Books CEOs are Reading: 2017

CEOs, executives, and business owners need lots of inspiration as teams look to them to lead, nurture, dream, and serve. Here are the top books read by major CEOs and leaders along with their key points. From one leader to another, this article is bound to keep your reading list well stocked for the rest of the year. For those who are ready to take action with a unique marketing plan and strategy, consult with the team at Profitworks today.

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Executive Summary

 - CEOs are looking at new dimensions of management such as the concept of managing time as a valued resource and competitive advantage

 - Jezz Bezos looks at understanding the nature of life and the hope and fears we inevitably have to better deal with the realities we all face

 - Charisma is a myth and how everyone can benefit from the practices disciplines of learning how to be charismatic

 - Finally, CEOs can always find a wealth of new ideas and principles but those who can effectively implement these strategies are the ones who will likely see the greatest benefit


From learning literature to fiction, CEOs go to a multitude of sources to get inspired while also sharing that inspiration with others on their team. This requires a team to handle all the nuances of introducing change.  Keep reading to see the big idea from each book and how they can help you and your team perform at the next level.

best books for ceos 1 jeff

Bezos recommends The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, which is summarized by Brainsley as:

The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world in postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving “a great gentleman.” But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness” and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served. A wonderful, wonderful book.

2017 books ceos are reading bezos

Big idea: Get comfortable with the limitations of life and understand the sources of regret so as to use it as a guide for the future.


best books for ceos 2 tim

Tim Cook has been noted by AOL to recommend Competing Against Time by George Stalk Jr and Thomas M. Hout to every new employee and colleague.

The book Competing Against Time is summarized in part by Amazon as:

Today, time is the cutting edge. In fact, as a strategic weapon, contend George Stalk, Jr., and Thomas M. Hout, time is the equivalent of money, productivity, quality, even innovation. In this path-breaking book based upon ten years of research, the authors argue that the ways leading companies manage time--in production, in new product development, and in sales and distribution--represent the most powerful new sources of competitive advantage.

2017 books ceos are reading cook 

Big idea: Get what your customers want at the right time by reducing lead times and variety. The second insight is that overall costs, in reality, do not increase when lead times are reduced.  Counter-intuitively, they actually decline!


best books for ceos 3 dom 2

On McKinsey's book list of what CEOs are reading, Dominic Barton recommends Homo Deus: a Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari.

The book Homo Deus is summarized in part by Amazon as:

Over the past century, humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague, and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams, and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

2017 books ceos are reading

Big idea: In view of the increasing amounts of digitization and faith in algorithms to automate and optimize our decisions, the author wants people to consider whether connectedness or consciousness is more worthwhile as seemingly we can't have both.

best books for ceos 4 marissa

The chief at Yahoo has been reported to place her weight on a book called the Charisma Myth by  Olivia Fox Cabane. 

The book Charisma Myth is summarized in part by Amazon as:

The charisma myth is the idea that charisma is a fundamental, inborn quality—you either have it (Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, Oprah) or you don’t. But that’s simply not true, as Olivia Fox Cabane reveals. Charismatic behaviors can be learned and perfected by anyone.

Drawing on techniques she originally developed for Harvard and MIT, Cabane breaks charisma down into its components. Becoming more charismatic doesn’t mean transforming your fundamental personality. It’s about adopting a series of specific practices that fit in with the personality you already have.

2017 books ceos are reading mayer

Big idea: Cabane defines a person with charisma as someone with high power and warmth who has a solid base of presence. Establishing high power and high warmth requires someone to signal to those around them whether they are friend or foe, and therefore should fight or flight.

For a chapter by chapter summary of the book, see here.

best books for ceos 5 warren

Motley Fool writes that Warren Buffet endorsed The Intelligent Investor, saying that the day he picked up the book when he was 19 was one of the luckiest days of his life.

The book The Intelligent Investor is summarized in part by Macmillian as:

Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham's strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham's original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today's market, draws parallels between Graham's examples and today's financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham's principles.

2017 books ceos are reading buffet

Big idea: "To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insights, or inside information. What's needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework. This book precisely and clearly prescribes the proper framework. You must provide the emotional discipline." - Warren Buffet

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