Six Books Top CEOs Think Everyone Should Read

When successful people recommend books, I always pay attention. Few things in life have the power to change your perspective like reading quality books. If you are looking for the inspiration, strategies and new perspectives that will get you to the next level, take a look at these books recommended by six highly successful CEOs.  
1.Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft: Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks.

Via Bill Gates's blog: “Not long after I first met Warren Buffett back in 1991, I asked him to recommend his favorite book about business. He didn’t miss a beat: “It’s Business Adventures by John Brooks,” he said. “I’ll send you my copy.” I was intrigued: I had never heard of Business Adventures or John Brooks. Today, more than two decades after Warren lent it to me—and more than four decades after it was first published—Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read. John Brooks is still my favorite business writer. (And Warren, if you’re reading this, I still have your copy.)” To see this book at Amazon click here.    
2.John Chambers, former Cisco Systems CEO: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
Via The Mercury News: John Chambers says Mark Twain’s classic novel helped him learn to manage dyslexia. “The book that most inspired me as a young person was the ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain. It was not only very entertaining, but I read it in a time in my life when I was learning how to effectively manage dyslexia. It was a book that helped me turn one of my greatest challenges into a strength.” To see this book at Amazon click here
3. Marc Benioff, founder of Sales Force: The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Marc Benioff is such a believer in The Art of War he wrote the forward to a 2008 adaptation of the book: “Since I first read The Art of War more than a dozen years ago, I have applied its concepts to many areas of my life. The tenets of the book provided me the concept to enter an industry dominated by much bigger players–and gave us the strategies to render them powerless. Ultimately, it is how took on the entire software industry.” To see this book at Amazon click here.
4. Mark Hurd, co-CEO of Oracle Corp: The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin.

Via Financial Advisor: Mark Hurd believes The Organized Mind is a timely and vital book: “The time is rapidly approaching when insights driven by Big Data will dominate not only most business decisions but also many choices we make in our personal lives. So when I read a review of Levitin’s book, I sat up and took notice because I’m bombarded by information every hour of every day. Levitin does an excellent job in discussing the science of thinking in language that’s not only clear and informative but also entertaining. Readers of this book will get a better understanding of the mind along with some valuable guidance on how to exploit the emerging world of Big Data.” To see this book at Amazon click here.
5. Marc Cuban, Owner of Dallas Mavericks and investor: Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson.

Via The CEO Library: When it comes to building a business, Jason Fried and David Hansson are proponents of learning by trial and error, instead of relying on the traditional approach of business plans and extensive market research. Billionaire Marc Cuban is of the same mind. Cuban wrote this endorsement of Rework: "If given a choice between investing in someone who has read REWORK or has an MBA, I'm investing in REWORK every time. A must read for every entrepreneur." To see this book at Amazon click here.
6.Burly Vinson, founder of Snappies: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.

Via The CEO Library: “Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point really showed me how it’s not always about the big picture, but sometimes it’s the tiny details that make all the difference. People tend to think that if something isn’t working then big changes need to happen to see the results you want. But that’s not the case. A lot of the time, the only separation between success and failure is a slight tweak or pivot.” To see this book at Amazon click here

Review - "The Boys In The Boat" by Daniel James Brown

I had not heard of this book but a friend who read it lent me his copy, saying, “You absolutely have to read this book.” So I read it and it’s now one of my all-time favorites. 
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown is the true story of an unlikely group of nine boys from the University of Washington who overcame extreme adversity to win a gold medal in rowing in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. How these working class boysthe sons of fishermen, loggers, miners, and manual laborersprevailed over rowing teams from elite Eastern colleges and went on Olympic glory is an unforgettable story. I couldn’t put down the final chapters. 

Review - “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth is one of those books that is so good that I’d feel confident giving it to someone as a birthday gift or Christmas gift. Duckworth argues that the key to success isn’t talent or IQ but a combination of passion and persistence known as “grit.” Chapter 7 alone— “Practice” —is worth the price of the book. I happened to read “Grit” while I was training for a strenuous cycling event: The Tour of California’s Alps—commonly called “The Death Ride.” Duckworth says elite performers practice differently than other people. Elite athletes engage in deliberate practice to work on their weaknesses or to reach specific objectives. (She says NBA star Kevin Durant spends up to 70% of his practice time alone, trying to fine tune every aspect of his game.) So after reading “Grit” I changed up my training program—I started training with more intensity, doing focused drills and exercises to build leg strength, cardio, and mental toughness. The gritty approach paid off for me, and I was able to successfully complete the event. Click here to buy from Amazon.

The Two Best Pete Maravich Books

Few players have captured the imagination of basketball fans like Pete Maravich. With his floppy socks and shaggy hair, "Pistol Pete" dazzled crowds with between-the-leg dribbles, behind-the-back passes, and dishing the ball off the dribble at full speed. He still holds the NCAA scoring record—3,667 points. John Havlicek called Maravich the best ball handler of all time. Maravich died at age 40, just months after being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Here are the two best books about the amazing Pistol Pete.  

1. Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich by Mark Kriegel. 

Softcover, 393 pages. Veteran sportswriter Mark Kreigel (who also wrote a biography on Joe Namath) does a superb job laying out all the triumphs and the heartaches in Maravich's unique life. Well-researched and insightful. 

2. Pete Maravich: The Authorized Biography of Pistol Pete by Wayne Federman and Marshall Terrill, with Jackie Maravich.

Softcover, 459 pages. Provides a glimpse into the heart and mind of Pete Maravich as he grew into a basketball phenomenon under the shadow of his intense and demanding father, and then as he struggled to find satisfaction despite enjoying amazing success on the basketball court. After his career was over Maravich found contentment following a conversion to Christianity. This book is an evenhanded treatment of Maravich.