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10 Must Read Business Books for Your Summer



As a follow up to my last week’s article “5 Ways to Actually Unplug from Work on Your Summer Vacation,”
here are some must read books for that free time! I’m not a fan of fluffy beach reads, but I do enjoy using
my vacation to devour a book, broaden my horizons, and learn something new. If you’re looking for a good
read this summer, I highly recommend any of the ten below. These books dive deep into key subject areas
of leadership, from company culture to career growth.




1. The Talent Mandate: Why Smart Companies Put People First by Andrew Benett

The Talent Mandate postulates that long-term progress is impossible without first creating a company culture that allows employees to thrive. In this handbook, Benett shares his thoughts on a changing business landscape, six essential strategies for success, and what he has envisioned as the “talent utopia,” a future in which every CEO will make talent a top priority.

2. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

In this book, investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel tackles the motivation behind entrepreneurship. Thiel will press you to answer the questions you need to face before achieving innovation and success — questions you likely haven’t asked yourself before, such as, “Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future?” Ultimately, Thiel encourages leaders to think for themselves in order to create something entirely new that will help shape the future.

3. Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith

Triggers empowers us to finally become who we want to be. In his inspirational book, executive coach Marshall Goldsmith provides a valuable resource for behavioral change, highlighting the triggers that can impede our plans and showing us how we can best overcome them. He reminds us that we always have a choice. Throughout this book, Goldsmith outlines the six “engaging questions” that can help us take more responsibility for our reactions, reduce regret, and achieve lasting change.

4. How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff and Irving Geis

The oldie-but-goodie bestseller was featured on a recent list of book recommendations from Bill Gates. As he says, “I picked up this short, easy-to-read book after seeing it on a Wall Street Journal list of good books for investors…A useful introduction to the use of statistics, and a helpful refresher for anyone who is already well versed in it.”

5. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

In this New York Times bestseller, Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman explains the two systems that drive our thinking (the first is fast, emotional; the second is slow, logical). Throughout the book, he offers insight into how we can tap into that slower thinking, both in our personal and professional lives, to become better decision-makers.

6. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

Creativity, Inc., from the co-founder of Pixar, is a manual for fostering creativity and originality. The book takes us into the culture of Pixar Animation, revealing the techniques and philosophies that destroy barriers to creativity and lead to excellence. The book is brilliant, with beautiful storytelling. If you want to do creative work, crack this one open.

7. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

In this humorous and humble book, entrepreneur Ben Horowitz shares some straight talk about what it’s really like to launch a new venture. He discusses the problems and lessons leaders encounter as they build their startups, sharing his own insights, stories, and favorite rap lyrics.

8. Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company by Andy Grove

This is one book that Steve Jobs wanted you to read. And when you dive into it, you’ll see why: Intel is a success story like no other. As former CEO of the best chip company on the planet, Andy Grove offers unique advice on how companies can (and must) adapt to massive change, presenting what he calls a Strategic Inflection Point as an opportunity to come out on top. He also describes the paranoid, ultra-competitive company culture that drove innovation at Intel. While it was first written in 1996, reading this book today allows us greater perspective on the evolution of the tech industry and what it takes to win.

9. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

This newly released biography provides an in-depth look at the life of one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs. You’ll be given insight into how he works and thinks, how he handles both success and failure, and how he is reinventing the aerospace, transportation, and energy industries. There is no one quite like Elon Musk.

10. Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career by Jocelyn K. Glei

In the third installment of the 99U series, 21 leading creative minds offer advice on how to create new opportunities, cultivate expertise, build valuable relationships, and take risks to tap into your full potential. After all, “Success isn’t about being the best. It’s about always getting better.” The book is filled with actionable strategies, insightful essays, and thought-provoking Q&As. It’s a truly powerful guide for making your long-term career goals a reality.

What’s on your summer reading list? What books do you recommend? Share in the comments!

Alan Cutter

Alan Cutter founded New York City's premier digital media recruiting agency, AC Lion International, and continues to lead the growing company as their fearless CEO. For over 20 years, AC Lion has been the trusted provider of revenue generating talent in the digital and technology landscape. Our reach spans from innovative venture-backed startups to enterprise level organizations. AC Lion is a proud member of the Lionseye Group, a collective of brands furthering talent acquisition through Venture Capital, HR Technology and Thought Leadership.