A summer reading list for busy leaders
1. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance
Elon Musk is one of the most important and intriguing innovators of our time, and this is probably the most authoritative book about him. Vance had exclusive access to Musk, his family, and his friends. The book is "smart, light on its feet and possesses a crunchy thoroughness," The New York Times says.
2. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, by Amy Cuddy
You've probably seen Cuddy's TED talk about power poses (it's only the second most-viewed talk in TED's history, after all). Now read the book and discover the science behind body-mind effects along with simple techniques to feel bolder, braver, even in the most nerve-racking situations. Amazon describes Presence as "brilliantly researched, impassioned, and accessible."
3. The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed on Your Own Terms, by Vishen Lakhiani
Imagine that everything you know and believe about everything is false. Then imagine that you could rewrite everything you know and believe so you can achieve success and happiness. Lakhiani gives you the tools to do just that. He redefines reality starting with this book: it comes with a social learning platform, so readers can access more tools and interact with other readers and the author himself. "This book is a guide to crafting your perfect life," says TED speaker and author Srikumar Rao, "and it is funny to boot."
4. Ego Is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday
While self-help gurus tell everyone to boost their self-confidence and lift their self-esteem, Holiday says that, in fact, ego hinders learning and obstructs success. Drawing from examples like Eleanor Roosevelt, George Marshall, and Katharine Graham, Holiday shows us how we can "be less invested in the story you tell about your own specialness." "It's no exaggeration to say that, after finishing it, you'll never open your laptop and sit down to work the same way again," says Jimmy Soni, author and former managing editor of Huffington Post.
5. Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, by Jonah Berger
Every leader needs to understand human behavior. In Invisible Influence, Berger explores how we're influenced by other people, even complete strangers. He calls this "social influence." It's subtle and often invisible, but by shedding light on its power, Berger helps us make better choices and understand why other people behave the way they do. "His book fascinates," Publishers Weekly says, "because it opens up the moving parts of a mysterious machine, allowing readers to watch them in action."
6. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, by Kevin Kelly
Want to see the future? Kelly shows us in The Inevitable, where he describes the technological trends that are forging the future. These changes are already in motion, and they will transform the way we live, relate, and work. You can either let them catch you by surprise, or begin riding the wave today. "The Inevitable is an eye-opening roadmap for what lies ahead," says author Hugh Howey.
7. The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo
By "networks," Ramo doesn't just mean the internet. He's referring to all kinds of inter-connectedness, from trade, to biology, to finance and warfare. Ramo unveils a way of seeing these networks to help us understand the forces that are shaping our world today. It promises to give a fascinating and new understanding of our world. "The next president needs to read The Seventh Sense," says author Malcolm Gladwell.
8. Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-up Bubble, by Dan Lyons
If you think tech startups are glamorous places to work in, you may change your mind after reading Disrupted. Lyons, who worked in Hubspot as a "marketing guy" for almost a year, opens the curtains to reveal "startup hell." The employees are eerily homogeneous (white, male, half Lyons' age who was then in his 50s) and the office reminds him of his children's Montessori school: bright colors, toys, a nap room, and a wall lined with candy. "Yet it's more than a chronicle of Lyons' tenure at one company," the Los Angeles Times says, "but a broader commentary on a business culture that often appears to be built on financial quicksand."
9. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers, by Jay Baer
"Haters gonna hate," Taylor Swift sings. But contrary to what the pop star sings, Baer says you shouldn't "shake it off." Ignoring customer complaints is the worst thing you can do. Baer provides a "hatrix" of the different types of haters and how best to respond to them, based on numerous case studies of businesses. With his advice, you can transform complaints into consumer advocacy and gain--and keep--more customers. Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva and author, calls this "a landmark book in the history of customer service."
10. The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier
One can't be a good leader without being a good coach, and yet most leaders are either too busy or unskilled--or both--to coach effectively. Stanier proposes you develop a daily coaching habit that doesn't take more than 10 minutes a day, and is built on just seven essential coaching questions. "The Coaching Habit is a succinct and practical handbook for getting the best from others and yourself," says Hooked author Nir Eyal.
And if you want more to read, download the 10 Rules of Visionary Business. These books are enough to keep any leader busy over the summer. What's on your summer reading list?
RELATED: Top 10 books by CEOs that you need to read