salesforce from its founder & CEO, Marc Benioff. The title says it all.


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7 Let My People Go Surfing By Yvon Chouinard The story of the founding of Patagonia and more importantly how to build a company with strong values.


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8 Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind By Al Ries & Jack Trout This and Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion are the best books on Marketing. These books will teach you why you buy the things you do.


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9 Meditations By Marcus Aurelius So deep you need to re-read this book every few years.


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10 Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises From The Power of Now By Eckhart Tolle The best way I’ve found to deal with the daily anxiety of running a business is to focus on the “Now.” Start practicing with Tolle’s book.


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11 Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition By Robert Cialdini I just read this book for the 3rd time. It’s the best book there is to understand the cognitive biases we all use to make decisions.


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12 EntreLeadership By Dave Ramsey If you want to learn how to work on your business, not in it, read this.


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13 Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business By Danny Meyer I’m obsessed with great customer service. Nobody knows delivering great service better than Danny Meyer, one of America’s leading restauranteurs.


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14 The Big Moo By Seth Godin  So many great Seth Godin books to read, I’ve read all of them. I always come back to two books, Purple Cow and The Big Moo, a companion book to the Purple Cow.


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15 Re-Imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age By Tom Peters  Too many great Tom Peters books, start with this one.


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16 High Output Management By Andy Grove  The book that started the recent OKR trend used by Google and many other companies to manage priorities.


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17 Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com By Aaron Ross  This book is a great guide to running a sales team from an early Salesforce.com sales leader. I had a hard time choosing between this book and The Sales Acceleration Formula (read both).


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