Whether you’re a CEO, entrepreneur, or business leader, it’s important to consistently research informative commentary around all things business, strategy, and technology. You want to listen to the experts, the people who have been doing what you do and are successful. This will help you make smarter, faster decisions for your business.
From becoming a better leader to understanding the trending tactics in your industry, seeking valuable insight will help you grow. Reading the best business books introduces you to an array of influential leaders and entrepreneurs who are willing to give you advice from their source of genius.
Stay current on your goals and provide yourself with others’ first-hand experiences to guide you through the challenges and trials you may face.
15 Best Business Books to Help Your Business
Let’s explore 15 of the the best business books in 2023. They come recommended to you by other business leaders who attest to their impact.
#1 Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
“I read this book with other colleagues, going through each section of the methodology together, and none of us expected the impact on satisfaction and productivity. Now, it’s something I’ve re-applied several times on my own since. The system works if you work it and helps you create new habits to advance yourself and your business,” says Scott Hitchins, CMO at Interact.
There’s a reason David Allen’s book has stood the test of time with his methods of productivity. It’s the fine-tune every business leader can use as they move through different phases of their journey. It provides clarification, organization, and a game-changing way to establish peace of mind when you’re the one wearing multiple hats.
#2 The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
A compelling, easy read for progressive business leaders, this book proves that story-based learning works. By taking you through his dysfunctions and the ways he supported a successful team, Lencioni presents a team management ideology that sticks with you. It teaches you how to engage clearly with your time with an applicable model. If you want to build an effective team that promotes trust, transparency, and the desire to drive results, give this one a read.
Aaron Gray, managing partner at NO-BS, mentions, “My favorite part about this book was that it read like a novel, taking out all the business jargon and really getting to the heart of the matter regarding things like lack of trust, commitment, and accountability amongst teams. It makes you feel wiser, not just smarter, and has been a pivotal tool in my professional growth.”
Read more: The Importance of Teamwork in (As Proven by Data)
#3 Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
“I always knew I was meant to be a leader in business, but I never aligned with feeling like I had to follow a sales gimmick to grow professionally. Cialdini’s book not only validated that for me but made me realize my empathy could empower me to make great strides in my business pursuits. I just had to learn how to get off autopilot. This book taught me that,” Roy Morejon, president and cofounder of Enventys Partners.
The data-driven, easily digestible conversations in this book provide a plethora of examples of why persuasion is an essential skill and how you can implement it now. Broken into chapters with the key elements of reciprocity, scarcity, liking, authority, social proof, and commitment/consistency, Cialdini breaks down the sociological, behavioral, and psychological principles behind persuasion in life and business.
#4 Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
Practicality is the key with this one, with loads of case studies and analysis-based presentations that provide invaluable insight. As a CEO, manager, entrepreneur, or any business leader, you know the importance of operating in a unique space so you can stand out amongst your competition. Through the business strategies presented in this book, you’re gaining a competitive advantage instantly.
“I reshaped many of my thoughts about how I approach my business after reading the book. It’s unconventional, progressive, and the ‘blue ocean’ helped me set new boundaries within the market I was trying to reach without reluctance. It set the tone for how I designed my framework for growth,” says Jerry Han, CMO at PrizeRebel.
#5 Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
“I would easily say this book was transformative. Through the concept of creating ‘stickier’ ideas, I built some bold strategies that I knew would amplify my credibility and remain concrete in the market. It gave me an advantage by teaching me how to redefine what it means to communicate with my audience. The structure kept me in line and also called me out on some of the weaknesses I didn’t know I had,” says Michael Nemeroff, CEO and cofounder of Rush Order Tees.
The “SUCCESS” framework in this book is accompanied by relatable stories to showcase its principles, securing the reasoning behind the successful strategies it promotes. Like a “how-to” manual with an entertaining tone and mood, it’s an easy-to-follow guidebook that effectively makes its point about the essential elements applicable to nailing down your messaging and ideas.
#6 Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss
Voss teaches you the skills of negotiation and helps you make it a habitual technique. He offers you a step-by-step protocol process for negotiating a multitude of things with tactful empathy and confidence. Structured questions are included to help you get to know your client’s motivations, understand their desires, and figure out what’s “right” for them. If you want to have meaningful conversations that drive results with your clients, here are your building blocks.
“The return on my investment in this book was that I was able to land more long-term clients than ever before. Plus, I was relationship-building in a way that felt mutually impactful. It helped me eliminate some of my stressors in high-stakes situations because I felt confident in promoting collaboration,” says Dean Kaplan, CEO of Kaplan Collection Agency.
#7 Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Understanding finance and economics is monumental to your professional growth as a leader, and now you’ve got your toolkit to break down the essentials with ease. By providing a diverse perspective of stories and examples, the book provokes you to think outside the box with a critical-based mindset. It teaches you how to pay attention to the numbers, and present that data from a world-view.
“The questions asked in this book piqued my curiosity and changed my perspective about the world. Applying economics to things like our social behaviors, morality, and core values, made me realize I needed to see outside what I had always believed if I ever wanted to grow,” says Gael Brenton, cofounder of Authority Hacker.
#8 Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by James C. Collins
“It’s all about high performance and how to empower people to be great in the work they do. I appreciated the research about what it means to sustain greatness amongst a team and the presented levels of leadership in business. It helped me shape the most suitable work environment for us,” says Nate Tsang, Founder and CEO at WallStreetZen.
Exploring ways to have a performance breakthrough and implementing disciplined actions for your team will go from good to great after reading this book. With extensive analysis expanding over 10 years, it breaks down how to be a results-focused leader with a corporate strategy and expansive core values.
#9 Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
You may not have thought understanding the social science behind complex bias amongst people could change your leadership approach, but Eberhardt shows you why. Unconscious attitudes affect your interactions and this book calls to the surface the ways inequity can occur in business without notice. It presents a scientific exposition of the impact these biases can have, and how you can rise above them.
“Reading this provoked me to take accountability for implicit bias I didn’t know I had due to societal and human conditioning. The cognitive research and discussions completely deconstructed the context behind how I approach people in all walks of my life. It was evolutionary for my relationships,” says Chelsea Cohen, cofounder of SoStocked.
#10 The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
“I didn’t want to feel pressured by a tough business environment, or feel unprepared for situations that may have needed damage control. I was keen on his wisdom because he’s overcome everything I knew I wanted to prevent. The thing is, the book didn’t teach me how to ‘prevent’ every problem, but understanding that any problem that did arise could be manageable for me to successfully handle,” Catherine Schwartz, finance editor at Crediful.
The best thing about this book is that it’s designed to show you how you can make a mistake in your business and still survive the blow. You’re taking advice from someone who has gone through enough ups and downs to get you to a point where you’ll never have to say, “I wish I knew this sooner,” again.
Read more: What Is Transformational Leadership? The Theory Explained with Examples
#11 Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Staying directed and focused on your benchmarks will prevent you from falling into situations that may not have been worth your investment. Instead of working on impulse and enthusiasm, this book encourages you to get clear on your “why.” Its key concepts focus on creating a strong vision that inspires others and keeps you aligned to that purpose. It eliminates manipulation tactics from the equation and brings more authenticity to positive consumer culture.
“I loved the concept that it’s not just about providing an exceptional product or service, but also getting in tune with why you’re putting it out into the world. It gave my team and I a chance to humanize ourselves in this space and cultivate deeper connections with the people we work with,” says Iskra Evtimova.
#12 Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
“I never quite imagined that I could create something that didn’t exist before and not even have to consider the aspect of competition. After reading Thiel’s thought-provoking viewpoints on what it means to strategize outside the realm of my competitors, I started to see things differently. It opened doors for me to step into my role as a visionary without fear,” says Sarah Choi, community lead at CryptoJobList.
The thought experiments presented through Thiel’s roadmap take you through points in entrepreneurial history that act as evidence for the future projections of business leaders. The philosophies are effective for innovative management and teach you how to develop ideas that help your product or service become part of a worldwide network that transcends a competitive market.
#13 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
The fundamental concepts in this book simplify how easy it can be to shift your personal cognitions and improve how you relate to others. It encourages you to develop a set of values that act as guidelines for how you approach your business relations and transform what it means to make a business “plan” you can sustain and thrive in.
“My contacts and connections expanded as I applied these habits to the way I showed up in my business. I wished I had read it sooner, not realizing how much understanding public relations would be to my professional development. I still go back to it, picking up new tidbits each time,” says Jenna Nye, CEO at On the Strip.
#14 The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
“I think what was most fascinating was the way he talks about the term ‘social epidemic’ and how things become accelerated, or ‘contagious,’ amongst people. It made me realize that the context in which we put things out there for our clients and how we communicate our messaging can affect them. What type of impact do I want to have? That was the question,” says Leanna Serras, chief customer officer of FragranceX.
The social science research Gladwell unravels is quite eye-opening. It’s about complex problem-solving based on lived experience and real observations in society. There is a wealth of information in these anecdotes and how we adopt and adapt to the way products and services are presented to us.
#15 $100M Offers: How to Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No by Alex Hormozi
Hormozi presents a manual that you will always go back to for the way it exemplifies how to find your true value and take action in any sector of your business. It offers a framework to create higher values for your business with a system that covers how to change the trajectory of your path toward success. Increase your lead generation, land deals of a lifetime, and feel more confident as you assert your leadership authority through these concepts.
“I am grateful for this book because of how thorough the blueprint was, giving me something tangible to build off. There’s productive guidance in these pages that helped me bring my business to new heights and elevated me as an entrepreneur. As I continue to grow, Hormozi’s framework will stay with me,” says Nicole Thelin, Founder of Low Income Relief.
Never Stop Learning
The best business books will help you learn more about how you want to show up as a business leader, make informed decisions, and execute your plans with knowledge.
Get inspired by those who can help you improve your analytical thinking, communication skills, and overall business mindset. By learning from others’ mistakes and achievements, you can set yourself up for faster success.